Laguna Beach California City Guide

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

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Kristina Morales
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Overview

ABOUT Laguna Beach

With a trendy, artistic, and upscale reputation, Laguna Beach is thought to be the premier coastal destination in southern California.

Laguna Beach’s residents are considerably affluent. Property values are high in Laguna Beach by California standards, as is the median household income. Laguna Beach’s qualities attract many retirees, young professionals, and young families alike, which means that the city draws residents of all ages.

The Laguna Beach Unified School District oversees public education in the city, and Laguna Beach schools are generally among the highest rated campuses in the state. The city’s population tracks as being considerably educated, though not as ethnically diverse as other California cities.

The city contains a number of spectacular restaurants, popular shopping destinations, art festivals and galleries, and other highly entertaining venues within its borders. Considering that tourism is the city’s primary industry, there’s always something to do in Laguna Beach, and the population swells during tourism season.

Not counting the estimated 6 million tourists who visit annually, the city’s population is over 23,000.

23% of the population has at least some college education or an associate’s degree, and another 33% have a bachelor’s degree. 32% of the population has a master’s degree or higher.

82% of residents are White, and 8% of the population identifies as Hispanic. 5% are Asian, and 1% of the population is African American. 3% of the population is biracial or multiracial.

The poverty rate is about 6.7%, and the unemployment rate tracks around 4.2%. The estimated median household income is $117K, and the median individual income is $61K.

TOP Laguna Beach HIGHLIGHTS

Incredible Scenery
Oceanfront Location
Retiree-friendly
Family-oriented
Affluent Population
High Property Values
Excellent Public Schools
Famous Attractions

Climate

Weather
Weather

The annual average temperature in Laguna Beach is 64.4°F, which is about 3°F over California’s annual average and roughly 10°F over the national average.

In Laguna Beach, winter months have average temperatures around roughly 57°F. Summer months typically bring average temperatures around 74°F.

This city receives an average of 13 inches of rain per year, which is under California’s average of 23 inches and the U.S. average of 38 inches. About 22 days out of the year bring rainy weather in this part of California.

Laguna Beach’s annual average humidity is 81.68%, which is slightly over the statewide average and about 4% higher than the national average.

Natural Disasters
Natural Disasters

Laguna Beach is a coastal city, and its geography and climate make it very vulnerable to various natural disasters that include floods, fires, earthquakes, and landslides.

In the past, the city had experienced rainfall that exceeded that of a 100-year storm.

Coastal erosion also continues to affect the beaches and bluffs of Laguna Beach and in the past, strong storms and high tides caused significant coastal erosion events in the area.

The area is also highly vulnerable to multiple tsunami effects.

Droughts are also recurring in the area and continue to pose severe hazards. Wildfires have also occurred in Laguna Beach and remain a significant threat to people and property.

Laguna Beach is also in a seismically active area and has been impacted by earthquakes. According to the USGS, a total of more than 3,000 earthquakes have occured in the area since 1931. There is a 90% chance of a major earthquake within 50 kilometers of the city within the next 50 years.

Commute

Commute Time

Laguna Beach Commute Time

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau
Commuter Transportation

Laguna Beach Commuter Travel Behavior

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau
Commute

The mean commute for Laguna Beach residents 25 years and over is 23.2 minutes, which is relatively short by California standards.

Because Laguna Beach’s topography is considerably hilly thanks to the close proximity of the San Joaquin Hills, a limited number of roadways cut through the city. California State Route 73 can be accessed in Laguna Beach’s northernmost corner, and Laguna Canyon Road curves along the city’s western border. The Coast Highway runs along the southwestern border next to the coast itself.

Irvine and Santa Ana are about 25 minute drives away, and Anaheim is a 35 minute commute. Los Angeles itself is roughly an hour away from Laguna Beach.

Crime Rate

Laguna Beach is among the cities in California with a crime rate that is lower than the national average.

Overall, the crime rate in the area is about 533 per 100,000 residents. This is about 11% lower than the national average. Laguna Beach is safer than abou 33% of cities in the U.S.

Violent crime rate in the area is 90 per 100,000 residents. This rate is about 2% higher than the national average.

Property crime rate, meanwhile, is 443 per 100,000 residents or about 13% lower than the national average.

In 2018, the crime rate in the area declined by 9.8% from the 2017 figure.

The neighborhoods with the highest crime rates in the area are those near the city center and those located in the south near the Highland Way. The safest communities, meanwhile, are those located in the north near the Canyon Acres.

Local Government

Since 1944, Laguna Beach has operated on a council-manager form of government. Laguna Beach residents elect 5 council members to serve for 4 year terms, which are staggered with alternating elections.

The city council is responsible for passing city ordinances, approving the annual budget, and selecting the city attorney and manager among other important administrative duties.

Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce was founded to support local companies and businesses in their efforts to grow and create a strong local economy.

The chamber promotes Laguna Beach’s community and participates in improving the quality of life in the city by hosting multiple community gatherings, networking events, and development opportunities, in addition to providing representation in a governmental capacity.

Serving as both the ceremonial and legislative head of the city, the mayor of Laguna Beach is selected among sitting city council members to serve for a 1 year term of office alongside the city manager and city council.

The mayor also works with the mayor pro team, who is similarly chosen among current council members.

city Limits

Demographic

Laguna Beach Population 2020

Laguna Beach’s population tracks just over 23,000. For reference, the population in 2010 was less than 22,800. The city’s 10 year growth rate is 1.55%, which breaks down into an annual growth rate of 0.22%.

An estimated 11,580 women live in Laguna Beach, which accounts for 50.03% of the population. Another 11,567 residents are male, which equals 49.97% of the city’s population.

The median resident age in Laguna Beach is 52. Less than 20% of residents are under 24 years old. About 7% of residents are between 25-34. Almost 25% of residents are 35-54. Meanwhile, over 50% of residents are over 55.

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

Laguna Beach Population Over Time

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Population by year

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Population by Sex

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Population by Age and Sex

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Diversity 2020

An estimated 90.8% of Laguna Beach’s population is White alone. Another 3.7% of residents identify as Asian, while 2.8% of the city’s population is biracial or multiracial. Less than 1% of Laguna Beach’s population is Black or African American.

The most common language spoken in Laguna Beach is English, seeing as 88% of the population only speaks this language. Another 4.3% of the population speaks Spanish, and 2.5% of residents are fluent in another Indo-European language.

An estimated 13% of the city’s population was born in another country. To compare, this falls under the U.S. average of 13% and the state’s average of 27%.

3 Largest Ethnic Groups
3 Most Common Languages

Laguna Beach Race & Ethnic Diversity

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Ancestry (Top 10)

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Languages Spoken (Top 10)

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Foreign born population

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Education

Laguna Beach Education 2020

Laguna Beach has 2 public elementary schools, 1 middle school, and 1 high school campus within its borders.

An estimated 97.7% of the city’s adult population has a high school diploma or an equivalent degree. From there, 16.5% of residents have some college education. Another 6.4% of residents have an associate’s degree. Meanwhile, 35.3% of the population has a bachelor’s degree. Another 31.7% of Laguna Beach residents who are over 25 years old have a master’s degree or a professional degree.

Laguna Beach has a low high school dropout rate of 2%, which is considerably under both the U.S. average and California’s average.

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

Laguna Beach Educational Attainment of Adults (25 years and over)

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Level of Education

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

SCHOOLS IN Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach Unified School District is ranked as the #1 school system in Orange County by Niche.com, which is glowing praise earned from stellar academic achievements, excellent teachers, consistent health and safety records, impressive college preparatory programs, and more upstanding qualities.

This district’s average student-teacher ratio is 22 to 1. State test scores show that 72% of students are at least proficient in math, while 82% are at least proficient in reading. LBUSD teachers rank as the #5 best statewide, and teachers agree that LBUSD is one of the greatest districts in the state to teach in as well.

Beyond ranking as Orange County’s top school district, this district is the #17 best district in California out of 487 other school systems.

LBUSD has 2 elementary campuses, which are El Morro Elementary and Top of the World Elementary School. Thruston Middle School is the local middle school, and Laguna Beach High School is the city’s 9-12 campus.

Schools

ELEMENTARY
El Morro Elementary School ranks as the #6 public elementary school in Orange County. This highly rated K-5 campus has around 530 students and a 20 to 1 student-teacher ratio. Top of the World Elementary School is another impressive local campus with 600 students throughout grades K-5. This school has high proficiency scores in both math and reading.
MIDDLE
Thurston Middle School is ranked as the #30 best public middle school in the state. This excellent 6-8 campus has around 760 students and an average 22 to 1 student-teacher ratio. Aliso Viejo Middle School is within a short driving distance of Laguna Beach. This 6-8 school is highly rated and educates over 1,000 students.
HIGH
Laguna Beach High School is a top-rated 9-12 campus with a track record for excellence. This school has around 1,100 students, a 22 to 1 student teacher ratio, and an average graduation rate of 98%. Aliso Niguel High School is a nearby 9-12 public school with over 3,000 enrolled students and an average graduation rate of 96%.
PRIVATE
Anneliese’s Schools is a private pre-kindergarten-6 campus with 633 students and a 10 to 1 student-teacher ratio. St. Catherine of Siena Parish School is a Catholic K-8 school with a low student-teacher ratio of 11 to 1. Montessori School of Laguna Beach is a private early childhood education campus with around 70 students and an 18 to 1 student-teacher ratio.

Real Estate

Laguna Beach Housing 2020

The median property value in Laguna Beach is estimated to be $1,995,083, which is an impressive sum relative to California and considered to be among the most expensive median property values in the country.

Almost 70% of the city’s real estate is priced over $1.1 million, and another 11% of properties range between $889K-$1.1 million. 9% of properties vary from $593K-$889K, and 3% of real estate is valued between $475K-$593K. Around 7% of Laguna Beach properties are worth under $475K.

With considerably high property values, it makes sense that Laguna Beach is known for having some of the highest appreciation rates across the state and the U.S.

Specifically between December 2009 and December 2019, real estate in the city appreciated 57.57%, which equals an average annual home appreciation rate of 4.65%. This number places the city’s real estate appreciation rates in the top 10% bracket nationally.

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

Laguna Beach Home Appreciation Rates

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Home Value

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Median Home Value

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Median Gross Rent

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Home Ownership

Laguna Beach Rent & Ownership

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Rent vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Household Type

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Occupied & Vacant Number of Homes and Apartments

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Property Taxes

Laguna Beach Property Taxes Range

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Homes for Sale

62.3% of housing options in Laguna Beach are owner-occupied residences, and 37.7% of properties are rented. Being a tourist hotspot, around 20% of the city’s housing options may stand vacant.

The majority of residences at 43.9% were constructed between 1940-1969, and 31.7% of properties were built between 1970-1999. Just 5.5% of residences in the city were built in or after 2000, and another 18.9% of residences were built in or before 1939.

70% of housing options are single family detached houses, and 14.7% are apartment complexes. 9.2% of properties are smaller apartment buildings, and condominiums and attached properties make up the smallest number of Laguna Beach properties.

33.3% of residences have 3 bedrooms, and 30.8% of housing options have 2 bedrooms. 18.8% of properties have 1 bedroom layouts, and 13.2% have 4 bedrooms. The remaining 3.9% of residences have 5 or more bedrooms.

Homes For Sale Quick Stats
Median Home Value

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Economy

Laguna Beach Economy 2020

The average salary of a Laguna Beach resident is about $157K, and the median household income tracks around $121K. The city’s per capita income is a little over $92K.

Less than 10% of the city’s population earns below $25K each year. From there, 5.4% of residents earn between $25K-$35K annually. 8.6% of residents make between $35K-$50K, while another 8.6% of the population earns $50K-$65K.

From there, around 20% of residents earn between $65K-$100K annually. Almost 52% of Laguna Beach’s population earns more than $100K each year.

The city’s unemployment rate is 6.8%, and 6.8% of Laguna Beach residents live in poverty.

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

Income

Laguna Beach Median Household Income

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Per Capita Income

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Income Distribution

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Income Distribution by Gender in Common Jobs

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Income Distribution by Race and Ethnicity

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Employment

Laguna Beach Unemployment Rate

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Employment Distribution by Age

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Employment Industries

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Cost of Living

With its pristine beaches, world-class shopping boutiques, and great schools, Laguna Beach is increasingly becoming among the most expensive cities in California.

The cost of living in Laguna Beach is about 82% higher than the California average, and about 155% higher than the national average. Generally, residents here pay about 118% more for basic living expenses compared to those of other cities in California.

With a median home price of more than $1.3 million, housing costs in the city are among the highest in the region – about 491% or four times the national average.

Utility costs in the area are about 15% higher than the national average, while transportation costs are about 30% higher than the average among the rest of the states.

One can also pay for food and grocery expenses that are about 16% higher than the national average, and healthcare expenses that are about 9% higher than the national average.

Poverty

Laguna Beach Poverty By Age and Gender

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Laguna Beach Poverty By Race and Ethnicity

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Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Things to do

Situated between the famous cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Laguna Beach also benefits from being located right next to 20,000 acres of protected outdoor land that offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails, biking lanes, marine life, and scenic views. Laguna Beach is also known for its conservation areas, Top of the World attraction, and of course the city’s incredible beaches are impossible to overlook. Beyond outdoor areas, Laguna Beach also has multiple shopping malls, retail centers, stand-alone shops, and local boutiques with options ranging from sports-centric establishments, vintage treasures, high-end fashions, and more. Laguna Beach also has a vibrant artistic community, and residents enjoy having access to a number of longstanding venues such as Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art, Dawson Cole Fine Art Sculpture Garden, and Laguna Beach Classic Car Show. Bars, lounges, and restaurants are plentiful in this oceanfront city as well, which means Laguna Beach lives up to its impressive reputation.
Parks & Recreation
The outdoors have never felt greater than in Laguna Beach. Sea caves, famous beaches, tide pools, biking and hiking trails, and incredible ocean views are unavoidable in the city. Can’t-miss outdoor locations include Crystal Cove State Park, Treasure Island Park, Alta Laguna Park, and of course the notable vista point, Top of the World.
Shopping
Laguna Beach provides both fun in the sun and ample shopping opportunities. Surf-centric shops and local stores include Hobie Surf Shop Laguna Beach, Buy Hand, and The Shop. Shoreside boutiques include Anastasia Boutique, Violet’s Boutique, Just Looking Boutique, and Fierce, Inc. There are many local shopping malls, such as Crystal Cove Shopping Center, Village Faire Shoppes, and Boat Canyon Shopping Center.
Art & Culture
The Laguna Art Museum is the center of the city’s art community and showcases some of the best pieces of Californian art. Local festivals include the Festival of Arts, the Sawdust Art Festival, the Art-A-Fair, and many more entertaining, cultural, and artistic events happen annually. Additionally, the Laguna Playhouse seats 420 and houses local performances and stage productions.
Night Life
When the sun sets over the waters, many incredible venues are far from closing their doors. Marine Room Tavern is a live music spot with a great bar, and Rooftop Lounge has panoramic views of the ocean and impeccable service. Sandpiper, Saloon, Mozambique, Main Street Bar & Cabaret, Wine Gallery, and Skyloft are more highly rated local hotspots.
Restaurants
Many of Laguna Beach’s restaurants are within walking distance of the city’s incredible beaches. Splashes Restaurant and Deck are both upscale eateries with contemporary seafood dishes, and Driftwood Kitchen has excellent views and dishes. Las Brisas serves Mexican fare, and Brussels Bistro specializes in Belgian dishes. Other popular spots include Nirvana Grille, Sapphire Laguna, Romeo Cucina, and Lumberyard.
LAGUNA BEACH NEIGHBORHOODS

Laguna Beach can be broken into 18 neighborhoods, such as Arch Beach Heights, Bluebird Canyon, Coast Royal, North Laguna, and other areas.

Laguna Beach’s southern area is considered to be the most expensive, seeing as these neighborhoods have a median real estate price of $2.5 million, which is more costly than 96.1% of California neighborhoods and 99.2% of neighborhoods across the country.

Central Laguna Beach neighborhoods are more affordable, considering that the median real estate price of these neighborhoods is $1.9 million. Even so, this is unsurprisingly more expensive than 96.8% of neighborhoods statewide and 99.4% of residential areas nationally.

Northeastern neighborhoods can have the lowest cost of living in the city, seeing as the median real estate price in northern parts of Laguna Beach is $1.6 million. However, this number tracks as being more expensive than 94.5% of neighborhoods across the state and 98.9% of neighborhoods in the U.S.

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