31. La Palma, CA

City of La Palma La Palma, CA

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


Median family income (per year) $97,531
Family purchasing power (annual, cost-of-living adjusted) $80,154
Sales tax 8.00%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%


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


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 longer 21.8%
% population walk or bike to work 1.6%

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


Annual rainfall (inches) 12.94
% clear days in the area 76%
High temp in July ° F 82.9°
Low temp in Jan ° F 46°

Meet the neighbors

Median age 40.6
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
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