Stockton is the 13th largest city in California and the 63rd largest city in the United States. It has received credit as an All-American city repeatedly in the past. Stockton is the county seat of San Joaquin County. Founded in 1849, it is one of the oldest cities in California. The city has a population of about 320,000 and is notable for being the first city in the United States that did not have a Spanish or Native American name. Stockton was a thriving city but has been struggling in the past decade.
Is Stockton, California a good place to live? Living in Stockton reveals a cost of living above the national average whereas the prices of homes and rents are lower than in surrounding areas. The crime rate is significantly high and average household incomes low. There are good schools and other amenities but unemployment is high.
US News ranked Stockton as the 123rd best city to live in the USA while Niche ranked it as the 7th most diverse city in the US. Moving to Stockton unveils that this city is very connected. Its residents know and stop to greet each other on the street. The city is surrounded by picturesque vineyards and farms which provide wine and fresh organic produce for its residents. The city has been in financial upheaval ever since the 2008 financial crisis but things have been improving. It would be wise to understand Stockton before moving to California.
Is Stockton, California a good place to live?
Stockton is like most cities you will find while living in California. There are generally good areas and bad areas. There are areas that are safe during the day that dark drastic turns when it gets out. When living in the city of Stockton, it is a good idea to keep your head on a swivel wherever you are at all times of the day. Insurance is also a must, especially for your house and car. However when classifying the city’s neighborhoods we can label Brookside, Stonewood, Spanos Park, Country Club, Civic Center, Pacific, Lakeview, Lincoln Village Proper, Weston Ranch and Valley Oak as good neighborhoods while labeling Park, Modesto, Lodi, Lathrop, Oakdale , Galt, Camanche, Riverbank, Antioch , Manteca and Rio Vista as bad neighborhoods.
Stockton has a foul reputation as a bad place to live mostly because of its high degree of crime. In 2012, it was ranked as the 10th most dangerous city in the USA. The crime rate in Stockton is 71% higher than the California average and 84% higher than the national crime rate. You will find an average of 1500 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in Stockton. The chances that you will be a victim of a crime in Stockton are 1 in 19. Property crime, violent crime and vehicle theft are the leading forms of crime in Stockton. The city has a safety index of 5 meaning it is safer than only 5% of American cities.
Stockton is part of four school districts with more than 40 elementary and secondary schools. The city is also home to public charter schools like Aspire Public Schools, Stockton Collegiate and Venture Academy. As far as higher education is concerned, the University of the Pacific is the leading institution in the city. Despite having a population of fewer than 10,000 students, the university has eight professional schools and a substantial amount of degree programs. The school’s men’s Pacific Tigers basketball team regularly features in the NCAA Tournament. Other noteworthy institutions in Stockton include National University, Humphreys University, and San Joaquin Delta College.
Stockton is a transportation hub and is ideally located with access to an airport, a port, freeways and the Amtrak railroad system. You can access Stockton from anywhere in California using the I-5 and Route 99. Other State Routes passing through the city are SR 4, SR 26 and SR 88. The city is also within an hour of I-80, I-2015, and I-580. Stockton’s citizens can access the Amtrak railroad at Robert J. Cabral Station and San Joaquin Street Station. The Port of Stockton is a deep water international port serving the city. Stockton Metropolitan Airport is mainly used for shipping but also offers passenger flights occasionally.
The social scene in Stockton is varied, to say the least. There are multiple venues for performing and visual arts comprising of theatres, museums, concert halls, and galleries. The city has two shopping malls located adjacent to each other. There are festivals in Stockton all year round and sports teams in several lower national leagues.
Is Stockton, California a good place to work?
The unemployment rate in Stockton is about 8% and is higher than the national average of 4%. Unemployment is the major driver of crime in the area. The average salary in Stockton is about $43,636 as compared to a national average salary of $31,000. The most popular job titles in Stockton are Office Manager, Heavy Tractor/Trailer/Truck Driver and Operations Manager.
Stockton has historically been an agricultural town, where farmers selling their own produce. However, their economy is currently diversified with interests in fields including manufacturing and telecommunications. The city’s economy has been in shambles since the recession of 2007-2008 and has only recently begun to rise again. Job prospects are not widespread and the city’s municipal government has undertaken massive debt to revive the city.
The city’s largest employers include St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Stockton Unified School District, City of Stockton, Dameron Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, San Joaquin Delta College, University of the Pacific, Lincoln Unified School District, O’Reilly Auto Parts and World Class Distribution, Inc.
Is Stockton, California a good place to buy a house?
The median home price in Stockton is $352,000 while the median rent is $1,100. Home ownership in Stockton is high and stands at about 48% with most homes owned via a mortgage. Single-family (two parents and two children) and three bedroom homes dominate the real estate market. Where you buy your home in Stockton largely determines if it is worth buying.
Good neighborhoods include Brookside, Stonewood, Spanos Park, Country Club, Civic Center, Pacific, Lakeview, Lincoln Village Proper, Weston Ranch and Valley Oak while bad neighborhoods include Park, Modesto, Lodi, Lathrop, Oakdale, Galt, Camanche, Riverbank, Antioch , Manteca and Rio Vista.
The average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in Stockton is $975. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1250 a month. The average rent for a three bedroom apartment is $1510 a month. The average monthly rent for a four-bedroom apartment is $1835 and the average rent for a five-bedroom apartment is $2390 a month.
The average buying price of an apartment with a single bedroom in Stockton is $164,800. The average price of an apartment with double bedrooms is $215,075. The average price of an apartment with triple bedrooms is $279,680. The average price of a quadruple bedroom apartment is $324,030. The average price of an apartment with quintuple bedrooms is $375,100.
Is Stockton a good place to retire?
Stockton is a good retirement location for several reasons despite the high level of crime. You will find great facilities in the area particularly when it comes to healthcare. The pace of life is slow and neighbors actually know and speak to each other. It is also easy to find cheap, fresh organic produce in Stockton which is favored by senior citizens.
Retirement properties are common in Stockton and include typical properties. Therefore, the monthly rental rates and home prices stated above can be used for reference.
Is Stockton, California a good place to visit?
Stockton is a regularly visited by tourists and rightly so; there are many places to visit and things to do in Stockton. Places you have to visit while in Stockton include Micke Grove Zoo, Haggin Museum, Stockton Arena, Oak Grove Regional Park, Micke Grove Regional Park, Stockton Field Aviation Museum and San Joaquin County Historical Museum. Notable events include San Joaquin International Film Festival, Stockton Beer Week, Stocktoberfest, West Coast BBQ Championships, and the Stockton Boat Parade.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cost of living in Stockton, California?
The cost of living in this city is 17% higher than the national average. Housing is the most significant expense in most households. Groceries, utilities, and transportation also cost more than the national average in Stockton.
Is Stockton a good place to invest in property?
Stockton is a great location to invest in property. Most residents view Stockton as a stepping stone city; living there while looking for something better. Despite the high crime rates, occupancy rates are high and the chances of defaulting on rent are also low among residents. Investors would risk much and earn just as much investing in Stockton property.
Is Stockton a good place to raise a family?
Stockton may not be the best option to raise a family. Taking statistics into considerations you may end up constantly worrying about your family’s safety. The schools in the city are average at best and the cost of living too high, therefore it may be better to consider other option in the same state to raise a family.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.