Safest Cities California - header

California – this is probably the best-known US state in terms of overseas perceptions. It has become legendary for its weather, lifestyle, politics and entertainment industries. The population is approaching 40 million, meaning that California is the most populous state and the third largest in area terms. Culturally, politically and demographically, there are historic divisions between Northern and Southern California plus to some extent, eastern parts of the state.

Traditionally regarded as a wealthy state, the economy would be the world’s fifth largest if California were independent. The economy is considered to be highly diverse and includes technology, manufacturing, financial services, real estate and tourism. Income and wealth distribution is highly skewed. The San Francisco Bay area has some of the highest per capita personal incomes in the USA at around $100,000 but overall 2007 figures showed an average per capita GDP of $38,900 – approximately 11th in national ranking terms. California also has the highest poverty levels in the US, stated to be 23.5%.

3.77 Average violent crime per 1,000
26.14 Average property crime per 1,000

Crime statistics vary significantly by area with some urban and suburban areas suffering from very high levels of crime. Overall:

  • It’s the 21st safest state for property crime (where 1st = lowest crime)
  • California has slightly above the national average violent crime levels with 3.77 crimes per 1,000 against a national average of 3.47.
  • It has relatively low, compared to national averages, property crime levels of 26.14 per 1,000 with the national average being 40.43 – giving a ratio of 0.65.

While some areas of major city conurbations have high crime levels, other parts of the state offer very favorable statistics. The top safest areas are:

  1. Hillsborough
  2. Palos Verdes Estates
  3. Imperial
  4. Truckee
  5. Sierra Madre

SafestCityCharts-California_Hillsborough
SafestCityCharts-California_Imperial
SafestCityCharts-California_Truckee
SafestCityCharts-California_SierraMadre

Safest Cities in California, 2019

RankCityViolent CrimesProperty CrimesViolent Crime RateProperty Crime Rate
1Hillsborough8700.6946.071
2Palos Verdes Estates31250.2209.184
3Imperial11610.6243.460
4Truckee191651.15610.043
5Sierra Madre81080.7229.747
6Coronado293661.10313.920
7Los Altos103210.32510.417
8Piedmont141741.22115.178
9Foster City433491.23510.026
10Laguna Beach1005594.29924.032
11Mill Valley92110.62414.629
12Los Gatos144310.45614.030
13Los Alamitos162021.37117.308
14San Marino142551.04519.027
15Healdsburg192211.59518.548
16Scotts Valley142271.16818.940
17Clayton81130.6579.283
18Moraga61280.3407.251
19Ukiah1213357.63021.124
20Belmont393771.42913.817
21Ripon132860.83018.264
22South Lake Tahoe584822.66422.143
23Manhattan Beach718751.98124.412
24Hermosa Beach285901.41229.744
25Beverly Hills1181,8193.39352.299
26Glendale2743,1181.35415.407
27Sunnyvale1822,6821.17517.312
28Morro Bay221972.05318.384
29El Segundo406872.36240.574
30Newport Beach1242,1231.42724.428
31Torrance2673,2061.81021.738
32Pasadena5742,9464.01720.617
33Los Angeles30,507101,6187.61325.359
34Benicia284720.98716.637
35Newman131421.15312.599
36Simi Valley1841,8241.45314.404
37Grover Beach392462.84317.930
38Reedley1003693.87714.306
39Soledad501701.9566.651
40Avenal661495.47512.361
41Redondo Beach1761,5702.58623.071
42San Gabriel1146662.81316.432
43Pacific Grove163241.01820.616
44Tehachapi492234.01318.264
45Menlo Park536561.55019.184
46Paradise882953.30711.086
47Monrovia668481.77422.787
48Arroyo Grande323111.75417.051
49Bell Gardens1007492.32917.447
50Livingston542853.82520.188
51San Fernando1203604.81914.458
52Cypress697261.40614.797
53Cathedral City1377692.51314.109
54San Ramon569740.73412.761
55South Pasadena185040.69319.414
56McFarland671794.50212.028
57Placerville292792.70225.997
58Folsom641,2290.81915.725
59Irvine1693,6350.61213.165
60National City2961,1574.80718.790
61Elk Grove5602,2453.24413.005
62King City571964.06113.963
63Novato929271.62316.350
64Orange2182,5841.54518.309
65East Palo Alto1254664.17615.568
66Murrieta801,5820.70813.998
67Rohnert Park2188325.07919.384
68Morgan Hill727221.59015.946
69Auburn542713.83819.262
70Coalinga1242107.57412.828
71Napa2721,3533.36016.712
72Palo Alto901,7831.33426.438
73Ridgecrest1555185.36817.941
74Greenfield1022145.79412.157
75Farmersville341723.16015.985
76Placentia898641.69716.477
77Galt915953.50422.910
78Burbank2532,9442.41828.139
79San Diego5,22126,2463.66618.430
80Long Beach3,10112,5986.57826.725
81Marina544052.45118.384
82Seaside925132.66514.861
83Hollister1323963.44610.337
84Redwood City2091,3902.42016.097
85Petaluma2339463.82215.519
86La Mesa1601,1932.64819.743
87La Habra1371,2512.21420.217
88Daly City2651,5612.46814.541
89Lemoore1414345.42316.693
90La Verne927662.82123.488
91Santa Barbara3772,4994.07527.014
92Huntington Beach4614,2852.27921.187
93West Sacramento1991,1383.70621.191
94Sanger1104894.37819.462
95Exeter242392.27922.691
96Escondido5762,6053.76917.043
97Port Hueneme393961.74317.699
98Chula Vista8083,8832.98014.323
99Vacaville1982,1081.99421.230
100Seal Beach456431.83726.250
101Mendota741246.45810.821
102Shafter434732.23024.528
103Rialto3991,6843.83716.195
104Santa Monica7054,3747.58647.065
105Chino2272,1422.53923.954
106Rocklin661,1351.03617.808
107Tustin1321,9491.62523.989
108Carlsbad2472,2092.14119.151
109Santa Paula1034343.37714.231
110Livermore1661,9771.83521.849
111Dixon393731.94518.604
112Martinez546191.39816.028
113Azusa1471,2032.92823.963
114Fontana7143,7363.37117.641
115Gardena3931,3936.52323.121
116Corcoran783833.49117.140
117Culver City1831,8864.64047.819
118Santa Rosa7223,2454.09418.400
119Covina1721,1803.53424.243
120La Palma193631.20222.959
121Pleasanton991,6611.17219.671
122Mountain View1501,9821.84024.312
123Corona2233,2971.31819.490
124Kingsburg352542.94821.391
125El Cajon4292,3304.10722.308
126Santa Ana1,6407,0174.88520.903
127South San Francisco2341,6053.46523.766
128San Mateo2682,1252.55020.221
129Kerman493433.32023.238
130Pacifica865282.18513.417
131Inglewood7852,7607.08424.907
132Santa Maria4762,3544.43121.913
133Atascadero1075183.49016.894
134Lindsay452733.33020.203
135Dinuba1945637.95523.086
136Burlingame748952.42229.295
137California City883416.39924.795
138Claremont749402.04225.934
139Oceanside6944,0883.92523.120
140Monterey Park1121,6131.83026.352
141Santa Clara2143,6181.67828.368
142Whittier3002,5073.44328.769
143Brea1141,4402.65133.488
144Alhambra1721,8772.00321.860
145Brentwood1571,4892.52723.970
146Albany365231.81126.308
147Anaheim1,2539,2963.54626.304
148Arcadia1101,5341.86826.052
149Hercules303781.17314.783
150Oxnard9085,3284.33425.430
151Palm Springs2901,9636.01740.732
152Tulare2541,7034.01026.883
153Baldwin Park3481,4054.54118.333
154Beaumont1828723.88418.610
155Roseville2373,3221.75524.602
156Tracy1932,1792.13824.141
157Oakdale315861.35525.605
158Davis941,6191.37123.621
159Lompoc2439745.52922.163
160Clovis2432,8952.24126.702
161Hayward5635,0233.48831.118
162Gilroy2081,6483.70429.343
163Chowchilla624533.41124.926
164Los Banos1381,0733.64028.304
165San Pablo1781,0405.78333.787
166Union City2551,6863.34222.094
167San Bruno1211,1172.79625.812
168Fremont4315,0831.82321.505
169Montebello2031,6443.19825.901
170West Covina2752,7332.54325.276
171Signal Hill637495.35963.707
172El Monte4512,8163.88224.241
173Fullerton2933,9522.06927.902
174Sacramento3,37814,6836.75629.366
175Hanford2841,3595.09124.360
176Walnut Creek1052,3041.50132.936
177Colton2451,4394.44426.103
178Bell2286526.34718.149
179Glendora1291,5332.47429.406
180Monterey1251,2064.37342.191
181Central Marin468921.31225.442
182Newark881,4981.89832.312
183Hawthorne5872,2736.62025.636
184San Rafael1941,6273.28027.509
185Milpitas1141,9781.43424.880
186Porterville2471,5354.16925.909
187Suisun City1016893.39623.169
188Lodi3231,6814.96625.845
189Paso Robles359201.08528.513
190Banning1516674.83221.346
191Pomona8534,4845.57329.295
192Pittsburg3411,7664.74024.547
193Campbell1021,3402.47632.531
194San Jose4,18825,3234.03724.407
195Lincoln446050.92212.673
196Anderson434924.18247.855
197Garden Grove6024,3483.43124.780
198Fortuna495194.03242.702
199Richmond1,0144,1289.15137.255
200Arcata647053.54539.050
201Parlier1062586.93316.875
202Watsonville2981,7115.49631.553
203Brawley1768926.68133.862
204Delano2481,3144.71124.962
205Fairfield5463,2524.69227.945
206Fresno2,97420,2205.65038.414
207Fountain Valley681,5811.19927.882
208San Francisco6,30154,3567.15061.680
209Downey3823,2223.36528.385
210Alameda2532,3473.17229.425
211Ventura4603,6384.18233.071
212Visalia4574,3963.45833.267
213Turlock4472,2966.08331.243
214Riverside1,66910,0325.08830.583
215Citrus Heights3492,7823.96031.568
216Concord4624,4193.56034.048
217Buena Park2922,8143.49533.680
218Redlands2162,6293.01236.663
219San Luis Obispo1781,7823.71337.176
220Marysville955087.73941.385
221Barstow30298812.56941.119
222Upland2322,0713.00726.842
223Capitola346223.32660.849
224Woodland1871,8613.13431.185
225Arvin22945310.70621.178
226Costa Mesa3614,2983.18737.946
227Eureka2441,4008.96151.414
228Merced5632,6686.76832.075
229Westminster2812,8253.05930.752
230Manteca2562,2403.25828.512
231Madera3781,7025.82126.209
232Salinas1,0214,7956.44930.288
233Huntington Park4271,8177.23730.795
234Montclair2301,5345.85039.015
235Blythe628053.16841.130
236Berkeley6666,0205.42849.068
237Yuba City2552,2073.80432.920
238Indio6392,2877.09625.396
239Selma29287311.76635.177
240Chico4133,5934.46738.860
241Ceres2271,6014.66432.893
242Susanville20931414.50021.784
243San Bernardino2,8058,40312.91138.677
244Pinole669683.39349.771
245El Centro1851,8204.16140.938
246Red Bluff16096011.29267.754
247San Leandro5243,7155.73440.652
248Pleasant Hill831,7392.36249.493
249Atwater1889516.38532.301
250South Gate6743,1317.04232.711
251Grass Valley767505.87057.928
252Hemet4573,1035.36636.435
253Oakland5,52125,42212.99359.828
254Desert Hot Springs29278410.16827.301
255Antioch6073,8385.40734.191
256El Cerrito1681,3416.53652.171
257Bakersfield1,82715,5074.79340.684
258Clearlake1446219.58841.350
259Redding6543,8417.09941.692
260Modesto2,0748,4659.70639.616
261Santa Cruz4093,6846.28056.562
262Vallejo1,0484,5978.57837.627
263Calexico891,2802.19831.606
264Oroville1241,4276.49574.747
265Emeryville1512,08412.614174.087

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in California, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. A total of 7,639 cities were factored into this ranking with populations ranging from 7,639 to 4,007,147. However, we eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 10,000.

Overall, data from 8,793 law enforcement agencies that represented more 193 million of the US population helped us draw interesting insights between the size of the police force and incidence of crime.

There are two broad classifications of crimes: violent crimes and non-violent crimes. According to the FBI, “Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. ”

We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then rated them using the population of the city and created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and we normalized it so the final number became a score between 0 and 1.

Next, we computed a new variable called Police Adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees). We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. We transformed and normalized this police adequacy variable also, resulting in a score between 0 and 1. Finally, we combined the two scores to create a safety score for each city.

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