201309_BPL_LAPALMA
La Palma, CA City of La Palma

31. La Palma, CA

Updated: May 31, 2014 3:57 PM UTC | Originally published: May 30, 2014

Top 50 rank: 31

Population: 15,879

La Palma, about 20 miles from Los Angeles, is the archetypal California suburb: Think palm trees, sunny weather, and easy access to the beach.

But these attractive amenities come at a cost. With a median home sales price of $500,000, La Palma is an example of why Orange County has a rep as one of the most expensive counties in California.

Yet some are willing to invest for access to La Palma's high-ranking schools and safety: The town has the lowest police response time in the O.C. --H.L.

La Palma, CA

Town stats

Median family income (per year)$97,531
Job growth % (2010-2012)2.81%
Median home price (2012)$458,500
Reading test scores (% above/below average)45.6%
Math test scores (% above/below average)34.1%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000)1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000)16

Financials

Median family income (per year)$97,531
Family purchasing power (annual, cost-of-living adjusted)$80,154
Sales tax8.00%II
State income tax rate (highest bracket)12.30%I
State income tax rate (lowest bracket)1.00%I
Auto insurance premiums (Average price quotes, for the state)$1,478
Job growth % (2010-2012)2.81%

Housing

Median home price (2012)$458,500
Average property taxes (2011)$3,441

Education

Colleges, universities and professional schools (within 30 miles)101
Reading test scores (% above/below state average)45.6%
Test scores math (% above/below average)34.1%
% students attending public/private schools (located within town limits)97.6/2.4

Quality of life

Air quality index* (% of days AQI ranked as good)60.4%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000)1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000)16
Median commute time (in minutes)26.3
% population with commute 45 mins. or longer21.8%
% population walk or bike to work1.6%

Leisure and culture

Movie theaters (within 15 miles)71
Restaurants (within 15 miles)10,122
Bars (within 15 miles)600
Public golf courses (within 30 miles)246
Libraries (within 15 miles)135
Museums (accredited by AAM; within 30 miles)18
Ski resorts (within 100 miles)N.A.
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts)0.1

Weather

Annual rainfall (inches)12.94
% clear days in the area76%
High temp in July ° F82.9°
Low temp in Jan ° F46°

Meet the neighbors

Median age40.6
Completed at least some college (% of residents)70.4%
Married %55.1%
Divorced %6.5%
Racial diversity index (100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)507.8