These Are The 10 Safest Cities In California For 2018

We used data and science to determine the places in California where everyone sleeps safe and sound.

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We all want the finer things in life. Love, comfort and safety are at the top of everyone's list. For a lot of people who live in the fine state of California, safety isn't a problem, but we don't live in the safest state, either. California is somewhere in the middle.

The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest places to live are in the Golden State. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not in your local paper.

After analyzing 418 places in California with a population of more than 5,000, we came up with this list as the safest places here:

  1. Imperial
  2. Palos Verdes Estates (Photos)
  3. Danville (Photos)
  4. Orinda (Photos)
  5. Tiburon (Photos)
  6. Ione (Photos)
  7. Aliso Viejo (Photos)
  8. Moraga (Photos)
  9. Los Altos Hills (Photos)
  10. Los Altos (Photos)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. Or for more reading on safe places to read, check out:

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How we calculated the safest cities in California

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn't want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent report of crime (Sept 2017). Specifically, we analyzed the FBI's Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year. We used two criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
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For example, there were a total of 80 crimes committed in Imperial which had a reported population of 17,582. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.00455 which translates into a 1 in 220 chance of being the victim of a crime.

We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 5,000 people reported to the FBI in 2016. This left us with a total of 418 places in California to rank.

We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 418 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each places two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score "The Safest Place In California".

The safest city, based on population, is Imperial. The most dangerous? Emeryville, where residents had a 1 in 7 chance of being the victim of a crime.

Note: This report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments, nor does it reflect the fact that people from out of town may come into a community and cause a crime. It simply looks at where crimes occurred most frequently, based on a city's population.

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1. Imperial

Population: 17,582
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 39 (4th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 415 (1st safest)

Taking the crown as the safest city in California for 2018 is Imperial -- a classic example of everything that makes California great.

We are talking about only having a 1 in 240.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 2,511 chance of being the victim of violent crime.

That's crazy safe. Compare it to Little Rock, AR -- the most dangerous city in the country -- with roughly a 1 in 30 chance of beign the victim of a property crime.

These Are The 10 Snobbiest Cities In California

2. Palos Verdes Estates

Palos Verdes Estates, California
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,730
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 21)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 29 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 808 (7th safest)

If you're thinking of moving to California and safety is a top priority, then you can't do much better than Palos Verdes Estates -- the 2nd safest in the Golden State.

Palos Verdes Estates is the kind of place that old timers talk about longingly -- where kids can run around during the day without adult supervision and you can leave your front door unlocked.

You only had a 1 in 123.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime in Palos Verdes Estates.

3. Danville

Danville, California
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 44,897
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 8)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 20 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 812 (10th safest)

You might not post on Facebook that much, but now's a time to change that. Be proud that Danville ranks as the 3rd safest city in California.

Go on. With all the negativity on Facebook all the time now, this is great news for Danville.

We'll wait here safe and sound.

4. Orinda

Orinda, California
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,585
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 10)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 51 (11th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 796 (6th safest)

You might be surprised to find Orinda this high on the list, but, trust us, no one in Orinda is surpised.

This gem of a place in the Golden State boasts the 6th best property crime rate and 11th best violent crime rate for 2018.

5. Tiburon

Tiburon, California
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,263
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 19)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 43 (7th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 896 (15th safest)

Finishing just inside the top five is Tiburon, CA.

You get what you pay for in Tiburon -- super low crime rates. A 1 in 2,315 chance of being the victim of violent crime gives Tiburon residents a well earned feeling of safety.

We'd move to Tiburon in heartbeat.

6. Ione

Ione, California
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,860
Rank Last Year: 28 (Up 22)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 58 (18th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 714 (4th safest)

Everyone is trying to get in on the quality of life in Ione, the 6th safest city in California.

The town of some 6,860 people will have to try and continue to try and keep Ione a secret, lest crime starts going up simply because of people breaking down the doors to get into town.

See what we did there Ione?

7. Aliso Viejo

Aliso Viejo, California
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 50,604
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 57 (17th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 812 (8th safest)

Aliso Viejo is a feel good story of safety and comfort in California.

It has 1 in 123.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 1,744 chance of being the victim of violent crime.

That's some of the tops you'll find across the country -- nevermind just in California.

8. Moraga

Moraga, California
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,505
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 8)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 57 (16th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 816 (11th safest)

The eighth safest city in California for 2018 goes to Moraga. Let's see why.

There were only 10 violent crimes here last year -- which is basically 0 for the average citizen. And there were only 143 property crimes to boot.

9. Los Altos Hills

Los Altos Hills, California
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,495
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 8)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 70 (28th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 741 (5th safest)

If you're looking for a safe place to live in California, may we present Los Altos Hills as an option.

While it doesn't sit at the very top of the chart for California, it still has an impressively low crime rate.

63 property crimes occurred here, which nets out to being the 5th best in California on a rate basis.

10. Los Altos

Los Altos, California
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 31,000
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 41 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,106 (32nd safest)

And just making it into the top ten for 2018 is Los Altos.

But we know they don't take this spot for granted -- Los Altos residents can attest that their home town deserves to be the on list.

In total, there were 13 violent crimes and 343 property crimes in Los Altos; that's really good for a place of 31,000 people and definitely something to be happy about looking forward into 2018.

There You Have It - The Safest In California

Looking at the data, you can tell that Imperial is as safe as they come, according to science and data.

But as most California residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.

Most dangerous cities in California:
3rd Most Dangerous: Red Bluff
2nd Most Dangerous: Commerce
Most Dangerous: Emeryville

Detailed List Of The Safest Cities To Live In California For 2018

City Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
Palos Verdes Estates22313,73029808
Aliso Viejo7750,60457812
Los Altos Hills918,49570741
Los Altos10531,000411,106
San Ramon111576,901501,070
Rancho Palos Verdes133542,94762970
Rancho Santa Margarita141249,60696538
Yorba Linda15968,702591,055
Mission Viejo172597,950761,003
Laguna Woods19316,473721,025
Foster City221034,081931,006
Agoura Hills263921,032711,202
Bear Valley27315,464911,116
Laguna Niguel281866,352971,131
Chino Hills313778,990741,282
Lake Forest334883,511125893
Villa Park34265,991661,368
La Canada Flintridge384020,659621,466
Mill Valley403414,491621,538
San Clemente414565,9151131,212
Thousand Oaks4541129,8531261,298
Simi Valley4851127,2521361,230
Canyon Lake49811,1761431,216
Laguna Hills538532,0451061,672
Rolling Hills Estates56498,2971321,518
Diamond Bar574757,1621151,628
Santa Clarita6371219,6111501,368
Solana Beach6410813,5611171,651
Menlo Park696533,726881,847
Sierra Madre702911,2122221,016
Temple City727336,5271341,587
Pacific Grove745415,795562,013
San Marcos759794,8402071,207
Central Marin7711035,2651071,860
Los Gatos7810730,947671,990
Los Alamitos7911311,7741101,860
La Habra Heights8065,480721,989
Morgan Hill829144,0151861,458
San Juan Capistrano856136,7982361,184
San Marino877913,5281101,929
Santa Paula8912430,7842591,114
Dana Point979234,3491861,627

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