The eastern side of the bay, consisting of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, is known locally as the East Bay. The East Bay is split into two regions, the inner East Bay, which sits on the Bay shoreline, and the outer East Bay, consisting of inland valleys separated from the inner East Bay by hills and mountains.
The inner East Bay includes the western portions of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, including the cities of Oakland, Hayward, Fremont, Berkeley, and Richmond, as well as many smaller suburbs such as Alameda, Castro Valley, Newark, Union City, Emeryville, Albany, San Leandro, San Pablo, El Sobrante,Pinole, Piedmont, and El Cerrito. The inner East Bay is more urban, more densely populated, has a much older building stock (built before World War II) and a more ethnically diverse population. Oakland hosts the region’s largest seaport and professional sports franchises in basketball, football, and baseball. As with many inner urban areas, the Inner East Bay also features a high incidence of crime as well as other socio-economic problems. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, more than 50% of all homicides in the Bay Area in 2002 occurred within the city limits of Oakland and Richmond. The homicide rates have steadily increased, as 2005 had the highest homicide rates for both Richmond and Oakland in many years.
The outer East Bay consists of the eastern portions of Alameda and Contra Costa counties and is divided into 5 distinct areas: Lamorinda, Central Contra Costa County, East Contra Costa County, the San Ramon Valley, and the Livermore-Amador Valley. The word Lamorinda was coined by combining the names of the cities it includes: Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda. Walnut Creek is situated east of Lamorinda and north of the San Ramon Valley and, together with Concord, Martinez, and Pleasant Hill comprises Central Contra Costa County. The cities of Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley and the unincorporated areas surrounding them comprise East Contra Costa County. The cities of Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore, comprise the Livermore-Amador Valley (sometimes joined with the San Ramon Valley and called the Tri-Valley), or more popularly referred to as the Livermore Valley because Livermore is the largest city in the valley. The San Ramon Valley consists of Alamo, Danville, Diablo and its namesake, San Ramon to the south. The outer East Bay is connected to the inner East Bay by BART, Interstates 80, 580, and 680, and State Route 24 via the Caldecott Tunnel. The outer East Bay is particularly urban in Livermore, while being part suburban in Pleasanton-Dublin, and its infrastructure was mostly built up after World War II. This area remains largely white demographically, although the Hispanic and Filipino populations have grown significantly over the past 2-3 decades, particularly in the Concord area.