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City of Berkeley

  •   State: 
    Alameda County
      County FIPS: 
    37°52′18″N 122°16′22″W
      Area total: 
    17.66 sq mi (45.73 km²)
      Area land: 
    10.43 sq mi (27.02 km²)
      Area water: 
    7.22 sq mi (18.71 km²)
    171 ft (52 m)
    Incorporated April 4, 1878 Chartered March 5, 1895
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA
    Pacific Standard Time (PST) UTC-8:00; Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) UTC-7:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Berkeley, Alameda County, California, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    11,917.27 residents per square mile of area (4,601.36/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Berkeley is a city on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay in northern Alameda County, California, United States. It is named after the 18th-century Irish bishop and philosopher George Berkeley. It borders the cities of Oakland and Emeryville to the south and the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington to the north. Its eastern border with Contra Costa County generally follows the ridge of the Berkeley Hills. The 2020 census recorded a population of 124,321. Berkeley is considered one of the most socially progressive cities in the U.S. The site of today's City of Berkeley was the territory of the Chochenyo/Huchiun band of the Ohlone people when the first Europeans arrived. Human remains and skeletons from Native American burials have been unearthed in West Berkeley and on campus alongside Strawberry Creek. One of them was discovered in the 1950s in the downtown area during remodeling of a commercial building, near the upper course of the creek. The first people of European descent (most of whom were of mixed race and born in America) arrived with the De Anza Expedition in 1776. The area that became Berkeley was then the northern part of the "Oakland Township" subdivision of Alameda county. The town is thought to be named for the eighteenth-century Anglo-Irish philosopher and bishop George Berkeley, who thought of Berkeley as the 'westward march of the empire' The town's name is derived from the word "Berkeley," which means "to the west" or "westward".


Berkeley is the primary city name, but also Albany are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is City of Berkeley. The site of today's City of Berkeley was the territory of the Chochenyo/Huchiun band of the Ohlone people when the first Europeans arrived. Evidence of their existence in the area include pits in rock formations, which they used to grind acorns, and a shellmound. Human remains and skeletons from Native American burials have been unearthed in West Berkeley and on campus alongside Strawberry Creek. In 1866, Oakland's private College of California looked for a new site. It settled on a location north of Oakland along the foot of the Contra Costa Range (later called the Berkeley Hills) astride Strawberry Creek, commanding a view of the Bay Area and the Pacific Ocean through the Golden Gate. The city's name is pronounced BERKlee, but the name, to accommodate American English, is pronounced bERK-lee. In the late 19th century, the University of California's Homestead Association planned to raise funds for the new campus by selling off adjacent parcels of land. To this end, they laid out a street plan that became the basis of Berkeley's modern street grid. At the same time, a settlement of residences, saloons, and various industries grew around the wharf called A horsecar, which ran from Temescal Avenue to what is now the university campus along Telegraph Avenue. The area that became Berkeley was initially part of a vast Contra Costa County. On March 25, 1853, Alameda County was created from a division of Contra Costa and a small portion of Santa Clara County.


Berkeley is located at 37°5218N 122°1629W (37.871775, 122.274603). The city's 17.7-square-mile (46 km²) area includes 10.5 square miles of land and 7.2 square miles (19 km²), most of it part of San Francisco Bay. The city is traversed by the Hayward Fault Zone, a major branch of the San Andreas Fault to the west. The current assessment is that a Bay Area earthquake of magnitude 6.7 or greater within the next 30 years is likely, with the Hayward fault having the highest likelihood among faults in the Bay Area of being the epicenter. Berkeley has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification), warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Berkeley's location directly opposite the Golden Gate ensures that typical eastward fog flow blankets the city more often than its neighbors. It has a typical Mediterranean climate thanks to ocean currents along the coast, punctuated with rainstorms of varying ferocity, but also stretches of bright, sunny days. The Berkeley Hills are part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, and run in a northwestsoutheast alignment. The highest peak along the ridge line above Berkeley is Grizzly Peak, at an elevation of 1,754 feet (535 m). A number of small creeks run from the hills to the Bay through Berkeley: Cerrito, Codornices, Schoolhouse and Strawberry Creeks are the principal streams.


The 2020 United States Census reported that Berkeley had a population of 124,321. The racial makeup of the city was 62,450 (50.2%) White, 9,495 (7.6%) Black or African American, 24,701 (19.9%) Asian, 253 (0.2) Pacific Islander, 226 (1,109) from Native American, and 9,069 (7,2%) multiracial (two or more races) There were 17,018 (13.7%) of Hispanic or Latino ancestry, of any race. 6.8% of Berkeley's population was of Mexican ancestry. There were 49,454 housing units at an average density of 2,794.6 per square mile (1, 079.0/km²), of which 46,029 were occupied, of which 18,846 were owner-occupied, and 27,183 (59.1%) were occupied by renters. According to the 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, the median income for a household in Berkeley was $60,908. The city has a higher-than-average crime rate, particularly property crime, though the rate has fallen significantly since 2000. About 72% of families and 18.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% under age 18 and 92% aged 92-65. The average household size was 2.17. The median age was 31.0 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.6 males.


Berkeley has one of the highest rates of bicycle and pedestrian commuting in the nation. Berkeley is the safest city of its size in California for pedestrians and cyclists, considering the number of injuries per pedestrian and cyclist, rather than per capita. The city is served by Amtrak, AC Transit, BART, and bus shuttles operated by major employers including UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The first commuter service to San Francisco was provided by the Central Pacific's Berkeley Branch Railroad, a standard gauge steam railroad, which terminated in downtown Berkeley, and connected in Emeryville with trains to the Oakland ferry pier. The last Red Trains ran in July 1941. Berkeley has had recurring problems with parking meter vandalism. In 1999, over 2,400 Berkeley meters were jammed, smashed, or sawed apart. Starting in 2005 and continuing into 2006, Berkeley began to phase out mechanical meters in favor of more centralized electronic meters. Rather than owning (and parking) their own cars, members share a group of cars parked nearby. Web- and telephone-based reservation systems keep track of hours and charges. Berkeley hosts car sharing networks including Uhaul Car share, Gig Car Share, and Zipcar. It is the home of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, which has been in existence since the early 1900s. It has been home to the UC Berkeley Alumni Association for more than 40 years. It was founded by former UC Berkeley president William "Bill" Bennett in 1887. It also hosts the Berkeley Film Festival, which was founded in 1891.


Berkeley is the location of a number of nationally prominent businesses. Notable businesses include Chez Panisse, Peet's Coffee's original store, the Claremont Resort, punk rock haven 924 Gilman, Saul Zaentz's Fantasy Studios, and Caffe Strada. Berkeley has relatively few chain stores for a city of its size, due to policies and zoning that promote small businesses and impose limits on the size of certain types of stores. The North Face, Clif Bar energy foods, and the Berkeley Co-op are some of the city's most prominent former businesses. The city's 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report shows that the top employers in the city are: The Nature Company, Caffe Mediterraneum, and The Berkeley School of Music. The Berkeley Police Department is one of the largest police forces in the state, with more than 2,000 officers. The City of Berkeley is home to the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, which plays a major role in the music scene. It is also the home of the Berkeley Jazz Festival, which has been around for more than 50 years. The University of California, Berkeley has a history of being a leader in the field of music, having been the site of several major music festivals in the 1960s and 1970s. It has also been the birthplace of California cuisine, with the Berkeley Cooking School being founded in the early 1960s. The UC Berkeley School Of Music was founded in 1968. It was the first of its kind to offer classes in music.


Berkeley has a network of historic pathways that link the winding neighborhoods found in the hills and offer panoramic lookouts over the East Bay. Surrounding the University of California campus are the most densely populated parts of the city. Most of Berkeley's neighborhoods are primarily made up of detached houses, often with separate in-law units in the rear, although larger apartment buildings are also common in many neighborhoods. Commercial activities are concentrated along the major avenues and at important intersections and frequently define the neighborhood within which they reside. Berkeley is home to the San Francisco Bay Trail, the Eastshore State Park and the Berkeley Marina. The city's main commercial area is North Berkeley, nicknamed the "Gourmet Ghetto" because of the concentration of well-known restaurants and other businesses. Berkeley has a number of distinct neighborhoods, including West Berkeley, South Berkeley, the Southside and the Claremont District. The Berkeley I-80 bridge opened in 2002, an arch-suspension bridge spanning Interstate 80, for bicycles and pedestrians only, giving access from the city at the foot of Addison Street to the Bay Trail and the East Shore State Park. Berkeley's Aquatic Park, featuring an artificial linear lagoon, features an artificial lagoon of San Francisco bay water and a large sculpture of the Bay's Golden Gate Bridge. It is also home to Berkeley's only public high school, the city's busiest BART station in Berkeley, as well as a major transfer point for AC Transit buses. It has a small commercial area centered on Cedarbrae, a small neighborhood centered on a small food-related businesses.

Parks and recreation

The city has many parks, and promotes greenery and the environment. Tilden Regional Park, lies east of the city, occupying the upper extent of Wildcat Canyon between the Berkeley Hills and the San Pablo Ridge. Berkeley Marina and East Shore State Park flank its shoreline at San Francisco Bay. The city is also heavily involved in creek restoration and wetlands restoration, including a planned daylighting of Strawberry Creek along Center Street.165 buildings in Berkeley are designated as local landmarks or local structures of merit. Of these, 49 are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, including: Berkeley High School (the city's only public high school) and the Berkeley Community Theatre, which is on its campus.See List of Berkeley Landmarks, Structures of Merit, and Historic Districts for more information on Berkeley's landmarks and historic districts.

Arts and culture

Berkeley is home to the Chilean-American community's La Peña Cultural Center, the largest cultural center for this community in the United States. The Freight and Salvage is the oldest established full-time folk and traditional music venue west of the Mississippi River. The Berkeley Repertory Theater consists of two stages, a school, and has received a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. The historic Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is operated by UC Berkeley, and was moved to downtown Berkeley in January 2016. It offers many exhibitions and screenings of historic films, as well as outreach programs within the community. The annual Jewish Music Festival and the Berkeley Arts Festival are two of the city's most popular events. The Bay Area Book Festival is held in Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park and throughout Downtown Berkeley in May and June. The city also hosts the Berkeley Kite Festival and Berkeley Juggling and Unicycling Festival in July and August. It is the home of the Berkeley Jazz Festival, which is one of the largest jazz festivals in the U.S. and features some of the world's greatest jazz acts. The University of California, Berkeley is the host of the annual Berkeley Open House, which takes place on the campus of the University of Berkeley. It also hosts a number of other festivals, including the Berkeley Art Festival, the Berkeley Juneteenth Festival, and the San Francisco International Book Festival. It was founded in 1868 by Charles Berkeley, who was the founder of Berkeley University.


Berkeley was one of the earliest US cities to voluntarily desegregate, utilizing a system of buses, still in use. The first public school in Berkeley was the Ocean View School, now the site of the Berkeley Adult School. Berkeley has 11 public elementary schools and three middle schools. The city has one public high school, Berkeley High School (BHS). Established in 1880, BHS currently has over 3,000 students. Zaytuna College, a newly established Muslim liberal arts college, has taken 'Holy Hill' as its new home. The Institute of Buddhist Studies has been located in Berkeley since 1966. Berkeley City College is a community college in the Peralta Community College District. Berkeley Public Library serves as the municipal library. University of California, Berkeley Libraries operates the University ofCalifornia Berkeley libraries. The East Bay campus of the German International School of Silicon Valley (GISSV) formerly occupied the Hillside Campus, Berkeley, California; it opened there in 2012. In December 2016, the GISSV closed the building, due to unmet seismic retrofit needs. There is also the Bay Area Technology School, the only school in the whole Bay Area to offer a technology- and science-based curriculum, with connections to leading universities. The Berkeley Unified School District operates public schools. It was designated a historic district by the National Register of Historic Places on January 7, 2008. The City of Berkeley is home to the California Institute of Technology, which has a campus in San Francisco.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Berkeley, Alameda County, California = 35.8. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 32. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 20. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Berkeley = 5.4 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 124,321 individuals with a median age of 37.1 age the population grows by 0.60% in Berkeley, Alameda County, California population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 11,917.27 residents per square mile of area (4,601.36/km²). There are average 2.2 people per household in the 44,362 households with an average household income of $55,000 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 11.00% of the available work force and has dropped -5.07% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 18.86%. The number of physicians in Berkeley per 100,000 population = 247.1.


The annual rainfall in Berkeley = 23.5 inches and the annual snowfall = 0.1 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 62. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 256. 70 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 42.9 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 67, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Berkeley, Alameda County, California which are owned by the occupant = 39.88%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 65 years with median home cost = $563,310 and home appreciation of -9.59%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $7.10 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $6,384 per student. There are 18.9 students for each teacher in the school, 1715 students for each Librarian and 733 students for each Counselor. 4.44% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 30.25% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 34.04% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Berkeley's population in Alameda County, California of 13,214 residents in 1900 has increased 9,41-fold to 124,321 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 50.46% female residents and 49.54% male residents live in Berkeley, Alameda County, California.

    As of 2020 in Berkeley, Alameda County, California are married and the remaining 65.20% are single population.

  • 30.8 minutes is the average time that residents in Berkeley require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    43.15% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 9.59% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 18.68% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 6.88% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Berkeley, Alameda County, California, 39.88% are owner-occupied homes, another 54.21% are rented apartments, and the remaining 5.91% are vacant.

  • The 34.14% of the population in Berkeley, Alameda County, California who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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