Aliso Viejo California City Guide

Researching Aliso Viejo city? Here is a complete guide with the most up to date information about city of Aliso Viejo CA!

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Kristina Morales
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Overview

ABOUT Aliso Viejo

In 1842, the Mexican government granted land in present-day Orange County to Juan Avila. Three decades later, Avila’s 26,000 acres were sold to the Moulton family, who named the land Moulton Ranch.

Sections of Moulton Ranch were sold in order to found Leisure World, Laguna Hills, and Laguna Nigual. During 1976, Mission Viejo Company purchased the remaining 6,600 acres of Moulton Ranch, which led to the planned construction of Aliso Viejo.

A total of 2,600 acres were set aside to become the Aliso and Woods Canyons Wilderness Park, and another 800 acres were designated to become recreational land and community facilities.

Orange County approved the project in 1979. Once homes in the master-planned community began to be sold in 1982, Aliso Viejo’s population gradually grew while still remaining classed as an unincorporated community. In 2001, Aliso Viejo became an official city after a special election.

Today, Aliso Viejo is home to about 50,000 residents.

The city’s population of about 50,000 is 52% female and 47% male.

As for racial background, 60% of residents are White, while 18% are Hispanic. 15% of residents are Asian, and 4% of the population is biracial or multiracial. 2% of the population identifies as African American.

About 30% of Aliso Viejo’s population has some college education or an associate’s degree. Meanwhile, 36% of residents have a bachelor’s degree, and 19% have a master’s degree or above.

Aliso Viejo has an estimated unemployment rate of 3.7% and a poverty rate of 4.6%. The median household income is about $106K, and the median individual income is around $53K.

TOP Aliso Viejo HIGHLIGHTS

Many Local Parks
Great Restaurants
Liberal-leaning Population
Family-friendly
Great Public Schools
Safe Crime Statistics
Lively Nightlife
Diverse Population

Climate

Weather
Weather

The weather is typically warm in Aliso Viejo. Over the year, the temperatures here normally vary from 48°F to 80°F and are rarely below 42°F or above 88°F. Summer temperatures tend to be in the 70’s while winter temperatures are around the 50’s.

The warmest month in the city is August with an average maximum temperature of 83°F. December, meanwhile, is the coldest month with temperatures that fall to 47°F. Aliso Viejo is among the cities in California with the least rainfall, averaging 14.3 inches.

The best time for outdoor adventures in the city is from early June to mid-October – when most residents and tourists make the most out of the summer days by enjoying picnics and outdoor summer concerts, joining the arts and crafts fairs, and exploring cultural centers and gardens.

Natural Disasters
Natural Disasters

Aliso Viejo’s earthquake index is 13.08, which is lower than California’s index of 21.80. However the city’s earthquake index is considerably higher than the U.S. index of 1.81, which means local residents are still at a considerable risk of experiencing tremors.

Aliso Viejo’s tornado index is almost twice as high as the statewide index, though lower than the U.S. index of 136.45. That said, this city does experience its fair share of high winds and windstorms, as evidenced by recorded weather extremes.

Aliso Viejo residents experience serious thunderstorms and damaging winds, but in this part of California, wildfires and droughts are also serious concerns.

Commute

Commute Time

Aliso Viejo Commute Time

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau
Commuter Transportation

Aliso Viejo Commuter Travel Behavior

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau
Commute

Aliso Viejo’s residents have an estimated mean travel time of 24.5 minutes, which indicates that on the whole residents enjoy short commutes to and from work.

California State Route 72 and San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor run east and west through Aliso Viejo’s center and lead to Interstate 5 right outside of the city’s eastern border. Additionally, Interstate 5 can be accessed a short distance north of Aliso Viejo, while Laguna Canyon Road is directly west of the city.

It takes about 15 minutes to reach Laguna Beach or the Pacific Ocean’s shore from Aliso Viejo, and Los Angeles is roughly an hour drive northwest of Aliso Viejo.

Crime Rate

Aliso Viejo has a lower crime rate than 63% of all U.S. cities and towns. The city’s violent crime rate per 1,000 residents is 0.83, and the property crime rate per 1,000 residents is 8.65.

In Aliso Viejo, the odds of experiencing a violent crime are 1 in 1,204, which compares favorably against California’s odds of 1 in 224. The chances of being targeted for a property crime are 1 in 116, which is also better than the statewide average odds of 1 in 42.

Far eastern parts of the city have higher crime rates, while northern and western areas are generally more secure.

Local Government

Aliso Viejo’s operates on a council-manager system of government. Working alongside a city manager, the 5 person city council meets at 7PM on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.

City council members are elected on even-numbered years during state and national elections to serve for staggered terms, which indicates that each election fills 2 or 3 council positions.

Aliso Viejo Chamber of Commerce was founded in 2012 and is focused on growing and improving as a chamber while also furthering Aliso Viejo’s economic prosperity.

The chamber provides members with opportunities to network with other businesses and leaders in the community to work towards a common goal of helping Aliso Viejo grow.

The city council annually votes for the next mayor of Aliso Viejo along with the mayor pro-tem to serve beginning January 1st following the election. This means that Aliso Viejo’s mayor and mayor pro-tem only serve for 1 year terms of office. The mayor and mayor pro-tem are selected from sitting council members.

city Limits

Demographic

Aliso Viejo Population 2020

Of the 51,000 people residing in Aliso Viejo, 52% are female and 47% are male. The city has a relatively young population with a median age of 37 years. Those who are aged 35 to 54 years make up the majority at 32%, while those aged 5 to 17 years make up 18%.

More people are choosing to live in Aliso Viejo as the city’s population is growing at a yearly rate of 1.3%. Since 2010, the area’s population has increased by 9%.

Aliso Viejo covers 7 miles and has around 7,520 people per square mile.

Population Quick Stats
Total Population
Annual Growth Rate
10 Year Growth Rate
Female Population
Male Population
Median Age

Aliso Viejo Population Over Time

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Population by year

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Population by Sex

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Population by Age and Sex

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Diversity 2020

In terms of racial makeup, Aliso Viejo is relatively more diverse than most cities in California. 71% are White residents, 15% are Asian residents, and 6.6% of the population has two or more races. Many of the city’s residents also have Iranian, English, German, Italian, and Irish descent.

English is spoken by around 71% of residents. 10.8% of the population speak Spanish and 6.5% speak other Indo-European languages.

3 Largest Ethnic Groups
3 Most Common Languages

Aliso Viejo Race & Ethnic Diversity

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Ancestry (Top 10)

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Languages Spoken (Top 10)

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Foreign born population

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Education

Aliso Viejo Education 2020

Aliso Viejo is among the more educated communities in the United States, with around 55% of adults aged 25 and above who hold a bachelor’s degree.

95.9% of the adult population here have graduated from high school, 21% have earned a college degree, 8.6% have an associate degree, and 20% have a master’s degree or above. Over 28,000 or 85% of residents have pursued four-year degree programs.

Education Quick Stats
Elementary Schools
Middle Schools
High Schools
High School Graduates
Bachelor’s Degree Graduates
Graduate or Professional Degree

Aliso Viejo Educational Attainment of Adults (25 years and over)

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Level of Education

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

SCHOOLS IN Aliso Viejo

Established in 1972, Capistrano Unified School District is currently Orange County’s 2nd largest school system and the 8th largest in Ohio. This district educates over 54,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade and has an average student-teacher ratio of 27 to 1.

Capistrano Unified School District, or CUSD, encompasses 40 California Distinguished Schools and also includes 11 National Blue Ribbon Schools. This school system has a total of 19 Golden Bell winning programs and many other awards that speak to the district’s overall excellence and record for high student achievement levels.

Keeping in mind that California’s average graduation rate is about 85%, CUSD’s graduation rate is an impressive 97.2%. Each high school in the district is included in U.S. News & World Report’s top 1000 US high school campuses.

Aliso Viejo itself includes 4 elementary schools in CUSD, 2 middle schools, 1 high school, and 3 private schools.

Schools

ELEMENTARY
Each K-5 elementary school in Aliso Viejo is a California Distinguished school. Canyon Vista Elementary has 630 students, 62% of which are proficient in math while 70% are proficient in reading. Don Juan Avila Elementary has 770 students and a student-teacher ratio of 31 to 1. About 70% of Oak Grove Elementary School’s students are proficient in math and reading.
MIDDLE
Both of Aliso Viejo’s 6-8 grade middle schools are California Distinguished Schools and California Business for Education Excellence Scholar Schools. Aliso Viejo Middle School has over 1,000 students and a student-teacher ratio of 25 to 1. Meanwhile, Don Juan Avila Middle School is rated as the #16 top middle school in Orange County and has over 1,200 students.
HIGH
Aliso Niguel High School is a California Distinguished School and a National Blue Ribbon School. This campus educates about 3,000 students and has a graduation rate of 96%. Laguna Hills High School is a 9-12 campus just north of Aliso Viejo. This highly-rated school has about 1,600 students and high marks for teacher qualifications, diversity, and college preparatory programs.
PRIVATE
VanDamme Academy is a Montessori school in Aliso Viejo. This K-8 campus has a student-teacher ratio of 8 to 1. St. Mary and All Angels School is a Christian pre-kindergarten-8 campus with a diverse student population and great teachers. Aliso Viejo Christian School is a K-8 campus with a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1 and about 380 students.

Real Estate

Aliso Viejo Housing 2020

The median property value in Aliso Viejo is estimated to be $680K. Although prices aren’t among the most expensive in California, this real estate market is among the most expensive in the United States.

4.5% of the city’s real estate market is worth over $1.1 million, and 13.7% of real estate is priced between $880K-$1.1 million. About 42% of properties in Aliso Viejo range from $587K-$880K. From there, 19.3% of real estate is worth between $470K-$587K, and 13.6% varies from $352K-$470K. 6.8% of properties are worth under $352K.

Between December 2009 and December 2019, real estate in the city appreciated 43.83%. This number breaks down into an average annual appreciation rate of 3.70%, which means Aliso Viejo’s real estate appreciation trends were in the top 20% bracket nationally.

However, current appreciation trends trail 80% of California’s residential areas and can be expected to annualize at 3.05%.

Housing Quick Stats
Home Appreciation Rate
Median Home Value
Median Gross Rent
Home Ownership Rate
Tenant Occupied Rate

Aliso Viejo Home Appreciation Rates

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Home Value

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Median Home Value

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Median Gross Rent

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Home Ownership

Aliso Viejo Rent & Ownership

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Rent vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Household Type

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Occupied & Vacant Number of Homes and Apartments

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Property Taxes

Aliso Viejo Property Taxes Range

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Homes for Sale

Out of about 18,660 housing options in Aliso Viejo, around 60% of residences are owner-occupied, while 40% are rented. The vacancy rate is generally estimated to be about 5.7%.

While the majority of housing options in the city at 37% are single family type residences, about 30% of properties are apartment complexes. Meanwhile, another 5% of properties are smaller apartment buildings. At 27%, a sizeable number of options are condominiums and attached properties.

Because Aliso Viejo is a modern planned city that began construction in the later years of the 20th century, 83.8% of housing options were constructed between 1970-1999, while just 1.6% of properties were built between 1940-1969. An impressive 14.2% of housing options broke ground after the turn of the 21st century.

34.3% of residential options have 2 bedrooms, while 12.5% have 1 bedroom. Around 33% of residences have 3 bedrooms, and about 18% of options have 4 or more bedrooms.

Homes For Sale Quick Stats
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Economy

Aliso Viejo Economy 2020

More than 28,000 people comprise Aliso Viejo’s workforce. White-collar workers make up the majority of those employed at 91%, and many of them hold positions in management and sales.

The unemployment rate here is the same as the national rate at 3.7%, while the poverty rate is significantly low at 4.2%.

The median household income in the city is around $108,558, and the average yearly income of a resident is $93,878. The per capita income is $48,053, which is wealthy relative to California and the US.

Economy Quick Stats
Median Household Income
Per Capita Income
Average Salary
Unemployment Rate
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Wage GINI

Income

Aliso Viejo Median Household Income

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Per Capita Income

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Income Distribution

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Income Distribution by Gender in Common Jobs

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Income Distribution by Race and Ethnicity

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Employment

Aliso Viejo Unemployment Rate

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Employment Distribution by Age

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Employment Industries

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Cost of Living

Aliso Viejo’s total cost of living is 57% higher than the national average and 7.1% higher than the statewide average.

Housing is a major factor that plays into this city’s cost of living. At an estimated $636K, housing costs here are 175% higher than the national average.

Grocery expenses are about 2.7% more costly than the U.S. average, though about 3% more affordable than the state’s average. Also, transportation expenses are about 22% more affordable in this city than other areas of California.

Healthcare costs in Aliso Viejo are about 4% more affordable than the U.S. average, but about 3% more expensive than the statewide average.

Poverty

Aliso Viejo Poverty By Age and Gender

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Aliso Viejo Poverty By Race and Ethnicity

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Things to do

As a master-planned city, Aliso Viejo was designed to have excellent homes, scenic surroundings, and impressive attractions, so it’s no surprise that there are many ways to have fun in the city. With over 20 parks and outdoor common areas, Aliso Viejo can entertain avid golfers, bird watchers, hikers, dog owners, and anyone looking to get some fresh air. The city’s amenities include sports fields, picnicking areas, playgrounds, fishing, and so much more. The city also has a wide range of stores, from stand-alone specialty boutiques to national chains. Beyond conveniently located and well-rated retail options, there are also multiple museums, art galleries, and other unique indoor attractions within a short distance of the city. Residents also enjoy many highly-rated restaurants and vibrant nightlife spots, so finding a place for a date, family outing, or a new hangout spot is never difficult. Rain or shine, visitors and residents alike can always find something to enjoy in Aliso Viejo.
Parks & Recreation
There are multiple city parks like Aliso Viejo Community Park and Canyon View Park that are perfect for a daytime outing. Plus, Aliso Viejo Country Club has an 18-hole golf course. Additionally, Laguna Niguel Regional Park has lakefront fishing, and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park consists of 4,500 acres of outdoor space known for winding trails, scenic views, and numerous wildlife.
Shopping
Aliso Viejo Town Center, Laguna Niguel Plaza, and La Paz Shopping Center are popular local malls that cater to a wide range of retail needs. Another great option just north of the city is Laguna Hills Mall, which also has recognizable chains and great stores. A few notable local boutiques include Soultique, the Fort, OC Sparkle, and Modern Romance.
Art & Culture
Local art galleries include Ning Zhou Gallery and Westervelt’s Fine Art, and fans of music are welcome to visit Soka Performing Arts Center to snag a ticket to enjoy an outstanding concert. Aliso Viejo is also located near great museums, including Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Nix Nature Center and California Fire Museum to only name 2 worthwhile options.
Night Life
Aliso Viejo is known to be an entertaining location for nights out on the town. Stadium Brew Co. is a popular sports bar with fast service and a wide beer selection. Meanwhile, Rock-It Bar serves up quality happy hour drinks. Other nearby hotspots include the original Patsy’s Irish Pub, the Karman Bar, Mugs Away Saloon, and Emerald Lounge.
Restaurants
With so many outstanding restaurants to choose from in the city, the real challenge is picking just one place to visit per meal. For example, Urban Plates is a top-rated New American eatery, while OPAH Seafood Grill serves fresh dishes. Citrus Fresh Grill is known for their delicious Mexican menu, and Mangia Bene Cucina features classic Italian plates.
ALISO VIEJO NEIGHBORHOODS

Aliso Viejo can be divided up into 41 separate neighborhoods, all of which have relatively good safety ratings and feature Mediterranean-styled architecture and Spanish-inspired homes expected of Orange County. Aliso Park, Canyon Villas, Morningside, Pacific Ridge, Seagate Colony, and Towncenter are several of many recognizable neighborhoods.

The city’s southwestern neighborhoods typically are the most expensive to live in, seeing as the median real estate price is $972. This number classes the city’s southwestern neighborhoods as being more costly than about 82% of California neighborhoods and more high-end than 96.2% of United States neighborhoods.

Central neighborhoods are more affordable, seeing as the median real estate price is estimated to be $642K. However, this number is still above 60% of California towns and cities and more costly than roughly 90% of neighborhoods in the nation.

Aliso Viejo’s southwestern neighborhoods are among the most affordable in the city, seeing as the median real estate price in this area is $472K.

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