Pros and cons of living in Irvine, California

Irvine is a fantastic city, and if you’re planning to move there, that decision isn’t surprising. But moving to a new city isn’t something you should do without knowing enough about the place. So, what’re the pros and cons of moving to Irvine?

Living in Irvine can be an amazing experience for you. Several things make the city great such as the education system, weather, safety, cleanliness, access to beaches, and opportunities. But like every other city, it has drawbacks, including its cost of living, single-season, and car dependency.

Regardless of these drawbacks, you’re likely to find Irvine to be a great place. But let’s not make that decision for you. Instead, read on to know the pros and cons of living in Irvine.

Pros of Living in Irvine

There is so much to the city of Irvine. Located in Orange County, this city has several good qualities, which include:

Top-Notch Education System

The area boasts of a robust educational system. So, if you’re planning to raise a family, doing it in Irvine means your kids can attend all their schools right from kindergarten to university in the same city. 

The Irvine Unified School District serves the city, and it’s one of the best in the country. Most of the schools in this district have high ratings. Whether it’s the elementary, middle, or high schools, excellence is a standard here.  

When it comes to tertiary institutions, the University of California is one of the best public universities in the country. However, there are still other schools like California Southern University, Concordia University, Irvine Valley College, Brandman University, and lots more.

Average test scores in the city is 52% above the national average, and its percentage of holders of Bachelor’s degrees is 124% higher. In addition, 95.9% of those in Irvine completed at least high school, and 68% have a bachelor’s degree. Thus, Irvine doesn’t only provide a good education system, but it’s one of the most educated cities in the country.

Outstanding Weather

Irvine is the epitome of the iconic California weather. Annually, there are about 300 days of sunshine. So, you can practically spend most of the year outside without having to worry about snow or rain. Snow is non-existent, and rain is little too. What makes it better is that it doesn’t get too hot. The average weather is between 73oF on the high side and 52o F on the low side. In weather that is almost always warm, possibilities are endless.


In terms of crime rate, the city is also a very safe place to live. Its total crime rate is 45% below the national average, and property crime is 38% lower. In addition, the violent crime rate here is 83% below the national average, and the chance of being a victim is 1 in 73.

By now, you can tell Irvine is relatively safe. But when you compare it with other cities in the United States, you realize how safe Irvine is. The city is safer than 71% of cities in the United States, and for the past 15 years, it has been the safest city of its size. It also has the lowest violent crime rate per capita for cities with a population of at least 250,000.

Strong Economy and Opportunities

Another positive for the city is its economy which is very strong. Several employers, such as the University of California, Verizon Wireless, Blizzard Entertainment, etc., are in the town, which means several job opportunities. In addition, the income per capita here is 51% above the national average.

Access to Beaches

Although Irvine itself is an inland city, it’s very close to the coast. Los Angeles and its beaches are only 44 minutes away. Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach are below 30 minutes away. From Irvine, you can get access to more than 100 Southern California beaches. So even though the city doesn’t have a beach of its own, residents can swim and surf easily.

Very Clean

Irvine is an immaculate city. While most cities here have air quality issues, the air in Irvine is fresh and clean. The city takes cleanliness and the environment seriously. You’ll find waste management and recycling practices in full scale here. The town even went as far as banning smoking in public areas.

Cons of Living in Irvine

There is no city without drawbacks, and Irvine has some of its own. They include:

High Cost of Living

The primary problem of living in this city is the cost of living. Irvine is close to some of the major cities in California, and like them, it’s also expensive. The cost of living in the city is 87.1% higher than the national average and above the California average. So, when you add the high tax burden common to California, you start to get an idea of how expensive it is to live in Irvine.

The cost of housing here is also very high. It’s one of the few ultra-expensive cities in California and, in fact, the entire country where the average price of a home is now in seven figures. Houses in the city cost $1,051,094 on average. Since buying a home costs this much, 53.2% of those who live in the city resort to renting. Rents aren’t cheap either, with the average rent for an apartment costing $2,521.


Another problem this city has is that you need a car to move around it. There aren’t several public transportation systems in the city. It has a transit score of 27, according to Walkscore, reflecting the paucity of traffic options in the city.

The walkability score is higher at 43, and the bike score is 69, which shows that it’s much easier to use bikes in this city. There are several villages that makeup Irvine, and you can easily walk within your village. But when you’re going to another village, you’ll most likely need a car.

One Season City

Although some people might see this as an advantage, many don’t. The weather is excellent, but most people miss how it’s just the same thing throughout the year. There is barely any change in the season, and if any, it’s mild.

If you’re someone who wants to witness seasonal variations and experience snow, you can find mountains and skiing slopes close enough to the drive.

In Conclusion 

Irvine is an amazing city to live in with several great qualities. Of course, it has some drawbacks that are normal for any city. But its pros far outweigh the problems, and with a livability score of 81/100, it’s one of the best cities to live in.