Best of Orange County 2020: Irvine Voted Best City to Live In

Saturday, September 26, 2020

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(Orange County Register)

For the past 24 years, Best of Orange County voters have been asked to name the county’s best city to live in. Irvine has never failed to place in the top 3, and it has been the top vote recipient for 13 of those years and ranked second for 10 more.

Many reasons are cited for Irvine’s livability. It routinely ranks among the nation’s safest cities—including being ranked "America's Safest Big City" by the FBI crime ranking of cities over 100,000 in population every year since 2005—and has recorded the lowest per capita crime rate for cities with 250,000 or more residents for the past 14 years. Its acclaimed school system is a major draw for home buyers.

Mayor Christina Shea points to Irvine’s abundance of recreational amenities, which include 20 community parks, 40 neighborhood parks, 179 acres of sports fields and more than 63 miles of off-street bicycle trails.

“We have the bike trails, the hiking trails — it’s an outdoor environment,” Shea said.

Irvine was one of America’s first master-planned cities, which has helped guide the community’s development from a hamlet of just over 10,000 people in 1971 at its incorporation to its current estimated population of more than 281,000.

The composition of that population has changed over time and people of color now make up a majority of residents, with 41.2% of Asian ancestry and 9.7% identifying as Latino. “We’ve grown into a much more multi-ethnic and diverse community over the past 20 years,” Shea said.

Category: Irvine News, Destination Irvine