Pros and cons of living in Stockton, California

Are you planning to move to Stockton? Then, it’s essential to have the correct information about the city. Without the right information, moving to a new city can be a challenging journey into the unexpected. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in Stockton?

Stockton is the administrative seat of San Joaquin County. Living in this city comes with advantages such as affordability, several activities, amenities, and weather. But you’ll also have to contend with disadvantages too. They include the crime rate, poverty rate, tax rates, and car dependency.

Regardless of these disadvantages, this city of over 300,000 people might be a great place for you. This article examines its pros and cons to help you decide.

Pros of Living in Stockton

If you choose to live in Stockton, you can expect to enjoy some benefits, such as:


The number one positive attribute of this city is its affordability. Anyone familiar with California knows the cost of living in the state is far above the national average. This is common to most big cities in California, but there are still some places where the cost of living is more affordable. Stockton is one of those cities.

Although its cost of living is also above the national average, it’s only 13.9% higher, making it pretty affordable. The city is less than 90 minutes away from San Francisco, where the cost of living is more than double the national average.

Perhaps the most expensive thing to get in Stockton is Housing. Despite being above the national average, it’s still very affordable when compared with California standards. The average price of a house here is $410,652, far below the around $700,000 that’s the average cost of a home in California. 

So, if you’re looking for an affordable place to live in California, close enough to a major city, you should consider Stockton.

Several Activities for Residents

Stockton might not be as entertaining as Los Angeles or fun as Disneyland resort, but it has its amazing places to visit and activities to do. If you’re living here, you’ll get to see and experience everything that makes it a fantastic city.

Places to visit here include the Haggin Museum, Children’s Museum of Stockton, Historic Bob Hope Theatre, Pixie Woods Children Park etc. There are usually cultural festivals and celebrations happening in the city. With its diverse ethnical population, there’s always something fun going on.

Excellent Weather

When moving to California, sunshine is one of the things that many people want to experience. If you choose to live in Stockton, you can enjoy it to the fullest. The city doesn’t experience snow, and the only thing you can expect in the winter is rainfall. Generally, the weather here is warm. But there are few scorching days in the summer. 

Access to Amenities

When it comes to Amenities, Stockton has a very high rating. Local amenities such as grocery stores, parks, libraries, coffee shops, restaurants, etc., are relatively many in this city. AreaVibes gives it an A rating for amenities.

Cons of Living in Stockton

This city isn’t without the problems that residents have to live with. If you’re moving there, these are the issues to expect.

High Crime Rate

Stockton had a history of being the center of the heroin trade in California. While this is no longer so, crime is still a serious problem in the city, and it impacts severely on its livability. The total crime rate is 115% above the national average, and property crime is 87% higher.

The prevalence of violent crimes here can be a cause of concern for anyone. Its rate of violent crime is 268% higher than the national average. Living in Stockton means there is a 1 in 19 chance of you being a crime victim. This doesn’t mean the city is the most dangerous. In fact, it’s safer than 2% of cities in the US.

Car Dependency

You need a car if you’re living in Stockton. The city is primarily car-dependent, and getting around might be difficult without one. According to WalkScore, the city has a walk score of 43, transit score of 28, and bike score of 57.

It has its public transport system, but the options are limited. There are also some bike trails and infrastructure in the city. So, if you’re interested in biking to work or for errands, you’ll be able to do it in some parts of the town. For walking, some neighborhoods such as Lakeview, Pacific, and Civic Centre are the most walkable.

High Poverty Rate

Stockton isn’t the best place when it comes to income in California. The city had a 22.4% poverty rate in 2017, and most of the city’s poor are ethnic minorities. In 2019, the numbers improved, but with 15.4% still earning income below the poverty line, its poverty rate is higher than the California average.

Primarily responsible for the poverty rate is the low income and high unemployment. The income per capita in the city is 31% below the national average. This is even much lower than the California average. Its median household income is also below the national average. The unemployment rate is 8.8% in June 2021, far above 5.9% at the national level. 

When one considers that California has a higher cost of living than the country’s average, it’s easy to see why residents who earn low in an affordable place like Stockton will have problems.

High Taxes

If you’re living in California, you should be ready to pay high taxes. The state’s income tax brackets show that residents can pay as much as 13.3% of their income, but the average in most cases is 9.3%. Beyond the high-income tax, sales tax in Stockton is also high, at a minimum of 9%.

San Joaquin county also has one of the highest property tax rates in the state at around 1.122%. It’s the 17th of 58 counties in terms of high property taxes.

In Conclusion 

Stockton is a great place with a low cost of living and access to several amenities. But it also has high crime rates and other issues that might be a problem. Knowing its pros and cons will help you make the best decision.