san jose california

Gen Z’s Choice: Study Says San Jose is One of the Best Cities to Live In

San Jose, California ranks highly among US cities in terms of quality of life, according to recent studies and reports. The city boasts an impressive score in this regard, exemplifying urban living at its best.

A key factor contributing to San Jose’s high quality of life is its accessibility to public parks. The U.S. News and World Report highlighted that a significant majority of San Jose residents live within a 10-minute distance from green spaces. This statistic underscores the city’s commitment to integrating nature into its urban landscape, promoting a balanced lifestyle for its residents.

San Jose’s demographic makeup is also noteworthy, with a recent influx of the Gen Z population. A 2023 SmartAsset study revealed that the city witnessed considerable growth in its 18 to 24-year-old demographic. This youthful presence adds a vibrant and forward-looking dimension to San Jose’s social fabric.

Ranking within the top 10 U.S. cities for quality of life, San Jose’s diverse and enriching living conditions contribute to its prestigious position. The city’s blend of technological innovation, cultural richness, and environmental consciousness is reflected in its high ranking.

Similar to Boulder, Colorado, which ranks second with a quality of life score of 7.7 and is celebrated for its parks and vibrant downtown area, San Jose offers a unique combination of urban development and natural beauty. However, San Jose sets itself apart with its position as a hub of Silicon Valley, driving the pulse of tech innovation and economic growth.

San Jose’s story is one of striking a balance between technological advancement and quality living. While it serves as a center for the tech-savvy, the city also provides a haven for those seeking a high-quality lifestyle. Its ability to attract and nurture a diverse, young population further enhances its appeal as a leading city in the United States for quality of life.

Redfin provided the pros and cons of living in San Jose, CA that global mobility professionals should be aware of when they are assisting talents coming to the Bay Area.


The pros of living in San Jose, California, and why it remains a popular destination for those seeking an exceptional quality of life include:

  • Ample job opportunities in the heart of Silicon Valley, home to major tech companies like Adobe, Cisco, eBay, and a thriving startup scene constantly creating new jobs.
  • Excellent weather with warm, sunny days throughout most of the year, averaging 300 days of sunshine annually, more than most other U.S. cities. This allows residents to enjoy outdoor activities year-round.
  • Easy access to hiking trails, parks, nearby beaches, and other outdoor amenities, enabling an active lifestyle thanks to the mild climate.
  • Renowned educational institutions such as Stanford University, San Jose State University, and the University of California, Santa Cruz, along with highly rated public schools, private schools, and charter schools.
  • Extensive entertainment options, including concerts, museums, sporting events, a vibrant nightlife scene with numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants.
  • Proximity to natural beauty in the Bay Area, with opportunities for hiking, biking, camping, and exploring parks and nature preserves like Alum Rock Park, Coyote Creek Trail, and the Santa Cruz Mountains.
  • Short drive to the famous California coastline, allowing residents to soak up the sun and enjoy beautiful ocean views, appealing to outdoor enthusiasts.


While offering many attractive qualities, living in San Jose also comes with some potential downsides to consider:

  • Housing costs are 142% higher than the national average, with median home prices around $1 million, making lots of expats choose to rent corporate apartments instead.
  • Densely populated as California’s 3rd largest city, with crowded neighborhoods, long lines at popular venues, packed public transit, and an overall bustling, busy atmosphere that may not suit those preferring a quieter, laid-back lifestyle.
  • Limited parking availability due to the high population density, with scarce street parking in some areas and expensive garage fees, frustrating for car-reliant residents.
  • Vulnerability to natural disasters like earthquakes, wildfires, and flooding

Underrated gem

Often overshadowed by its famous neighbor San Francisco, San Jose is an underrated gem that offers a unique blend of cultural attractions, historical landmarks, and natural wonders. If you haven’t been here before, here are some attractions.

  1. The Winchester Mystery House: This 24,000-square-foot mansion, once owned by Sarah Winchester, the heiress to the Winchester Repeating Arms fortune, is a fascinating architectural marvel. With its labyrinth of 160 rooms, 2,000 doors, 10,000 windows, and curiosities like stairs leading nowhere, the house is shrouded in mystery and supernatural tales, making it a captivating attraction for visitors.
  2. Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum: Home to the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in western North America, this museum showcases an impressive replica of a rock-cut tomb. Surrounded by the Rosicrucian Park, which includes the Rosicrucian Labyrinth, Peace Garden, and a planetarium, it offers a unique glimpse into ancient Egyptian culture.
  3. San Jose Municipal Rose Garden: Hailed as America’s Best Rose Garden by the American Rose Society, this 5.5-acre oasis features 3,500 rose plantings intermingled with towering California redwoods, creating a breathtaking natural haven in the heart of the city.
  4. Children’s Discovery Museum: This playful purple triangular structure is a delight for families, offering interactive exhibits and the Guinness World Record-honored Monopoly in the Park, with a 930-square-foot game board.
  5. San Pedro Square Market: This vibrant food court reflects San Jose’s diversity, with stalls offering a range of international cuisines, including Peruvian, Mexican, and Asian flavors. The market also showcases the city’s commitment to sustainability with eco-friendly businesses like The Source Zero.
  6. Santana Row: Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this mixed-use community is a hub of innovation, featuring over 70 businesses, 20 restaurants, and a thriving social scene.
  7. Japantown: As one of the last three authentic Japantowns in the United States, this neighborhood captures the rich Asian American history of San Jose, complemented by the city’s international airport named after Norman Mineta, the first Asian American cabinet secretary.
  8. Outdoor Adventures: From casual walks around Almaden Lake Regional Park to hiking the recently restored Mount Umunhum, one of the highest peaks in the Santa Cruz Mountains, San Jose offers ample opportunities to explore the great outdoors.