Pros and cons of living in Fresno, California

Located in San Joaquin Valley right in Central, Fresno is a fantastic city in many respects. While it is majorly an agricultural center, it has enough commerce and industry to cater to everyone. So, if you’re planning to move here, you’ll want to know, what’re the pros and cons of living in Fresno?

What makes Fresno a great city to live in is that it exudes a suburban feel. Living here means low cost of living, affordable housing, diverse community, good food, and a great location. Yet, the city has disadvantages, such as its weather, crime rate, unemployment and poverty, and low air quality. 

Regardless of this, Fresno is still a great place. We examine its positive and negative sides in detail so anyone planning to move can completely understand what the city is about.

Pros of Living in Fresno

If you’re planning to live in Fresno, certain qualities make this city amazing to live in. They include:

Cost of Living

When it comes to the cost of living, Fresno is one of the most affordable cities to live in California. Therefore, the cost of living is an essential positive for it. Looking at the general cost of living in California, Fresno is an exception. The California rate is almost double the national average.

Its cost of living is only 2.6% above the national average and 47.3% below the California average. Almost everything, including grocery, healthcare, rents, homes, and transportation costs, is well below the state average. Even the cost of healthcare in Fresno is lower than the national average by 9.4%. It’s only the cost of utilities here that is higher than the state average.

Affordable Housing

A major reason people are moving to Fresno is because of its affordable housing. Compared to the California average, homes here are much more affordable than you’ll get in other cities like San Francisco, San Diego, or Los Angeles. For example, the average price of a home in Fresno is $326,544. While that’s still higher than the national average of $298,933, it’s much lower than the California average of $700,828.

Even rents are equally cheaper here compared to other parts of the state. For example, the average rent for an apartment in Fresno is $1,303, and California is $1,488. So, if you’re planning to live in California and still get affordable houses or rent, consider Fresno.

Friendly and Diverse Community 

Even if you don’t love your neighbors, you have to at least try to get along with them. In Fresno, you can easily love your neighbors because those in the community are pretty nice to be with. Despite its suburban vibe, the city is one of the most diverse places in America. This means you can easily find people that you can relate to within the communities. The city is a melting pot, and everyone is welcome. 

Great Food

The city’s diversity has influenced it in many ways, and one of those ways is its food. The food scene in the city is great as you can get almost any kind of food. Moreover, as an agricultural stronghold, it has established its food scene with the freshest produce.


Fresno is located in central California, which means it is close to the top cities in the state and the national parks.  From here, you can easily get to Sierra, Sequoia, and Yosemite national parks, which are about 1 hour 30 minutes away. The major cities are farther away at around 3-4 hours.

Cons of living in Fresno

While Fresno has several positives to living in it, it also has negatives that you must know if you’re planning to move there.


Many will like the sunshine that Fresno offers. But that sunshine can turn an unbearable heat in the summer. Fresno can be very hot and arid when the summer season comes. The average temperature for the year is between 39°F to 99°F. It rarely drops lower than 31°F or higher than 106°F. There are times when the city even experiences heat waves.

The winter here is also cold and comes with rainfall and other forms of precipitation such as fog.

Crime Rate

The crime rate in this city is another major issue. Its crime rate is substantially higher than the national average. The total crime rate is 57% higher than the national average, and property crime is 59% higher than the national average.

The chances of being a victim of a violent crime in this city are 1 out of 26. So, you have a good reason to be worried about living in this city. But, of course, not every part of the city is so dangerous, and some parts are much safer than others.

High Unemployment and Poverty Rate

There aren’t so many opportunities in this city compared to other major cities in the state. The unemployment rate here is 10.1% which is much higher than the California rate of 7.7%. 

This has also contributed to an increased poverty rate in the city. Its median household income is $53,969, and the poverty rate is 20.5%. This shows that the city is far behind the national average and has a long way to go.

Bad Air Quality

The air quality in Fresno is below the California average due to its location in a valley. This means more allergies during certain times of the year. If you have breathing problems, you might want to consider this better. However, you should note that Fresno air quality is only a little below the average, so it might not be a problem for many people.

In Conclusion 

If you’re looking for an affordable city in California, Fresno is your best bet. It is the 5th largest city in the state and relatively inexpensive compared to all the top four. But it has its problems which you should be aware of. Regardless of these problems, it’s still an amazing place, and its good qualities outweigh the negatives.  It’s for you to decide if it is worth moving to Fresno.