A new study is confirming what many of us in the region already know – that Sacramento and its satellite cities are some of the best places to live in the country. In fact, a new study names three Sacramento cities as the best in California to live, work, and play, with out own Folsom earning the #1 top honors.

When WalletHub crunched the numbers of 240 California cities, looking at 22 key factors like family life, schools and education, health, crime rates, affordability, median income, socioeconomic environment, safety, and the like, their results were a glowing testament to the quality of life in the Sacramento region.

Folsom, California claimed the #1 overall spot on WalletHub’s survey, followed not too far down the list by El Dorado Hills at #6 and Roseville at #10. But with three of the top ten cities to live in California, Sacramento wasn’t finished, as Davis (#18), Rocklin (#27), Elk Grove (#31), and Lincoln (#44) were all within the top 50.

Here are WalletHub’s top 10 cities in California:

  1. Folsom
  2. Eastvale
  3. San Ramon
  4. Dublin
  5. Pleasanton
  6. El Dorado Hills
  7. Danville
  8. Aliso Viejo
  9. Palo Alto
  10. Roseville

With only two Southern California cities (Eastvale and Aliso Viejo) in the top 10 and the remainder in Sacramento, the Bay Area, and Alameda/Contra Costa counties, WalletHub was absolutely bullish on life in northern California for families and homeowners.

While the factors they looked at were comprehensive, the study didn’t give high preference to city living, as California’s major cities – San Jose (#78), San Diego (#96), Sacramento #130, San Francisco #178, Los Angeles #2 all ranked very low on WalletHub’s list, though in reality it’s hard to deny the appeal of beautiful and iconic cities like San Diego and San Francisco – and Sacramento is certainly on the rise with their downtown redevelopment and strong economic growth.

In fact, all of the worst cities on the list are in Southern California – the majority of them in or around Los Angeles – save for Oakland, which also didn’t fare well.

What did WalletHub find so remarkable about Folsom, El Dorado Hills, and Roseville?

Folsom is a city with about 73,000 residents encompassing 24.3 square miles – 2.4 square miles of that being water – in the foothills of the Sierra Mountain range. Its median household income is $95,623 – significantly higher than the national average, with a strong economy bolstered by big private employers like Intel and others. With a flourishing economy, access to Folsom Lake and other nature and recreation areas, historic charm, good schools, and low crime rates, it’s no wonder why people are eager to buy a home and live in Folsom.

El Dorado Hills is not actually a city but a census-designated place, spanning 48 square miles in El Dorado County only 22 miles from downtown Sacramento. In 2007, CNN Money listed El Dorado Hills as the 77th best place to live in the entire U.S. El Dorado Hills is one of the most affluent communities in the country, with a median household income over $115,00, which makes it the 3rd highest of any place in the U.S. with population greater than 40,000. There are plenty of luxury and high-end real estate communities with homes for sale in El Dorado Hills, including Serrano Golf and Country Club, The Summit, Watermark, Marina Hills and Highland Hills.

Meanwhile, Roseville is the the biggest city in Placer County, California, only 16 miles from the state capital in Sacramento. It’s home to about 128,382 residents, and in 2008, CNN Money ranked Roseville as one of the top 100 Best Places to Live in the nation, and it’s consistently ranked as one of the top 100 best small cities in the U.S.

Apparently, WalletHub recognized these qualities among others, as the study was based on the number of attractions, playgrounds, pediatricians, other families, and quality schools per capita, crime rates, unemployment and foreclose rates, high school graduation rates, percentage of two-parent/divorced families, percentage of children lacking health coverage, percentage of families living below the poverty line, weather, air quality, average commute time and house and living affordability.

Folsom came out on top after ranking #1 in all of California for low poverty levels and high median income adjusted for cost of living, and #2 for housing affordability. Roseville’s ranking was boosted by the fact that it has the most playgrounds per capita in California, and El Dorado Hills is one of the most affluent communities adjusted for cost of living with low crime and amazing schools.

You can see the full study at wallethub.com, and contact me if you have any questions about buying or selling a home in #1 rated Folsom, or any of the great communities in Sacramento!