If you’ve been priced out a San Francisco or Marin, and are tired of long commutes and gridlock, Sonoma County offers a great community with a high quality of life, and is also among the most affordable in the Bay Area. Check out the numbers or come visit and see for yourself.

Cost of Living Comparison

Sonoma CountyMarin CountySan Francisco CountyContra Costa CountyNapa CountySources
Median Sales Price – Jul 2021$761,000 $1,750,000 $1,852,500 $940,000$939,000car.org
YtoY Change – Median Home Sales Price (Jul 2021)6.5%13.2%11.3%19.7%20%car.org
Median 1-Br Rental – Aug 2021$1,602 $2,305 $2,399 $1,680apartmentlist.com
Median 2-Br Rental – Aug 2021$2,145 $2,850 $2,776 $2,062apartmentlist.com
YtoY % Change – Median Rental Price (Aug 2021)10.2%5.3%0.25%5.7%apartmentlist.com
Number of Households – 2019190,689105,298365,851399,79248,107census.gov
Average Commute Time (Minutes) – 201926.133.534.739.326.9census.gov
Mean Hourly Wage – Q1 2021$30.43$36.01$44.53 $36.70$30.41labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov
Mean Annual Wage – Q1 2021$63,289$74,906$92,619 $76,328$64,248labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov

Quality of Place Indicators

Median House Price

The median sale price of existing single-family homes recorded in Q4 2019 across Bay Area counties shows Sonoma County to have a relatively low median sale price of just over $660,000. This is especially low compared to those counties with a median house price of over $1 million in the South Bay, San Francisco, and Marin. Despite this, Sonoma County has a higher median price than California’s average of approximately $590,000. (2019)

Median Rent

As median rent continues to rise, Sonoma County fares well relative to its Bay Area counter parts. With a median rent of $1,756, Sonoma County sits 8.8% higher than the state median and has grown approximately 34% over the past five years. Considering the decline in rental vacancy rates and the proximity to the Bay Area, it is likely that rent will continue to climb higher in the years to come. (2019)

Health Insurance

Sonoma County’s adult population is becoming more insured. With better access to insurance, the healthcare and support industry has benefited from more local demand. This is similar to what is happening in the state as a whole. Since 2010, California has seen a decrease in uninsured residents from 21% to 8%. This drop could be in part due to the wider access to health care offered by the Afford-able Care Act. (2019)

Educational Attainment

The better educated the regional workforce, the more quickly an economy can take advantage of new opportunities and recover from negative shocks. 71% of Sonoma County residents have at least some college experience, and in terms of high school graduates, Sonoma County ranked second among comparable counties, with 87% of residents holding at least a high school diploma. (2021)

Air Quality

Air quality relates to the quality of life through the risk on human health brought on by pollution. In 2019, Sonoma County ranked highest for air quality among comparable counties in the Bay Area. The quality of air was classified as “good” on 348 days (88%) of the year. Sonoma County never experienced a day classified as unhealthy, even for sensitive groups. (2019)

Crime Rate

The 2019 crime rate data reveals Sonoma County has among the lowest crime rates in the Bay Area. This is particularly true regarding the property crime rates where Sonoma County has the lowest rate, followed by Monterey County. The crime rate is defined as the number of crimes committed per 100,000 residents in a year. When considering both the property and violent crime rates simultaneously, Sonoma County ranks the lowest among the counties analyzed. Crime rates are related to public safety, which is an import-ant indicator of societal health. High crime rates can instill a sense of fear and foreboding among residents, which reduces the quality of life in a community. (2019)