Laguna Niguel is a suburban city less than 5 miles away from the Pacific Ocean. Nestled in the San Joaquin Hills in Orange County’s southeastern corner, this master-planned city has incredible outdoor locations, scenic views, and excellent local attractions.
Housing options in Laguna Niguel can be expected to range upwards of the $1 million mark, but more affordable housing options can also be found, which makes this city fairly accessible compared with the cost of living of other California cities.
Laguna Niguel has a highly affluent population of around 65,000 residents. Specifically, the median household income is estimated to be 31% above Orange County’s average income, which equals about double the national average.
The city on the whole is largely popular among families and is known for having some of the best public schools in the state. Additionally, the city’s crime statistics are impressively low, and Laguna Niguel is constantly praised for its low crime rates and safe neighborhoods.
Laguna Niguel’s demographics are not as diverse as other California cities, seeing as 66% of residents are White, 17% are Hispanic, 10% are Asian, 2% are African American, and 4% are multiracial or biracial.
Out of over 65,000 residents, 30% have some college education or an associate’s degree, and 32% have a bachelor’s degree. Another 21% of the population has a master’s degree or above, which means that overall the city’s residents are considerably well-educated.
The median household income sits at about $100K, and the median individual income trends around $42K. The unemployment rate is estimated to be 3.9%, and the poverty rate tracks near 7.3%.
Laguna Niguel’s annual average temperature is about 64°F. To compare, this average is roughly 3°F over the statewide average and 10°F over the national average.
Between November and March, monthly average temperatures drop below 60°F. Between April and October, Laguna Niguel residents can expect temperatures to range between 60°F and 74°F. For reference, July and August generally are the hottest months in this part of California.
This city receives a little over 13 inches of rain each year, and residents can expect about 22 rainy days each year. This average tracks well under both statewide and national averages. Additionally, the city’s annual average humidity is 79.85%.
The most common types of natural disasters that threaten Laguna Niguel include wildland fires, flooding, and earthquakes.
The city is located in a highly active seismic region and in close proximity to the Newport-Inglewood and the Whittier Faults. Other active faults that may potentially damage the city include the San Andreas, Malibu Coast Raymond, Palos Verdes, and San Gabriel.
A total of more than 3,700 earthquakes have occured in the city since 1931. The USGS says there is a 90.9% chance of a major earthquake within 50 kilometers of the city within the next 50 years.
Areas near the San Juan Canyon, Salt Creeks, Sulphur, and Oso Creeks are prone to inundation from a 100-year flood.
The city is also most vulnerable to wildland fires and other fire hazards because of its topography, vegetation, and development patterns.
Commuter Travel Behavior
The average commute time for residents 25 years and over in Laguna Niguel is just under 25 minutes, which generally means traveling from the city is convenient.
Interstate 5 being directly east of the city comes in handy for many residents, and California State Route 73 cutting through Laguna Niguel’s northern corner similarly proves useful for traveling to cities in the surrounding area. Plus, the Pacific Coast Highway runs just south of the city’s borders.
Driving to Santa Ana from Laguna Niguel takes about 26 minutes, and traveling to Anaheim is about half an hour’s drive. Meanwhile, Laguna Beach is roughly 13 minutes away.
Laguna Niguel consistently ranks among the top 10 safest cities in California.
Overall, the crime rate in the area is 721 per 100,000 residents. This rate is about 58% lower than the national average. Laguna Niguel is safer than about 84% of communities in California, and about 73% of cities in the U.S.
Violent crime rate in the area is 81 per 100,000 residents. This rate is about 68% lower than the national average.
Property crime rate, meanwhile, is 640 per 100,000 residents. This rate is about 56% lower than the national average.
The safest neighborhoods in the city are located in the northwest, near the Kite Hill Drive, Rancho Grande, and Highlands Ave. The neighborhoods with the highest crime rate, meanwhile, are located in the central and eastern sections, near the Paso De La Colinas and Via Marin.
The city council of Laguna Niguel is made up of 5 members who are each elected on an at-large basis to serve for staggered 4-year terms of office.
The city council acts as the legislative body of Laguna Niguel and oversees the enactment of laws, the city’s annual budget, and other municipality agreements, policies, and business affairs.
The Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce grants members access to elected officials, provides business educational opportunities, promotes the local economy, and encourages business connections while also increasing Laguna Niguel’s visibility.
This chamber of commerce believes in creating strong relationships between businesses, local communities, and government representatives to create mutual growth and continuously improve the quality of life in Laguna Niguel.
The mayor of Laguna Niguel is elected to serve for a 1-year term of office by the city council. Seeing as the mayor is elected among the council’s membership, the mayor naturally works closely with the city council.
Some of the mayor’s chief responsibilities include representing the city at ceremonial and business events, overseeing council meetings, and reviewing municipality policies.
Laguna Niguel’s population is 65,652. To compare, the population in 2010 was 62,614. The 10 year growth rate is estimated at 4.63%, while the annual growth rate is 0.66%.
33,617 residents are women, which means 51% of the population is female. Another 32,035 residents are men, so 49% of the city’s population is male.
The median resident age is 45. Less than 25% of the city’s population is under 20 years old. Another 5% of residents are 20-24, while 12% of residents are 25-34. Around 25% of residents are 35-54, while about 16% of residents are 55-64. Almost 17% of the population is over 65.
Population Over Time
Population By Year
Population By Sex
Population By Age And Sex
A little over 75% of Laguna Niguel’s population is White. An estimated 10.2% of the population is Asian. Almost 6% of residents are biracial or multiracial, and 1.8% of residents are Black or African American. Meanwhile, 6.1% of residents belong to other ethnic backgrounds.
Almost 75% of the city’s population only speaks English. An additional 10.1% of residents are fluent in Spanish. 5.8% of the population speaks another Indo-European language, while less than 3% of residents speak Chinese, Mandarin, or Cantonese.
Almost 22% of Laguna Niguel residents were born outside of the U.S. For context, this is under California’s average percentage.
Race & Ethnic Diversity
Ancestry (Top 10)
Languages Spoken (Top 10)
Foreign Born Population
8 elementary schools and 3 middle schools are within Laguna Niguel’s borders. Also, other reputable schools are just outside of the city.
Over 95% of residents who are 25 years old and over graduated college or have earned a GED. About 20% of the city’s population has some college education, and less than 10% of residents have an associate’s degree. From there, over 53% of residents have earned a bachelor’s degree. Another 20% of the population has a master’s degree or a professional degree.
86% of Laguna Niguel students attend public schools, while 14% attend private schools. The city’s dropout rate is 5%, which falls under national and statewide averages.
Educational Attainment Of Adults (25 Years And Over)
Level Of Education
Capistrano Unified School District, otherwise known as CUSD, is Orange County’s 2nd largest school system, the 8th largest in the state, and the 78th largest across the country. This massive school district that spans 195 square miles educates over 54,000 students across 33 elementary schools, 2 K-8 campuses, 10 middle schools, 6 high schools, 5 public charter schools, and several alternative education campuses.
To illustrate CUSD’s high standards and reputation for excellent student academic achievements, 40 of the school district’s campuses are California Distinguished Schools, and 11 are National Blue Ribbon Schools. Additionally, 36 campuses are California Business Honor Roll Schools, and the average graduation rate is 97.2%.
Beyond Laguna Niguel, this school district covers cities such as Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Las Flores, San Clemente, and more. CUSD schools have an average student-teacher ratio of 27 to 1, overall diverse student populations, an emphasis on college prep, and solid health and safety records.
Laguna Niguel’s median property value is estimated to be a little over $893K, which classes the city’s real estate market as being one of the most expensive in California and the nation on the whole.
The majority of properties at 31.7% are valued between $604K-$907K, and 25% of real estate ranges between $907K-$1.2 million. Another 21.8% of properties are valued above the $1.2 million mark. Just 8.4% of Laguna Niguel real estate is worth between $483K-$604K, and 7.7% is worth between $363K-$483K. Less than 6% of properties are valued under $363K.
Between December 2009 and December 2019, real estate in the city appreciated a total of 52.85%, which is ranked in the top 20% of appreciation rates nationally. This number can be broken down into an average annual rate of 4.33%. Considering the city’s recent appreciation rates, Laguna Niguel real estate can be considered a solid investment opportunity
Home Appreciation Rates
Median Home Value
Median Gross Rent
Rent & Ownership
Rent Vs Owner Occupied By Household Type
Occupied & Vacant Number Of Homes And Apartments
Real Estate Trends
Age Of Homes
Types Of Homes
Property Taxes Range
Homes for Sale
Of over 25,000 housing options in Laguna Niguel, 70% are owner-occupied residences, and 30% of properties are rented. The vacancy rate tracks around 6.1%.
At 86.4%, the vast majority of properties were built between 1970-1999, and 7.4% of housing options broke ground between 1940-1969. 5.4% of housing options were constructed in or after 2000, and about 0.8% of properties in Laguna Niguel were built in or before 1939.
55.7% of housing options are single family detached houses, and 20% of residences are condominiums and attached properties. 16.6% of options are large apartment complexes, and 7.7% of housing options are smaller apartment buildings.
Properties in Laguna Niguel range a great deal in terms of size. 8.3% of options have 1 bedroom layouts, and 29.2% have 2 bedroom layouts. 28.2% of properties have 3 bedrooms, 26.8% have 4 bedrooms, and 7.5% of properties have 5 or more bedrooms.
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The average individual salary in Laguna Niguel is about $104K. Meanwhile, the median household income is $104K, and the per capita income tracks a little over $55K.
Less than 5% of the city’s population earns below $15K each year. About 7% of residents earn between $15K-$25K annually, while 11% earn between $25K-$35K. Almost 11% of the population makes between $35K-$50K.
12% of residents earn $50K-$65K each year. Almost 5% of residents earn $65K-$75K annually. 14% of residents make between $75K-$100K annually, while 37% of residents earn over $100K each year.
Laguna Niguel’s unemployment rate is 4.5%. About 8% of residents live in poverty.
Median Household Income
Per Capita Income
Income Distribution By Gender In Common Jobs
Income Distribution By Race And Ethnicity
Employment Distribution By Age
Employment Industries (Top 10)
Cost of Living
With several gated communities and top-notch restaurants and nearby beaches, Laguna Niguel is among the most upscale cities in California.
The cost of living in the city is about 26% higher than the California average, and about 77% higher than the national average.
With home prices that start at around $600,000 and can go as high as $2M, housing costs in Laguna Niguel are about 230% higher than the national average.
One can expect to pay for grocery costs that are about 16% higher than the national average, while goods and services costs are about 10% higher than the national average.
Transportation prices in the city are about 30% higher than the national average, while the costs of healthcare are about 10% higher than the national average.
Poverty By Age And Gender
Poverty By Race And Ethnicity
Things to do
Laguna Niguel can be divided into neighborhoods such as Bear Brand Ranch, Beacon Hill, Crest de Ville, El Niguel Heights, and Coronado Pointe to name a few of the multiple upscale parts of town.
Southern neighborhoods have a higher cost of living. Specifically, the southwestern neighborhoods have a median real estate price of $1.3 million, which tracks as above 89.3% of California neighborhoods and 97.8% of neighborhoods on a national level.
Central neighborhoods have a median real estate price of $897K. This lower number is still more costly than 78.8% of California residential areas and more expensive than 95.4% of neighborhoods across the U.S.
Northern neighborhoods tend to be the most affordable areas of the city, seeing as the median real estate price in this corner of Laguna Niguel is $648K. This is more affordable than 43.7% of California cities and towns, though still more costly than 87.9% of neighborhoods across the country.