20 Safest Cities in California State (2024 Updated)

Are you eyeing a move to the Golden State but fretting over the headlines about crime rates?

Cut through the noise and dive into the real deal about the safest cities in California. This article delivers hard facts and shines a spotlight on where safety is a reality.

Top 20 Safest Cities in the State of California

1. Rancho Santa Margarita

Rancho Santa Margarita
  • Population: 46,722
  • Crime Rate: 5.18 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, albeit very low

Rancho Santa Margarita, a gem in Orange County, is a safe haven for its residents. This city stands out for its incredibly low crime rates, particularly in violent crimes, which is 0.39 per 1,000 people. The community takes pride in its safety, strengthened by active local law enforcement and engaged community members.

With its serene atmosphere, Rancho Santa Margarita offers a peaceful living environment. It is surrounded by the stunning Santa Ana Mountains and boasts community parks that are perfect for family outings. It’s no wonder it’s considered one of the safest cities in California.

2. Imperial

  • Population: 21,233
  • Crime Rate: 5.37 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, but with a very low incidence

Imperial, a small city in Imperial County, offers its residents a peaceful and secure environment. Despite its modest size, Imperial boasts an enviably low crime rate, making it one of the safest places to live in California. The city’s commitment to maintaining a safe community is evident in its low reported crimes.

Residents enjoy the quiet, family-friendly atmosphere, complemented by the convenience of being near larger cities without the hustle and higher crime rates. Imperial is a testament to the fact that safety and community well-being are top priorities, even in the smaller cities of California.

3. Moorpark

  • Population: 35,514
  • Crime Rate: 6.84 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crime, significantly below state and national levels

Located in Ventura County, Moorpark is a testament to the effectiveness of community engagement and proactive policing in maintaining safety. The city’s crime statistics are enviable, showcasing a violent crime rate of 0.51 per 1,000 people, a fraction of the national average.

Moorpark is a haven for families and individuals seeking a secure environment, highlighted by its low property crime rates. Its residents enjoy a high quality of life with access to excellent schools, community events, and outdoor activities, making Moorpark a safe and desirable place to call home.

4. Aliso Viejo

Aliso Viejo
  • Population: 51,221
  • Crime Rate: 7.81 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, though rare

Aliso Viejo shines as a beacon of safety in Southern California. Its low crime rates, especially in violent crimes (0.88 per 1,000 people), underscore its status as one of the safest cities in the region.

Aliso Viejo boasts a vibrant community life with ample shopping centers, community parks, and recreational facilities, all nestled within the picturesque San Joaquin Hills.

Aliso Viejo’s commitment to maintaining a safe city while offering a high quality of life makes it a prime destination for families and singles seeking tranquility without isolation.

5. Orinda

  • Population: 19,355
  • Crime Rate: 8.27 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, exceedingly rare

Orinda, a charming city in Contra Costa County, is another shining example of safety and community. It is conveniently located near the San Francisco Bay Area and boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the region, particularly for violent crimes (0.62 per 1,000 people), according to recent statistics.

Orinda’s strong community feel, coupled with its scenic beauty and easy access to San Francisco’s urban offerings and the Bay Area’s natural splendor, make it an idyllic spot for families and individuals alike.

Its status as one of the safest cities in California, complete with luxury homes and a robust community life, underscores Orinda’s allure as a place that has safety, beauty, and a high quality of life.

6. Danville

  • Population: 42,732
  • Crime Rate: 8.40 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, much lower than the national and California average

Danville, a picturesque town in the San Ramon Valley, offers access to sprawling hiking trails and a robust sense of community. Widely recognized for its low crime rates, especially violent crimes (0.37 per 1,000 people), Danville offers a secure and tranquil setting for its residents.

Danville is celebrated as one of the safest cities in California and is also known for its strong sense of community, excellent schools, and abundance of luxury homes. These make it a prime choice for families and individuals craving a serene yet engaging place to live.

7. Saratoga

Saratoga
  • Population: 29,903
  • Crime Rate: 8.59 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, but still far below the norm

Saratoga shines as a jewel in Santa Clara County, boasting one of the lowest crime rates in California. This serene city, known for its high-quality lifestyle, luxury homes, and excellent schools, prioritizes the safety and well-being of its residents.

The city’s commitment to maintaining low crime rates, especially in violent crimes (0.43 per 1,000 people), has earned it a spot among California’s safest cities.

Saratoga’s rich cultural scene and its access to the great outdoors and Silicon Valley make it a coveted place for those who value safety without sacrificing vibrancy and convenience.

8. Tiburon

  • Population: 8,938
  • Crime Rate: 9.17 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes

Tiburon, perched on the Marin County peninsula, offers breathtaking views of San Francisco Bay and an equally impressive safety record. This affluent community is renowned for its very low violent crime rate (0.45 per 1,000 people), making it one of the safest and most desirable places to live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Tiburon’s emphasis on community safety, luxurious lifestyle, scenic beauty, and exclusive amenities ensures its residents experience unparalleled peace of mind.

The city’s commitment to maintaining a safe environment is evident in its low per 1,000 residents crime statistics, reinforcing its status as a haven within California.

9. Simi Valley

  • Population: 124,398
  • Crime Rate: 9.86 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, with rates lower than many other cities

Simi Valley, located in the southeastern corner of Ventura County, stands as a beacon of safety within the Golden State. Known for its low crime rates, especially in terms of reported murders and aggravated assaults (0.99 per 1,000 people), Simi Valley is considered one of the safest cities in California.

The city is great for families and individuals, with its single-family houses, community parks, and natural attractions like the Santa Susana Knolls and Simi Hills. The city’s commitment to maintaining a safe, secure environment is a cornerstone of its appeal, ensuring its residents’ high quality of life.

10. Yorba Linda

Yorba Linda
  • Population: 67,089
  • Crime Rate: 10.69 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, far below both the state and national levels

Yorba Linda, known for its rolling hills and strong sense of community, holds a prestigious spot as one of the safest cities in California. This city is a haven of tranquility with a crime rate that is a fraction of the national average. Violent crime rate is also extremely low at 0.55 per 1,000 people.

Yorba Linda’s residents enjoy a secure environment, complemented by excellent schools, beautiful parks, and a wealth of community activities.

The city’s safety, coupled with its rich history and high standard of living, makes it an attractive place for those prioritizing a serene lifestyle within the vibrancy of California.

11. San Ramon

  • Population: 85,953
  • Crime Rate: 11.32 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, but exceptionally low

San Ramon, located close to the San Francisco Bay Area, is not just another dot on the map; it’s a standout city widely recognized for its safety, making it one of the safest cities in California. The city’s low crime rate, particularly its minimal violent crime rate (0.72 per 1,000 people), sets it apart as a haven for its residents.

With its meticulously planned community, numerous parks, and high-ranking schools, San Ramon offers a secure and affluent environment. The city’s commitment to safety is evident in its crime data, ensuring a peaceful and high-quality lifestyle.

12. Laguna Niguel

  • Population: 63,742
  • Crime Rate: 11.58 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes

Laguna Niguel, in Southern California, boasts a prestigious reputation as one of the safest cities in the state. With crime rates, particularly violent crime rates (0.97 per 1,000 people), significantly lower than the national and state averages, residents enjoy peace of mind alongside the stunning views of the Pacific Coast.

With its lush parks, hiking trails, and community-focused atmosphere, Laguna Niguel City exemplifies California living at its best. It’s a sanctuary for those seeking safety, natural beauty, and a community-oriented lifestyle.

13. Rancho Palos Verdes

  • Population: 40,527
  • Crime Rate: 11.62 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes

Perched atop the bluffs of the Pacific Coast, Rancho Palos Verdes is a picturesque city that offers more than just stunning views. It’s recognized as one of the safest cities in California, with a low violent crime rate of 1.31 per 1,000 people. It is a testament to the community’s commitment to safety and security.

The city’s low reported crime rates, especially for violent crimes like aggravated assault, make it an ideal place for families and individuals seeking a peaceful lifestyle. With its numerous parks, hiking trails, and cultural centers, Rancho Palos Verdes is safe and offers a quality of life that is among the best in the state.

14. Thousand Oaks

Thousand Oaks
  • Population: 124,265
  • Crime Rate: 12.00 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, but still much lower than the norm

Thousand Oaks, situated in Ventura County, is celebrated for its safe, family-friendly atmosphere and high quality of life. Its safety record is exemplary, marked by low crime rates, especially low violent crimes (0.61 per 1,000 residents) that contribute to its status as one of the safest cities in California.

Residents enjoy access to various outdoor activities, community events, and cultural amenities, including the California Lutheran University. The city’s dedication to maintaining a safe and welcoming environment is evident in its proactive approach to crime prevention and community engagement.

15. Mission Viejo

  • Population: 91,776
  • Crime Rate: 12.13 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, but significantly lower than elsewhere

Nestled in Orange County, Mission Viejo stands out as a model of suburban perfection and safety. The city boasts a low violent crime rate of 0.92 per 1,000 people. Its status as one of the safest cities in California is a testament to its effective crime prevention strategies and active community involvement.

With its two community parks, family-friendly atmosphere, and many recreational activities, Mission Viejo is more than just a safe city—it’s a vibrant community that prioritizes the well-being and satisfaction of its residents.

The city’s dedication to maintaining a low crime rate, beautiful landscapes, and comprehensive amenities ensure a quality of life that’s hard to beat.

16. Windsor

  • Population: 25,789
  • Crime Rate: 12.60 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, albeit at a very low rate

Windsor, in Sonoma County, offers a unique blend of small-town charm and safety. This city is widely recognized as one of the safest places in California, where residents enjoy a high sense of security and community. The city boasts a low violent crime rate of 1.71 per 1,000 people.

Windsor’s commitment to safety is reflected in its low crime rates and the community’s active participation in local events and initiatives. With its family-friendly parks, community events, and scenic vineyards, Windsor provides a safe, welcoming environment perfect for those who enjoy the best of California’s lifestyle.

17. San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano
  • Population: 34,548
  • Crime Rate: 14.68 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, but lower than many California cities

San Juan Capistrano, known for its rich history and cultural heritage, is also a modern-day sanctuary of safety.

This city in Orange County boasts crime rates well below the norm, making it a magnet for those seeking a serene living environment. The city’s violent crime statistics at 2.08 per 1,000 people is lower than many cities in California.

The community’s strong emphasis on safety, historic missions, beautiful gardens, and vibrant cultural scene make San Juan Capistrano a truly special place to live. Its status as one of the safest cities enriches its appeal, offering residents a blend of security and rich cultural experiences.

18. Irvine

  • Population: 313,685
  • Crime Rate: 17.21 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes

Irvine, a city in California, is one of the safest cities nationwide. Known for its master-planned communities, top-tier educational institutions, and thriving business environment, Irvine also prides itself on having one of the lowest violent crime rates (0.83) per 1,000 residents among cities of its size.

The city’s proactive approach to community policing and its investment in public safety initiatives have made it a model for urban safety. With its wide array of parks, recreational facilities, and cultural events, Irvine is not just a safe city but a vibrant community where safety and quality of life go hand in hand.

19. Los Gatos

  • Population: 32,402
  • Crime Rate: 19.75 per 1,000 residents
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, but instances are less common

Los Gatos, nestled at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains, offers a blend of small-town charm and upscale living, making it one of the most desirable and safest places to live in California.

The town’s low crime rate is a testament to the effective community policing strategies and the active engagement of residents in maintaining safety and security.

Los Gatos is not just about safety; it’s a community that thrives on its strong sense of belonging, vibrant downtown area, and access to outdoor activities, providing an exceptional quality of life.

With its scenic beauty, historic architecture, and luxurious amenities, Los Gatos represents the quintessential Northern California lifestyle, all while ensuring the safety and well-being of its residents.

20. Rolling Hills

Rolling Hills
  • Population: 1,676
  • Crime Rate: Among the lowest in California
  • Most Common Crime: Property crimes, extremely rare

Rolling Hills, a community on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, is synonymous with exclusivity and safety. This city is one of the safest places in California, with an almost negligible crime rate. The security measures, including restricted access and private roads, contribute to its virtually non-existent crime rates.

Residents of Rolling Hills enjoy not only the privacy and security of their community but also spectacular views and high-quality living conditions. The city embodies the essence of a safe city, offering a secure and serene environment nearly unparalleled in the state.

FAQs

Where is safe to live in Los Angeles?

Areas like Glendale, Santa Clarita, and certain neighborhoods in the San Fernando Valley are known for their lower crime rates compared to other parts of Los Angeles. Always check the latest crime data before making a decision.

Where is the safest place to live in the United States?

Cities like Naperville, Illinois, and Cary, North Carolina, frequently top the lists of the safest places to live in the U.S. due to their low crime rates and strong community safety initiatives.

What city has the most crime in California?

Cities with higher crime rates often fluctuate year by year, but historically, cities like Oakland and Stockton have been noted for their higher crime rates, particularly in terms of violent crimes.

What cities are not the safest in California?

While California boasts many safe cities, areas like San Bernardino, Oakland, and Stockton have faced challenges with higher crime rates. Looking at recent crime data and trends for the most accurate information is important.

Is California safer than other states?

California’s crime rate varies widely by city and region. Some areas in California are among the safest in the country, while others have crime rates above the national average. Overall, California’s diverse cities offer a range of safety levels.

Key Takeaways

Discovering the safest places to call home is more than just numbers; it’s about community, vigilance, and the collective effort to maintain peace. Whether you’re nestled in the serene landscapes of Santa Maria or exploring the vibrant streets of San Diego, safety is a shared responsibility.

Have you experienced life in one of California’s safest cities or felt the impacts of higher crime rates? Share your story.

Your insights not only illuminate the varied tapestry of California’s communities but also help others make informed decisions about where to settle in the Golden State. Remember, together, we can foster environments where safety and well-being flourish.

Reference:

  1. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca

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