The city lies in the northwestern corner of Alameda County, bordered by the cities of El Cerrito and Richmond on the north and the city of Berkeley on the east and south sides. The terrain is mostly flat, except for Albany Hill, which rises to 338 feet above sea level. The Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge is just a few miles south of Albany, off Interstate 80, which runs along the western edge of the city. AC Transit bus lines and a BART station in neighboring El Cerrito provide easy accessible transportation service to San Francisco, Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland and beyond.
With a population of 16,444 (according to the 2000 US Census) and more than 350,000 living within a 15-mile radius, Albany today combines a small-town ambience with its central location in a major metropolitan area. Albany prides itself on being a safe, community-oriented city, with strong services and programs for youth, families and the elderly. It is a city made up primarily of single-family homes and small businesses, its small town character exemplified by its “Main Street,” Solano Avenue. Albany’s public schools have an outstanding reputation with student test scores at the elementary, middle and high school levels among the highest in the state.