Are you thinking about living in Orange County, CA? Anaheim is the OC’s largest city after Irvine with a great quality of life, world-famous attractions, and beautiful homes. Known as the Heart of Orange County, Anaheim is famous for Disneyland and the nearby Knott’s Berry Farm, two of the best theme parks in Southern California, as well as the Mighty Ducks hockey team and the Los Angeles Angels.
Like other areas of the OC, Anaheim has a more laid back atmosphere than its neighbor, Los Angeles. It’s popular with families, millennials, and young professionals who are drawn in by the attractions, great weather, jobs market, and big city amenities with more space.
After California became part of the United States, the former Mexican rancho area of Anaheim was patented to the Governor of Alta California. It was sold in 1857 to German-American families living in San Francisco but originally from Batavia. The name Anaheim combines Ana (for the Santa Ana River) and -heim or “home” in German. Originally a wine-producing region, the city shifted to the oranges and lemons Orange County is famous for.
Anaheim quickly grew in population and popularity after the opening of Disneyland in 1955. The city grew 615% between 1950 and 1960 alone! Today, it’s a diverse and thriving community with a lot to offer.
Is living in Anaheim right for you? Here’s everything you want to know about moving to Anaheim, California.
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Anaheim, CA Population & Demographics
The population of Anaheim is 350,000 with a population density of 6,900 people per square mile. Anaheim is the largest city in Orange County and it’s part of the Los Angeles metro area which has a population of 18.7 million.
Anaheim covers 50.3 square miles of Orange County with city limits that stretch almost completely across the country to within 20 miles of the border with Riverside County. It’s 26 miles outside Los Angeles and Long Beach and 95 miles north of San Diego.
Additional Anaheim demographics:
- Median age: 35.2 years
- Race and ethnicity: 53% Hispanic, 22% White, 18% Asian, and 3% Black or African American
- Foreign-born population: 35.7%
- Sex ratio: 51% female to 49% male over 18
- Famous people from Anaheim include actor Milo Ventimiglia and Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Spongebob Squarepants.
Anaheim Neighborhoods – Best Places to Live in Anaheim, CA
Ready to explore the best neighborhoods in Anaheim for young professionals, families, and more? Here are the most sought-after communities with the city’s best amenities.
Downtown Anaheim/Colonial District – Largest Historic District in Anaheim and Downtown Loft Living
This historic community is known as The Colony because its boundaries are the same as the original 1857 German colony. Usually referred to simply as Downtown Anaheim, the Colony offers shopping, entertainment, and restaurants along the Center Street Promenade and the Anaheim Packing District, a massive gourmet food hall. It’s one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Anaheim and known for its upscale lofts and condos.
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Anaheim Hills – Upscale Anaheim Neighborhood with Fantastic Views
This gorgeous residential neighborhood is best known for its amazing views thanks to the Scenic Corridor Overlay zone which protects the views past the hills. This affluent neighborhood has a strong sense of community with a quiet environment. It’s home to the city’s best outdoor recreation including the popular Yorba Regional Park with fishing and a duck pond, the Anaheim Hills Golf Course, and the Oak Canyon Nature Center, a family-friendly destination.
It’s also the most expensive Anaheim neighborhood with average rent of $2,248 and a median home price of $825,000. You’ll find everything from condos to modest single-family homes and luxury estates.
West Anaheim – Affordable Anaheim Neighborhood for Families
West Anaheim is an older neighborhood that was developed in the 1950s and 1960s after Disneyland opened. The neighborhood is close to the Los Angeles County border and it’s one of the most affordable places to live in Anaheim with mostly working-class families.
Platinum Triangle – Most Exciting Neighborhood in Anaheim
Want to be close to the fun and action while living in Anaheim? You’ll love the Platinum Triangle, a large East Anaheim development surrounding the Honda Center and Angel Stadium. This district offers dense urban living with restaurants, offices, and entertainment with high-rise lofts.
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What Is the Cost of Living in Anaheim?
How expensive is it to live in Anaheim? The Anaheim cost of living index is 147.8. That means living in Anaheim costs about 48% more than the national average. Utilities are about 6% below the national average, but transportation and groceries are 16-35% higher. The housing index, however, is 242!
Anaheim Typical Living Expenses
Comparing typical prices in the city to what you pay now is a good way to understand the Anaheim cost of living.
- Steak (one pound ribeye): $10.88
- Milk (half gallon): $2.17
- Eggs (one dozen): $2.74
- Potatoes (five-pound bag): $3.06
- Bread (one loaf): $4.40
- Beer (six-pack Heineken): $9.43
- Movie ticket: $14.27
- Average cell phone bill: $172
- Average energy bill: $155.16
Sales Tax, Income Tax & Property Taxes in Anaheim
Don’t forget to consider taxes when moving to Anaheim!
- Property tax: 0.56% of assessed value on average, or an average of $3,400 per year
- Anaheim sales tax: 7.75% (including state sales tax and 0.5% Orange County tax)
- California income tax rate: 1% to 12.3% with a 1% tax on income exceeding $1 million
Anaheim, CA Crime
Is Anaheim safe? Absolutely! Orange County is known for its low crime, and Anaheim is no exception with 17% less violent crime than the national average.
The Anaheim crime rate is 2,650 total crimes per 100,000 people. There are 316 violent crimes and 2,333 property crimes per 100,000 people. The national average crime rate is 2,580 total crimes per 100k people with 382 violent crimes and 2,362 property crimes per 100,000 people.
A good way to understand your risk of crime – and find safe places to live in Anaheim – is by checking crime maps. The Anaheim Police Department offers this interactive Anaheim crime map that lets you search crime by area or address.
Anaheim Climate – What’s the Weather in Anaheim Like?
The Anaheim climate is borderline hot, semi-arid, just short of a Mediterranean climate. While living in Anaheim, you’ll experience winters that are warm with occasional heavy rainfall and summers that are hot with little rain. Anaheim gets about 14” of annual rainfall with 280 sunny days per year. The average winter low is 46 degrees in January and the average summer high is 84 degrees in July.
Anaheim has famously pleasant weather year-round! Eight months out of the year, high temperatures are between 70 and 85 degrees, but there are about 29 days per year with high temperatures over 90 degrees.
The best time to visit Anaheim is May to June or October for the most ideal weather without a high chance of rain or extreme high temperatures.
Fun Things to Do in Anaheim
What is there to do in Anaheim? The city is famous for the Disneyland Resort, two Disney theme parks, and other entertainment attractions. It also offers world-class shopping, several entertainment districts, upscale restaurants, and a fun nightlife. Here are the best Anaheim attractions you’ll spend time exploring after your move.
- Disneyland Park is the most famous Anaheim landmark with 18.6+ million annual visitors! While living in Anaheim, you’ll enjoy lower prices as a California resident.
- Disney California Adventure Park or simply California Adventure is the Disney theme park next to Disneyland with attractions and areas centered around California like Hollywood Land.
- Disneyland Resort is a major entertainment resort in Anaheim and home to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disney California Adventure, Disneyland, and Downtown Disney.
- Angel Stadium of Anaheim or the Big A is the home of the Los Angeles Angels (MLB) with a capacity of 45,500.
Entertainment & Museums
- Downtown Disney District is Anaheim’s entertainment hotspot! This huge outdoor shopping area is adjacent to the Disney California Adventure theme park with upscale shopping, dining, street performers, and more.
- Camelot Golfland is one of the best things to do in Anaheim with kids! This family fun center features arcade games, mini-golf, and more.
- Adventure City is a popular family amusement park with roller coasters and kid-friendly attractions. It’s a hidden gem that’s overshadowed by Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm but a great place to have fun without the crowds and high prices!
- House of Blues Anaheim is the city’s top music venue and features a restaurant with Southern cuisine and a rock and blues theme.
Parks & Outdoors
- Yorba Regional Park is one of the best free things to do in Anaheim. This gorgeous riverfront park features 140 acres of lakes and recreation!
- Dad Miller Golf Course is one of Anaheim’s best golf courses with a clubhouse, restaurant and bar, and lake.
- Boysen Park is one of Anaheim’s best parks with a grounded airplane that’s earned it the nickname of Airplane Park.
- STC Anaheim GardenWalk is a large outdoor shopping and entertainment center just outside the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim’s Resort District.
- Anaheim Plaza was Orange County’s first mall and it’s still going strong with several big box retailers.
- Anaheim Town Square is a large outdoor shopping center in East Anaheim with shops and restaurants.
Great Places to Eat in Anaheim
Ready to explore the best Anaheim restaurants? Here are the top places to eat you’ll definitely visit regularly after moving to Anaheim.
- FiRE+iCE. One of the top-rated restaurants in Anaheim, this all-you-can-eat Mongolian-style open grill is a hit with adults and kids alike. FiRE+iCE, 400 Disney Way, Anaheim, CA 92802 (714) 808-9757
- The Pizza Press. This fun, retro eatery serves up beer and pizza in a 1920s-style setting in the Anaheim Hotel. The Pizza Press, 1700 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92802 (714) 323-7134
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. This exciting eatery is one of the best places to eat in Anaheim in Downtown Disney with Creole cuisine and live jazz. Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, 1590 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802 (714) 776-5200
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Anaheim Real Estate – Home Prices & Average Rent in Anaheim, CA
Are you going to rent while living in Anaheim? You aren’t alone. The homeownership rate in the city is just 46% — far below the national average of 65%. Anaheim average rent is $2,012, surprisingly affordable compared to San Diego ($2,433) and Los Angeles ($2,518). According to RentCafe, Rent in Anaheim ranges from $1,775 in Northwest Anaheim to $2,248 in Anaheim Hills on average.
If you’re dreaming of homeownership, make sure you’re braced for the Anaheim home prices. The median home price is $750,000. By comparison, the U.S. median home price is $269,000.
The Anaheim housing market has become competitive. Despite signs of cooling, demand remains high in Southern California. Between August 2020 and 2021, Southern California home prices were up $83,000 (14%) with prices in Orange County rising 12.5%.
Anaheim, CA Schools
Moving to Anaheim with kids? Public schools in Anaheim can be a bit confusing because there are seven school districts serving the city:
Anaheim Elementary School District
Anaheim Union High School District
Orange Unified School District
Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
Savanna School District
Magnolia School District
Centralia School District
There are 74 public schools in the city as well as several private schools including Fairmont Preparatory Academy. Oxford Academy (Anaheim Union High School District) is the #1 high school in California and #11 nationally!
Interested in higher education? The city is served by the Rancho Santiago Community College District and the North Orange County Community College District. There are also two universities: Southern California Institute of Technology and Anaheim University.
Jobs in Anaheim
How much does it cost to live in Anaheim? The average salary is $72,145 or $19.29 per hour according to Payscale. The city’s median household income is $76,075, very close to average for the LA-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area.
The MIT Living Wage Calculator for the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area shows a living wage of $14.62 per hour (per working adult) for two adults living in a household. With one child, the living wage increases to $22.36 per adult in a household with two working adults. A single adult without children needs to earn a living wage of $19.22 or $41.55 with a single child.
Anaheim has a tourism-based economy. The Disneyland Resort, including the Disney hotel, both theme parks, and the Downtown Disney District, is the single largest employer by far with 31,000 employees. The Anaheim Convention Center and hotels in the area also account for a large share of jobs in the city.
Top employers in Anaheim are:
- Disneyland Resort (careers)
- Kaiser Foundation Hospital (careers)
- Northgate Gonzales Markets
- Hilton Anaheim
- Angels Baseball
- Anaheim Regional Medical Center
- Anaheim Marriott
- L-3 Communications
Transportation – How to Get Around Anaheim
Anaheim is a mostly car-dependent city. It’s served by several highways including I-5 (Santa Ana Freeway) which connects Anaheim with Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Diego, and Sacramento.
There is limited public transportation in Anaheim. The Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) is a regional transit station close to Angel Stadium serving Metrolink and Amtrak. It’s a proposed stop on the California High-Speed Rail network. The Anaheim Canyon Metrolink station also serves the Inland Empire-Orange County line.
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) provides bus service in the city and county and the Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) offers local shuttle services around the Resort District. Bus routes to Los Angeles are provided by OCTA and the Los Angeles County Metro.
After moving to Anaheim, you’ll be served by the Long Beach Airport and John Wayne Airport. However, many residents instead use the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Ontario International Airport (ONT), both about 30 miles away. The international airports generally offer lower fares and more destinations.
Love hockey or baseball? You’ll love living in Anaheim, CA! Anaheim is home to two major league sports teams:
- Anaheim Ducks (NHL) play at the Honda Center
- Los Angeles Angels (MLB) play at Angel Stadium
The Anaheim Ducks were founded as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim by the Walt Disney Company. The name was based on the 1992 movie, The Mighty Ducks.
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Living in Anaheim Pros & Cons
- Pro: Top entertainment attractions in Southern California
- Pro: Some of the best public schools in California
- Pro: Ideal weather year-round
- Con: High cost of living
- Con: You are about 20-30 minutes from the beach
Is relocating to the Heart of Orange County in your future? After settling on the right neighborhood, call SafeWay Moving & Storage for a free moving quote from our 5-star Anaheim movers!