Oakland, California, City and Higher Education Information

Oakland, California, is one of the larger cities in the San Francisco Bay Area and a major anchor for the metropolitan region. A city of rolling hills, patchwork neighborhoods and ethnic diversity, Oakland is home to several 2-year colleges and 4-year universities. Keep reading to learn about Oakland's demographics, economy, neighborhoods and schools.

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Information about Oakland

An anchor city of the San Francisco Bay metropolitan area and seat of Alameda County, Oakland, California, had a population of nearly 413,775 as of 2014 U.S. census estimates. Named after the evergreen oaks that were found growing locally by the first European settlers, Oakland is racially mixed. As of 2010 census data, almost 26% of residents were white, 25% were Hispanic, 28% were African American and nearly 17% were Asian.

Many of Oakland's neighborhoods are undergoing significant change, with some becoming gentrified, while others retain their local charm and relatively inexpensive housing by Bay Area standards. Crocker Highlands is a popular district featuring architecture from the 1920s, 30s and 40s, while the Rockridge neighborhood is often considered the city's best destination for boutiques and trendy bars. Other destinations include Jack London Square and Chinatown, while across the Bay Bridge, the city of San Francisco beckons with such as attractions as Fisherman's Wharf and the Haight-Ashbury district.

Higher Education

Oakland has about 10 public and private non-profit institutions of higher learning in its city limits and is within 10 miles of nearly 30 more schools. Laney College is Oakland's largest school. It is a two-year community and technical school near the downtown Chinatown district that enrolls about 10,500 students. Another community college, Merritt College, operates in the Oakland Hills area of the city and offers certificates and associate's degrees to approximately 6,000 students.

The city has a few 4-year colleges, including Holy Names University, which has almost 40 bachelor's and master's degree programs. This Catholic university also offers degree completion programs. Mills College is a women's college in Oakland. It has bachelor's and master's degrees in addition to doctoral degrees in educational leadership. Mills College was ranked 5th among regional universities in the West in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report. The 4-year SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary is also found in Oakland.

Economy and Employment

Oakland's diverse economy is based on assets such as the Port of Oakland, one of the largest and busiest ports in the U.S., and the city's proximity to San Francisco's financial institutions and international business community. Clorax is headquartered in Oakland, and some of the major employers in the area include Kaiser Permanente, Oakland Unified School District, the State of California, the City of Oakland, and Southwest Airlines. Primary industries in Oakland include educational services and healthcare, professional or management services, hospitality and retail trade.

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