Serving Southern California & Beyond

Serving Southern California & Beyond

Living in Irvine
Chip Martin
Chip Martin

What's Living in Irvine CA Like? ☀️ | Ultimate Moving to Irvine Guide

Considering a move to sunny Southern California? Nestled in the heart of Orange County, Irvine is a city that consistently ranks among the best places to live in the United States. Known for its luxury communities, top-tier educational institutions, and thriving job market, Irvine is a good place to live. This Orange County city truly has something to offer everyone. Whether you are a young professional, a growing family, or an older adult looking for an Orange County retirement community, Irvine has something to offer you. Here’s everything you need to know about living in Irvine CA.

Where Is Irvine California?

 

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Irvine is in Orange County, California, and is the largest city and master-planned community in the area. Irvine is in the perfect location, and nearby cities bordering the area include Tustin to the south, Santa Ana to the northwest, Lake Forest to the east and southeast, Laguna Hills and Laguna Woods to the south, Costa Mesa to the west, and Newport Beach to the southwest. The city also shares a small border with Orange.

Irvine is also situated between the Southern California cities of Los Angeles and San Diego. With Los Angeles to the north and San Diego to the south, Irvine provides residents with easy access to these large urban areas.

Most of Irvine is located in a flat valley, although in the northern and southern sections of the community, you’ll find hills, plateaus, and canyons that are perfect for outdoor activities.

Irvine Information

  • Irvine county: Orange County
  • Irvine area: 65.92 square miles
  • Irvine zip code: 92602-92697
  • Irvine area code: 949, 657, 714
  • Irvine elevation: 56 feet
  • Irvine time zone: Pacific Time Zone (UTC -7 and -8)
  • Closest airport to Irvine: John Wayne Airport (SNA), 4 miles away

Irvine Population & Demographics

 

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What is the Irvine CA population? The Irvine population is 307,670, which is a 44.8% increase over the past decade. People are moving to Irvine in droves, and according to LA List, this Orange County city is one of the top 10 fastest-growing cities in the United States. Irvine is also a part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, which has a population of 18.42 million, making it the second-most populous metropolitan area in the country, just behind New York City.

Irvine has a very diverse population, with a racial and ethnic composition of 40.1% White (35.7% non-Hispanic), 44.3% Asian, 10.3% two or more races, 2.0% Black or African American, 0.4% Native Hawaiian, and 0.2% American Indian. Additionally, 39.6% of residents living in Irvine CA are foreign-born. Notable people from Irvine include Olympic cyclist Dotsie Bausch, actor Will Ferrell, and singer Zack de la Rocha.

Additional Irvine Demographics:

  • Sex ratio: 50.5% female, 49.5% male
  • Median age: 33.8
  • Median household income: $122,948 (compared to the California average of $91,905)
  • Educational attainment: 96.3% high school degree (or higher), 70.0% bachelor’s degree (or higher)

Transportation

 

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When living in Irvine CA, you will have a wide range of transportation options to choose from. One of the most notable features of Irvine’s transportation system is the city’s well-planned road network. The Irvine Traffic Research and Control Center has placed traffic cameras and ground sensors across the city to monitor the traffic flow and adjust the timing of traffic lights to help more passengers avoid red lights, especially during rush hours. This helps to reduce traffic congestion significantly. A few major highways you’ll encounter after moving to Irvine include Interstate 5, Interstate 405, California State Route 73, and California State Route 241.

Interested in public transportation options after moving to Irvine? Public transportation for residents living in Irvine CA is primarily served by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), which operates a bus system connecting the city to neighboring communities. With frequent routes and convenient stops in and around Irvine, OCTA buses provide an affordable and accessible means of transportation for those who prefer not to drive. Additionally, Irvine Station, located in Downtown Irvine, serves as a major transportation hub, offering connections to Metrolink commuter trains and Amtrak services.

When living in Irvine CA, you can also enjoy an extensive network of bike lanes and sidewalks, making it easy to get around on bicycle or on foot. Many neighborhoods feature interconnected trails, providing convenient routes for strolls or bike rides.

Irvine CA Cost of Living

Is Irvine expensive? The cost of living in Irvine CA is on the higher end, making the area a fairly expensive place to live. The Irvine Cost of Living Index is 181.1, making the city 81.1% more expensive than the national average of 100 and 31.2% more expensive than the California average of 150.8. So, the extra income will come in handy when living in Irvine CA!

According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four living in Irvine CA would need to earn $147,022 per year to live comfortably in the city. Of course, this number can vary based on your family size and lifestyle. For a family of two with no children, you would need to earn $84,303 per year. According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, two working adults with two children would need to earn at least $35.03 per hour to support their family.

Typical Irvine Living Expenses:

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $20.00
  • Cappuccino: $5.70
  • Gallon of milk: $4.75
  • Pound of apples: $2.37
  • Bottle of wine: $15.00
  • Gallon of gas: $4.97
  • Internet bill (monthly): $71.73
  • Average Irvine utilities per month: $184.88

Source: Numbeo

When thinking about the cost of living in Irvine CA, you’ll also want to consider taxes. The California state income tax ranges between 1% and 12.3%, based on your specific income. Sales tax in Irvine sits at 7.75%, and residents living in Irvine CA can expect to pay a property tax rate of around 0.82%.

How much does it cost to live in Irvine? Housing costs are one of the most significant expenses you’ll encounter when moving to Irvine California. Property values are on the rise, and Irvine CA real estate is very desirable.

Irvine Real Estate | Average Rent & Home Prices

If you are moving to Irvine California, then you may be on the hunt for a new home. According to Redfin, the average home price in Irvine CA is $1.52 million. Home prices in Irvine are up 17.2% compared to last year, and homes are only sitting on the market for an average of 23 days. Here’s how housing costs in Irvine stack up to other popular California cities.

 

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  • Newport Beach: $3.72 million
  • Laguna Beach: $3.30 million
  • Los Angeles: $1.02 million
  • San Diego: $970,000

Would you rather find apartments or homes for rent in Irvine CA? According to RentCafe, the average rent in Irvine CA is $3,147 per month. Rent in Irvine is only slightly higher than other nearby cities, such as Los Angeles ($2,691), San Diego ($2,934), and San Jose ($2,954). The most affordable neighborhoods in Irvine are El Camino Real ($2,889 per month) and Northpark ($3,040 per month). The most expensive neighborhoods in Irvine are Shady Canyon and South Irvine, where you can expect to pay about $3,229 per month.

Are you wondering whether or not you should rent or buy when moving to Irvine California? According to the 2022 Rental Affordability Report, it is more affordable to rent than to buy in Irvine.

Neighborhoods in Irvine CA | Where to Live in Irvine

Are you curious about the best places to live in Irvine? This clean city is full of many incredible neighborhoods and master-planned communities to explore. These are just a few of the best neighborhoods in Irvine CA.

Downtown Irvine | Popular Irvine Neighborhood Among Young Professionals

If you are moving to Irvine California, and prefer a busy city lifestyle, then you may want to settle down in Downtown Irvine. With its pedestrian-friendly streets and bustling atmosphere, Downtown Irvine is a hub of activity, providing residents with easy access to some of the city’s top amenities and attractions. From trendy cafes and chic boutiques to gourmet restaurants and lively entertainment venues, there’s always something new to discover in this neighborhood.

Turtle Ridge | Gorgeous Gated Community

Located along State Route 73, Turtle Ridge is a beautiful gated neighborhood in Irvine. Turtle Ridge is often considered to be one of the safest neighborhoods in Irvine CA, with a crime rate that is 71% lower than the national average. According to Redfin, the median home price in Turtle Ridge is $2.18 million, which is well above the Irvine average. This area is home to many public parks and great schools, making it a popular destination among families.

Oak Creek | One of the Best Irvine Neighborhoods for Retirees

Oak Creek is a lovely Irvine neighborhood situated around the Oak Creek Golf Club and Driving Range. Due to the community pools and recreational areas around this neighborhood, it is a popular place for retirees looking to live a relaxing lifestyle. This neighborhood is also directly next to Kaiser Permanente Orange County-Irvine Medical Center, which is one of the top hospitals in the city. Oak Creek is very affordable compared to the rest of Irvine, and the median home price in the neighborhood is $834,000, according to Redfin.

Irvine Weather & Climate

 

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The gorgeous weather in Irvine CA is one of the biggest benefits of moving to Irvine. When living in Irvine CA, you will experience a Mediterranean climate, characterized by mild winters and warm to hot summers. During the late spring and early summer, residents living in Irvine CA will experience the June Gloom phenomenon. This is a weather pattern that affects Southern California, resulting in cloudy and overcast skies during early summer mornings.

Irvine Climate Statistics:

  • Irvine annual rainfall: 14.38 inches
  • Irvine annual snowfall: 0 inches
  • Average temperature in Irvine CA during the summer: above 79ºF
  • Average temperature in Irvine CA during the winter: below 69ºF
  • Most comfortable months to visit Irvine: Late May to mid-October

Irvine Restaurants

Residents living in Irvine CA are in for a treat when it comes to restaurants in Irvine. From upscale restaurants to casual eateries and international markets, Irvine offers a variety of flavors to satisfy every palate. With its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, seafood lovers can indulge in fresh sushi and seafood dishes, while those craving authentic Asian cuisine can explore the numerous Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese restaurants scattered throughout the city. These are just a few of the best places to eat in Irvine.

 

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Things to Do in Irvine

There are several fun things to do when living in Irvine CA. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities at public parks and recreational areas or bustling nightlife in the downtown area, Irvine has something for you. These are a few of the best things to do in Irvine, California.

Top Irvine Attractions

  • Boomers Irvine: Head over to this amusement park to play mini-golf, ride go-carts, and play arcade games.
  • Adventure Playground: This family-friendly park features a big play area with toys, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
  • Turtle Rock Nature Center: Explore this five-acre nature preserve with hiking trails, wildlife viewing spots, and an outdoor classroom.
  • Irvine Regional Park: Irvine Regional Park is easily one of the best parks in the city. This lovely park offers train and pony rides as well as paddle boat rentals.
  • Irvine Park Railroad: Located inside of Irvine Regional Park, the Irvine Park Railroad is a family-friendly attraction that will take you around the park.
  • Irvine Spectrum Center Giant Wheel: This gorgeous Ferris wheel features panoramic city views and is complete with 52,000 LED lights.
  • K1 Speed: K1 Speed offers indoor racing on electric go-karts.

 

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Irvine Entertainment & Arts

 

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Irvine Museums

  • Museum of Woman: This Irvine museum pays tribute to womanhood across cultures and religions.
  • Pretend City Children’s Museum: The Pretend City Children’s Museum offers interactive exhibits for children of all ages.
  • Irvine Historical Society: Learn more about the history of the clean city of Irvine at this informative museum.
  • Orange County Museum of Art: Located in nearby Costa Mesa, the Orange County Museum of Art is a must-see. This museum features both modern and contemporary artwork.

Irvine Parks & Outdoors

 

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Shopping in Irvine

  • Irvine Spectrum Center: The Irvine Spectrum Center is an open-air lifestyle center with department stores, a Ferris wheel, and a movie theater.
  • Tanaka Farms: This market features vendors selling seasonal fruits and vegetables and is also complete with a pumpkin patch, an interactive farm, and animals.
  • The Square: Head over to this open-air shopping center featuring restaurants, boutiques, and popular retail stores.

Map of Irvine Things to Do

Here’s a map of these fun things to do in Irvine.

Sports

When living in Irvine CA, there are not too many professional sports teams located within the city. Irvine is home to the Orange County SC, which is a professional soccer team. Otherwise, residents living in the area can enjoy a short commute to Los Angeles, where you’ll find teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Kings, and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Irvine Crime Rate

Is Irvine a safe place to live? Luckily, residents living in Irvine CA are very safe. According to the City of Irvine, the city has the lowest per capita violent crime rate of any city in the nation with a population of 250,000 or more. Irvine has held this title for 18 years in a row. Let’s take a look at the Irvine crime statistics.

  • Overall Irvine crime rate: 1,550 crimes per 100,000 people (39.9% lower than state average and 33.9% lower than national average)
  • Irvine violent crime rate:  52 crimes per 100,000 people (88.5% lower than state average and 86.8% lower than the national average)
  • Irvine property crime rate: 1,499 crimes per 100,000 people (29.9% lower than state average and 23.5% lower than national average)

As you can see, Irvine California is a very safe place to live. All of the crime rates in the area are well below both the state and national averages. Here’s how Irvine stacks up to other California cities in terms of crime.

  • San Diego: 2,061 crimes per 100,000 people (28.3% higher than Irvine)
  • Los Angeles: 2,870 crimes per 100,000 people (59.7% higher than Irvine)
  • Oakland: 6,457 crimes per 100,000 people (122.5% higher than Irvine)
  • San Jose: 2,741 crimes per 100,000 people (55.5% higher than Irvine)

After moving to Irvine, you will be served by the Irvine Police Department, which has 218 officers on the force. You can contact the police department at any time by calling ​​949-724-7000 or visiting 1 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606.

Economy & Jobs in Irvine CA

Are you moving to Irvine California for a new career? Due to Irvine’s strategic location in the heart of Orange County, there are plenty of job opportunities available to you. Major technology companies, including Broadcom, Blizzard Entertainment, and Western Digital, have all established significant operations in Irvine, contributing to the city’s reputation as a tech hub.

Another sector offering several job opportunities to residents living in Irvine CA is healthcare. Irvine hosts several major healthcare providers, including Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and Kaiser Permanente. These providers create a wide range of employment opportunities, from medical professionals to administrative support staff. Additionally, Irvine is the home to University of California, Irvine, which provides thousands of jobs in education, research, and administration.

The top 5 employers in Irvine include:

According to PayScale, the average salary in Irvine is $91,000 per year. If you are on the hunt for Irvine jobs, then check out the city job board or search for “Irvine jobs” on Indeed.

Healthcare

When living in Irvine CA, you will have access to several amazing high-quality healthcare services. As mentioned before, the city is home to several top-tier healthcare institutions, including Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and Kaiser Permanente, which offers everything from primary care to specialized treatments.

US News recently ranked Hoag Memorial as one of the best hospitals in the nation for maternity care. According to the Los Cerritos News, Kaiser Permanente was ranked as one of the best medical centers in the nation for delivering high-quality care. Eight Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Southern California ranked among the state’s Top 50 and both the Anaheim and Irvine locations ranked 44th for pulmonology and lung surgery in the nation.

In addition to these top-performing hospitals, Irvine is also home to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, which not only provides patient care but also conducts groundbreaking medical research and training.

Irvine Schools

Most students living in Irvine CA are served by the Irvine Unified School District. This Irvine school district contains 29 middle and elementary schools in Irvine and 8 high schools in Irvine. Some of the best high schools in Irvine include University High School and Northwood High School. Both of these high schools in Irvine CA made US News’s list of the top 50 high schools in California.

If you are more interested in private schools in Irvine CA, then there are several great schools to choose from. Crean Lutheran High School is a private Lutheran high school located in the Woodbridge neighborhood of Irvine. This school has an enrollment of just under 1,000. Other popular options include Tarbut V’ Torah and Pacific Academy.

Irvine is home to the University of California, Irvine. This university is the second-newest campus in the UC system, just after the University of California, Merced, and is known for its science and engineering programs. Other higher education options in Irvine include California Southern University, Westcliff University, and Irvine Valley College.

 

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When living in Irvine CA, you can enjoy access to the OC Library.

Irvine Utilities & DMV Change of Address

Before moving to Irvine California, you’ll need to know the main providers in the area. These are the companies you’ll need to know to handle your Irvine utilities.

Additionally, you will need to head to the DMV to change your address. You also may need to get a California driver's license if you are moving from out of state. To change your mailing address, you can head over to the OC Assessor’s website and fill out a change of address form. To learn more about getting a California driver’s license, head over to the State of California DMV website to request an appointment.

Does living in Irvine CA sound like a perfect fit for you? Moving to Irvine is a great choice for families of all sizes and people of all ages. When you are ready to relocate, get in touch with the team at Daly Movers. Our Irvine movers are ready to provide you with the best moving service around. Call our team today at 714-538-2831 to get started with a free quote.

Chip Martin
Chip Martin
BA in philosophy, Long Beach State 1974, various trades after college including cabinet maker and boat refinisher, then became a local moving driver in 1976, bought Daly Movers in 1979, managed company, and drove local and long distance until 1995 when I transitioned into sales/office full time. Almost fifty years later Daly Movers and I have sold, worked, and familiarized ourselves with virtually every type of household and O&I relocation.
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