38 Riverside

PopulationMetro: 4,580,670
Prosperity, great weather and multiculturalism make Riverside a city of opportunity like few others.

They call it the City of Arts and Innovation, but Riverside on the outskirts of Los Angeles also lays claim to being the birthplace of the California citrus industry, a fact honored at the 248-acre California Citrus State Historic Park.

Living up to its name, Riverside is also home to the Riverside Metropolitan Museum and Fox Performing Arts Center, a 1929 theatre built in Spanish colonial revival style in the heart of downtown.

The city boasts one of the nation’s most ethnically diverse populations, earning #11 rankings in the Foreign Born Residents subcategory.

Place 45
Product 5
Programming 3
People 50
Prosperity 40
Promotion 2

Hispanic citizens make up 51% of the city’s population, while nearly 44% of citizens speak a non-English language. A quick look at the numbers and you can see why this southern California city of 327,000 might be attractive to new immigrants—Riverside ranks #19 for Prosperity and at $64,000 ranks #8 for Household Income.

Like a reflection of the community around it, University of California, Riverside is one of the nation’s most ethnically varied post secondary institutions. It’s also the city’s largest employer, with more than 8,600 people on the payroll, topping a list that also includes insurer Kaiser Permanente, Pacific Bell AT&T, City of Riverside and Riverside Unified School District.

Riverside jumps to the #21 spot in our deep Place category, which includes the second-best weather in the country—that is, only if you enjoy 277 days of sunshine annually.