3. Irvine, Calif. Population
: 215,511 Credit rating
: Not rated Violent crime per 1,000 people
: 0.56 (the lowest) Unemployment rate
: 6.5% (tied- 11th lowest)
With almost 97% of residents aged 25 and over with at least a high school diploma, and with nearly 63% with at least a bachelor’s degree, Irvine has the most educated population of all of the 100 most populous cities. The city’s high educational attainment has translated to a highly compensated population — a whopping 18.8% of households earned more than $200,000 in the last year. Irvine has the lowest violent crime rate of all the 100 largest cities, with just 0.56 violent crimes per 1,000 people in 2011. Irvine’s government has received a lot of flack recently for its efforts to transform the Orange County Great Park, with critics arguing that more than $200 million worth of spending has gone to waste. The newly elected City Council has pledged more oversight on spending and has terminated contracts with two firms working on the project.
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