Moving to & Living in Malibu, CA
Erik S. Haney CEO | Founder
Erik S. Haney
CEO | Founder

Is Living in Malibu for You? 🌊 | Ultimate Moving to Malibu Guide

Malibu, California, is a large city located in Los Angeles County. Malibu, Cali, is most famous for its prominent surfing community, luxurious homes, celebrity population, and beautiful (safe) beaches.

First, the land of the Chumash Tribe, now home to various celebrities, Malibu’s history dates back to the 1500s! Spanish settlers were the second group of inhabitants, but Hollywood elites and wealthy business executives were the third. Malibu was founded in the 1500s but wasn’t incorporated as a California city until March 28, 1991.

Before moving to Malibu, you should note it’s a great place to live (and visit!) It’s ranked the 4th best beach town in California, the crime is low, the ocean is always less than a few miles away, and Los Angeles is just around the corner.

Where Is Malibu?

Malibu is located in Los Angeles County, California, west of Los Angeles; it’s 28.7 miles from Malibu, CA, to Los Angeles, CA. Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, and Callabasses border the city, and Beverly Hills, Glendale, and Pasadena are all within 50 miles.

Los Angeles County Metro provides public bus transportation to Malibu, California, and other cities in the county. K-12 and college students can ride for free with a GoPass, and regular trips cost $1.75. You can view their maps and schedules online, but note that Line 134 serves Malibu and travels Eastbound-Downtown Santa Monica Station-Westbound to Malibu.

Malibu Population & Demographics

Although the population of Malibu, CA, has dropped from 12,645 in 2010 to 10,654 in 2020, that’s not to say its allure is fading. Many California cities saw a population decrease due to COVID-19, but will likely spike again soon. 13.1% of Malibu residents have moved here within the last year!

Malibu, California, has diverse demographics! The median age is 50.2, but 50% of people living in Malibu are between the ages of 18 and 50. The racial and ethnic makeup is 80% White (76% non-Hispanic or Latino), 12% two or more races, 12% Hispanic or Latino, 3% Asian, 0.6% Black or African American, and 0.2% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. The foreign-born population in Malibu is 16%, and the veteran population is 4%.

Additional Malibu demographics:

  • Sex ratio: 50 males to 50 females
  • Poverty rate: 8.5%
  • Median household income: $186,905 (US $75,149)
  • Mean commute time: 33.4 minutes
  • Number of households: 4,401
  • Owner-occupied homes: 77%
  • Renter-occupied homes: 23%
  • Educational attainment: 97.8% have high school diplomas, and 70.3% have bachelor's degrees or higher.

Celebrities living in Malibu:

Is Malibu Safe?

Is Malibu a safe place to live? According to the FBI, the crime rate in Malibu is 3,366 per 100k people, California’s crime rate is 2,581 per 100k people, and the US crime rate is 2,346 per 100k people.

The violent crime rate in Malibu is 341, which is 22.9% lower than its state and 12.1% lower than its country. Although the Malibu crime rate is slightly higher than the state and national average, its violent crime rate is lower, meaning it’s a safe place to live. 

Additional Malibu crime rate statistics:

  • Malibu violent crime rate per 100k people: 3,025
  • California violent crime rate per 100k people: 2,139
  • US violent crime rate per 100k people: 1,958

Few crimes that happen in Malibu are violent, meaning most crimes are minor! You should feel safe when living in Malibu, as the Malibu Police Department has countless dedicated officers ready to serve you.

Average Cost of Living in Malibu CA

Malibu is a costly place to live; budgeting and knowing what to expect are the best ways to afford living in Malibu! You can accomplish this by researching. You’ll want to know its Cost of Living Index (COLI), typical living expenses, real estate market, and projected annual spending—which we cover below!

Malibu has a cost of living index of 188, which is 88% higher than the US average. The Malibu real estate market is the main reason for its high cost of living. The median sale price in Malibu is 3.54 million, which is well above the US median sale price of $431,000. The average rent in Malibu is $12,300 per month, which is likely why most people choose to buy instead. If you’re in the market to buy, you should keep a close eye on Malibu homes for sale—they typically sell within 90 days and go for 2.3% under the listing price.

Typical *Malibu living expenses:

    • Inexpensive restaurant meal: $25.00
    • Gallon of milk: $5.03
    • Loaf of white bread: $4.99
    • Dozen eggs: $5.87
    • Pound of chicken filets: $7.52
    • Average Malibu utilities per month: $682 (per Doxo)

Source: Numbeo.

*The above figures are for Los Angeles, but you can expect similar pricing when living in Malibu, CA.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, you should budget around $24,969 for housing annually and $10,374 for food. The EPI says a family of four would have to earn $102,226 to live comfortably in Los Angeles County.

Overall, the cost of living in Malibu isn’t cheap, but when you consider its amenities, low crime rate, and beautiful beaches, it’s certainly worth it!

Best Neighborhoods in Malibu | Where to Live in Malibu

Before moving to Malibu, California, you’ll have to find somewhere to live. Here are the top Malibu neighborhoods. 

Big Rock | Exclusive Neighborhood in Malibu

Big Rock is an established Malibu neighborhood where most of the multi-million dollar homes sit between lush forests and ocean-front views. The area even has its own beach–Big Rock Beach, which is known for its breathtaking views and wildlife.

Near Big Rock are the notable Malibu Pier, Getty Villa Art Museum, and the Malibu Farm Pier Café. This neighborhood offers proximity to many of Malibu’s top attractions and beautiful beaches—if you’re looking for places to live in Malibu, Big Rock should be at the top of your list!

Central Malibu | Family-Friendly Malibu Community

The housing market anywhere in Malibu is competitive, but especially in the city’s center. Central Malibu has a median home price of 4.57 million, and for good reason too! Thanks to its abundance of shopping and dining, you will find some of Hollywood’s elite residing in Central Malibu; don’t be surprised if you run into Jenifer Aniston on a night!

Another reason this is one of the best neighborhoods in Malibu is because it’s home to great schools and activities. Malibu High School, middle school, and elementary school are all located in Central Malibu, making it a great place to raise a family. You will also find attractions like Solstice Canyon and Escondido Canyon Park in the neighborhood limits.

Western Malibu | Expensive Malibu Neighborhood

Western Malibu is home to million-dollar homes, delicious eateries, and ocean views anywhere you look. With attractions like El Pescador State Beach and Nicholas Canyon Beach, it’s no wonder the median sale price in Western Malibu is 2.89 million. Aside from its quiet, exclusive appeal, people love Western Malibu for its tight-knit community, peaceful ambiance, and various recreational activities. Western Malibu is one of the best places to live in Malibu if you’re an outdoor enthusiast or surfer.

Malibu Weather & Climate

Malibu, CA, has a Koppen classification of warm-summer Mediterranean climate, or Csb. Csb climates result in warm, dry summers and mild, clear winters. The average daily temperature does not exceed 71.6 in any given month, and even during the warmest month (September), the average high is only 75 degrees; the average low during the coldest month (December) is 50.

The weather in Malibu is enjoyable most of the year, but the best time to visit Malibu is mid-June to early October. The average annual rainfall is only 20 inches, with the wettest month being February. June through October, the temperatures are ideal, and you won’t see much rain. If surfing is your game, the winter months may serve you best. Surfcoast says the best time to surf in Malibu is November.

It’s important to note that Malibu is susceptible to earthquakes. Just in January of 2023, a 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck Malibu’s coast. If moving to Malibu is in your future, this is a necessary weather pattern to consider.

Things to Do in Malibu | What to Do in Malibu Beach CA

Not only does Malibu boast some of the best shopping in Los Angeles County (Malibu Country Mart and Malibu Village), but you will also find a boatload of attractions! While the options are extensive, here are a few things to do in Malibu, CA!

Point Dume

Point Dume is a tourist attraction on Malibu Beach known for its tranquility and scenery. This can be a great spot for couples or to bring kids. The area features miles of hiking trails, rocky coves, and views of Santa Catalina Island.

Cliffside Dr &, Birdview Ave, Malibu, CA 90265, (916) 445-7000

Malibu Pier

Standing since 1905, the Malibu Pier is a must-see after moving to Malibu! The pier is always a great option if you’re looking for things to do in Malibu, California. You'll have a great time if you’re there to fish, shop, eat, or enjoy the scenery.

23000 CA-1, Malibu, CA 90265, (888) 310-7437

Adamson House Museum

If you’re a history buff, Adamson House Museum is an excellent option. This tile-tiered Spanish Colonial beach house was built in 1929 and boasts nearly 100 years of historical events. This is one of the best things to do in Malibu!

23200 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, (310) 456-8432

Additional Attractions in Malibu

Photo of Lagoon State Beach in Malibu, California.

In addition to the countless things to do in Malibu, the city provides countless parks and recreational areas. The Malibu Parks and Recreation Department maintains all Malibu parks. You can access their special events calendar and other park information online.

Malibu Restaurants

Finding a great Malibu Restaurant is far from difficult; the city is known for its abundance of seafood restaurants and countless brunch spots! Here are the best restaurants in Malibu we suggest checking out.

Duke's Malibu

Duke’s Malibu is a highly-reviewed restaurant in Malibu. You will find fresh seafood, cold beef, handcrafted cocktails, live music, and so much more. Enjoy the ocean views while eating some of the freshest seafood of your life!

21150 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, (310) 317-0777

Paradise Cove Beach Café

Paradise Cove is one of the best brunch restaurants in Malibu! They offer seafood options, avocado toast, delicious coffee, and more. Their extensive menu means you will surely find something to satiate your palate.

28128 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, (310) 457-2503

Geoffrey's Malibu 

Geoffrey’s is one of the most delicious restaurants in Malibu, CA. This is an ideal spot for a special occasion or romantic date night. The swordfish and Chilean sea bass are raved about in their reviews!

27400 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, (310) 457-1519

Jobs in Malibu

Malibu Calif boasts a strong economy and plenty of job opportunities. While the unemployment rate is 10.9% (4.9% above the US average), that’s likely due to its hospitality sectors and California’s slow-to-rebound leisure. After moving to Malibu, you will find there are plenty of jobs in Malibu, CA, hiring, especially in the city’s leading industries (professional, information, health care, and education.) If you don’t see your dream job listed on Indeed, consider applying to one of Los Angeles County’s top employers: AHMC Healthcare Inc., California State Univ Nrthrdg, and Cedars-Sinai Health System. One of Malibu’s best attributes is its proximity to larger economies. Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, and Pasadena are all less than 50 miles from Malibu, meaning even if Malibu doesn’t suit your industry, you’ll surely find it somewhere close.

Whether you’re interested in City of Malibu jobs or a position in the marketing realm, you’ll earn a great living! The average hourly wage in Malibu is $24.46, and the average salary is $84,000. Senior graphic designers earn an average salary of $85,521, whereas research scientists earn around $131,568. People working for California State University (a top Malibu employer) earn an average of $63,000 annually. 

Moving to Malibu is a great choice, despite your industry or career goals. There are many Malibu jobs to choose from, making it the ideal city to advance your career.

Schools in Malibu

Malibu is part of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, which serves the coastal communities in Santa Monica and Malibu. There are 8,700 students in the district, 1,400 staff members, and an annual budget of 192 million. With eight Malibu elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools, you have plenty of options when choosing where to send your child. The student-to-teacher ratio in Malibu’s school district is 19:1, which is below the state average. Although the graduation rate is only 81.2%, the district earned a readiness score of 65.1, according to U.S. News.

The best schools in Malibu are Malibu High School (scored 96.27/100 by U.S. News), Malibu Elementary (scored 77.7/100 by U.S. News), and Malibu Middle School. There are no other Malibu high schools within the city limits. If you’d like your child to attend a different school, you may want to consider a private school in a neighboring city.

Pepperdine University and Marymount California University are the best colleges in and near Malibu.

The Malibu Library serves people living in Malibu. You will find various educational resources at the library—for example, book clubs, free Wifi, computer access, and tutoring services.

Malibu Statistics & Information

  • County: Los Angeles County
  • Malibu area: 19.9 miles
  • Malibu zip code: 90263, 90264, 90265
  • Malibu area code: 310, 424
  • Malibu elevation: 105’
  • Malibu time zone: Pacific Standard Time (GMT-8)
  • Closest airport to Malibu: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is 21.4 miles from Malibu

Malibu Map

Explore the city more with this map of Malibu, Calif!

If you’re moving to Malibu, California, you’ll need the best movers in Malibu on your side! Call Movegreen at (866) 684-7336 for a free estimate on your upcoming move.


Erik S. Haney CEO | Founder
Erik S. Haney
CEO | Founder
Movegreen was established in 2007 with a vision to innovate the age old trade of Moving and Storage. The company has grown by over 20% year after year and recently expanded our territory to all of Ventura County and Northern LA County . Movegreen has received more than 15 service awards and is the premier Moving and Storage company on the Central Coast.
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