San Diego vs San Francisco: Which is a Better Place to Live

If you’re considering moving to San Diego or San Francisco you may be a little stuck. Both destinations have a lot to offer anyone who lives there but there are some differences. This article will help you to understand a little more about what it’s like to live in San Diego or in San Francisco.

General Information

San Diego:

Located near the Mexico’s border, San Diego is considered to be California’s birthplace. This is because San Diego was one of the first areas that Europeans settled in. With natural open spaces located around the city, San Diego is a hilly and attractive part of the world.

San Francisco:

Located on America’s west coast, San Francisco has many beautiful islands and it’s home to more than 50 hills. The city is located on the San Francisco Peninsula and is surrounded on one side by the Pacific Ocean along with San Francisco Bay.

Weather

San Diego:

San Diego has one of the best climates in America. With a semi-arid climate, it’s the ideal place to live if you love hot weather. This is because the summers are warm and dry whereas the winters tend to be quite mild.

When it comes to the subject of rainfall, the area sees the most rain between the months of December and March. Rainfall is typically between 9 and 13 inches each year.

May through December are very dry, although there will be a few wet days each month. When rain does fall it can be rather heavy.

If you’re a lover of snow you may not wish to move to San Diego. It has only snowed 5 times in the last 150 years.

San Francisco:

San Francisco has a Mediterranean climate thanks to the mild and moist winters and its dry summers. The weather is mostly influenced by the Pacific Ocean’s cool currents and San Francisco Bay. The climate is quite mild all year round and there is very little variation in the temperature.

Population

San Diego:

San Diego is home to approximately 1, 419,000 people. Most of the population is aged between 25 and 34 years with 34 to 44 year old’s being the second largest demographic.

San Francisco:

San Francisco is home to approximately 884,000 people. Most of the population is aged between 25 and 34 years with 34 to 44 year old’s being the second largest demographic.

Cost of Living

San Diego:

The cost of living in San Diego is not that high. For example, a lunchtime menu in San Diego’s business district costs approximately $16. 1 liter of whole fat milk is just 93 cents. A meal in a fast food restaurant is $8.

San Francisco:

The cost of living in San Francisco is not that high but it is slightly higher than it is in San Diego. For example, a lunchtime menu in San Diego’s business district costs approximately $17. 1 liter of whole fat milk is just $1.19 cents. A meal in a fast food restaurant is $9.

Average Home Price

San Diego:

San Diego is quite expensive in terms of the cost of a home. This is the case whether you plan to own a home or rent one. The local housing market has increased in value over the last 20 years and this is reflected in the prices.

The cost of a home is high even when you go by Californian standards. The average price for a home is $626,000. This is approximately $50,000 more than a home in Los Angeles.

San Francisco:

The cost of a home in San Francisco is quite a lot more than it is in San Diego. Homes cost on average $1,360,000. The value of homes in the area has increased in recent years by 3.0% however, it is likely that they will fall by 0.1% over the next few years.

Rent

San Diego:

If you plan to rent a home in San Diego you will have to pay out as much as $1,560 for a one bedroom apartment. Two bedroom apartments are typically $2,00 and three are approximately $3,000.

There’s no doubt about it, renting in San Diego is expensive. However, you could still find that renting a home is cheaper than buying one.

San Francisco:

If you wish to rent a one bedroom apartment you can pay $3,600 with a two bedroom apartment being as much as $4,690.

Renting a home in San Francisco is a lot more expensive than it is in San Diego. You could, in theory, rent a three bed apartment in San Diego for the price of a one bed apartment in San Francisco.

Jobs

San Diego:

Some of the biggest employers in San Diego include:

  • Naval Base San Diego
  • University of California
  • San Diego County
  • Sharp Health Care
  • San Diego Unified School District
  • Qualcomm
  • Scripps Health
  • City of San Diego
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • San Diego Community College District

Recent unemployment rates show that 3.0% of the population is out of work in San Diego. This is lower than the average unemployment rate for California.

There has been a recent improvement in employment in the construction industry and educational and health services. Total unemployment has fallen by 0.5% over the last 2 years.

San Francisco:

Some of the biggest employers in San Francisco include:

  • Bank of the West
  • Bechtel
  • Charles Schwab 1
  • Dignity Health
  • Gap
  • Levi Strauss & Co
  • McKesson
  • Pacific Gas and Electric
  • Pottery Barn
  • Wells & Fargo Company

Recent unemployment rates show that 2.0% of the population is out of work in San Francisco. This rate is a lot lower than the average for California.

There has been a recent improvement in employment in the health services and the private educational services. There has also been an increase in the leisure and hospitality sectors.

Safety and Crime Rate

San Diego:

As far as crime rates are concerned the number of violent crimes in San Diego is lower than the national average. Violent crimes include assault, murder, robbery, and rape.

Property crimes such as burglary and theft are also lower than the national average. In fact, the statistics for San Diego are half the national average. However, motor vehicle theft is higher than the national average.

San Francisco:

The number of violent crimes in San Francisco is higher than the US average. Violent crimes include assault, murder, rape, and robbery. Incidences of robbery are more than two times higher than the national average.

Property crimes such as burglary and theft are also higher than the national average. In fact, theft and motor vehicle theft are almost two times higher than the national average.

As far as the San Francisco vs San Diego poll is concerned, San Diego is the clear winner here.

Entertainment

San Diego:

San Diego is full to the brim of entertainment. From arts to concerts, live theater, and music. San Diego has it all. Throw in the nightclubs and comedy shows and it seems everyone is catered for.

San Francisco:

San Francisco has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment. There are many theaters, music venues, and sports stadiums.

When we look at San Diego vs San Francisco we can see that San Diego is the cheaper place to live. It has less crime and the weather is ideal with increased employment and a lower cost of living, San Diego seems the ideal place to live. However, if you love great weather and you want to be where a lot of the action is in terms of entertainment, San Francisco may be the ideal location for you. You’ll just have to be prepared to pay more for your home and meals.

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