These Are The 10 Safest Cities In California For 2019

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 all get to live in the safest cities -- unless of course you live in Los Altos Hills.

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

In all, we analyzed 417 cities in California with a population of more than 5,000 using the latest FBI crime data.

Here's the list of the safest cities in California for 2019:

  1. Los Altos Hills (Photos | Homes)
  2. Ojai (Photos | Homes)
  3. Moraga (Photos | Homes)
  4. Laguna Woods (Homes)
  5. Imperial (Photos | Homes)
  6. Palos Verdes Estates (Photos | Homes)
  7. Guadalupe (Photos | Homes)
  8. Orinda (Photos | Homes)
  9. Danville (Photos | Homes)
  10. Rancho Santa Margarita (Photos | Homes)

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

How we calculated the safest cities in California

Safest Cities in California Graph

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 2018) in California.

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)
10 Cheapest Places To Live In California

For example, there were a total of 61 crimes committed in Los Altos Hills which had a reported population of 8,579. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0071 which translates into a 1 in 140 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 2017. This left us with a total of 417 of the biggest cities in California to rank.

We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 417 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 our criteria, is Los Altos Hills. The most dangerous city in California? Emeryville, where residents had a 1 in 5 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.

Los Altos Hills, CA
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
10
/10

Population: 8,579
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 8)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 23 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 687 (7th safest)
More on Los Altos Hills: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Los Altos Hills is an incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The Los Altos Hills ZIP code 94022 appeared on the 2017 Forbes list of America's most expensive ZIP codes; 94022 was ranked the 3rd most expensive in the United States, with a median home price of $7,755,000.

And now it can add its most prestigious award yet -- HomeSnacks's Safest City In California for 2019.

Can't beat that.

It ranks 3rd safest in the state for violent crime and 7th safest for property crime.

Ojai, CA
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 7,603
Rank Last Year: 36 (Up 34)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 52 (15th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 591 (2nd safest)
More on Ojai: PhotosReal Estate | Data

The 2nd safest city in California is Ojai -- located in the Ojai Valley, it is northwest of Los Angeles and east of Santa Barbara.

The town is surrounded by hills and mountains, which probably protect it from property crime as they know they'd never be able to escape in time.

Moraga, CA
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
10
/10

Population: 17,653
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 33 (9th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 725 (8th safest)
More on Moraga: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Moraga is the 3rd safest place in the Golden State and second city so far to hit a 10 on our SnackAbility Score -- an honor only 5% of over 6,000 cities in America achieve.

Moraga is a suburban incorporated town located in Contra Costa County, California. It's about as safe for property and violent crime.

Laguna Woods, CA
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 16,305
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 15)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 24 (4th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 778 (15th safest)
More on Laguna Woods: Real Estate | Data

Well, based on that picture, I want to live here.

I guess it's hard to commit violent crimes when you hang out on the beach and stare into the general beauty around you.

But I have to wonder if it feels inferior to Laguna Beach seeing as it never had its own TV show.

Imperial, CA
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 17,629
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 62 (20th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 346 (1st safest)
More on Imperial: PhotosReal Estate | Data

The single best place when it comes to property crime in California goes to Imperial.

Last year, Imperial was able to ride that to an overall #1 ranking, but not this year.

Instead, it's been vanquished to a 5th place finish.

Imperial is a city in Imperial County, California. Imperial is located 4 miles north of El Centro. This region is well known for its abundance of bird species such as dove, quail, ducks, pheasant and geese.

Palos Verdes Estates, CA
Overall SnackAbility
10
/10

Population: 13,611
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 22 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 918 (23rd safest)
More on Palos Verdes Estates: PhotosReal Estate | Data

It seems like all these super safe places in California are on the beach and totally lack violent crime.

Palos Verdes Estates is a city in Los Angeles County, CA situated on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and ranks as the 6th safest this year.

The city was master-planned by the noted American landscape architect and planner Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. The city is located along the Southern California coastline of the Pacific Ocean.

Guadalupe, CA
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 7,360
Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 19)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 54 (16th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 747 (9th safest)
More on Guadalupe: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Guadalupe is a small city located in Santa Barbara County, California -- the smallest on our list in fact.

It might be small, but it packs a safe punch. It has the 9th fewest property crimes and the 16th fewest violent crimes per capita of any city in California.

Guadalupe is economically and socially tied to the city of Santa Maria, which is about ten miles to the east. It is located on Highway 1 immediately south of the Santa Maria River, and five miles east of the Pacific Ocean.

Orinda, CA
Overall SnackAbility
10
/10

Population: 19,760
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 50 (13th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 774 (13th safest)
More on Orinda: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Our next stop on the safe freeway around California is Orinda.

But don't just take our expert word on it -- Orinda was ranked the second most friendly town in America by Forbes.

The city is located just east of the city of Berkeley and is home to many affluent suburban professionals who commute to downtown Oakland, San Francisco, and Walnut Creek.

Its location provides for a more rustic landscape, and Orinda's many parks and trails make it a destination for many Bay Area hikers and naturalists.

Danville, CA
Overall SnackAbility
10
/10

Population: 45,088
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 35 (10th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 782 (16th safest)
More on Danville: PhotosReal Estate | Data

The Town of Danville is located in the San Ramon Valley in Contra Costa County and ranks as the ninth safest city for 2019 in CA.

A top ten ranking for violent crime per capita helped it earn this distinction.

And look at the mall in that picture -- doesn't it just ooze safety-

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Overall SnackAbility
10
/10

Population: 49,144
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 65 (22nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 667 (6th safest)
More on Rancho Santa Margarita: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Grab the tequila as we take our final stop in Rancho Santa Margarita -- the tenth safest city in California this year.

Besides being the city with the most letters in it, Rancho Santa Margarita has very few property crimes for a city of its size.

And in case you actually thought it was named for the drink, it is named for Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores.

There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Golden State

Looking at the data, you can tell that Los Altos Hills 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.

Here's a look at the most dangerous cities in California according to the data:

  1. Emeryville
  2. Oakland
  3. Red Bluff
For more reading, check out:

List Of Safest Cities In California For 2019

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1 Los Altos Hills, CA 8,579 23 687
2 Ojai, CA 7,603 52 591
3 Moraga, CA 17,653 33 725
4 Laguna Woods, CA 16,305 24 778
5 Imperial, CA 17,629 62 346
6 Palos Verdes Estates, CA 13,611 22 918
7 Guadalupe, CA 7,360 54 747
8 Orinda, CA 19,760 50 774
9 Danville, CA 45,088 35 782
10 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 49,144 65 667
11 Ione, CA 6,915 43 882
12 Hillsborough, CA 11,531 69 607
13 Tiburon, CA 9,210 32 933
14 Kensington, CA 5,397 55 907
15 Los Altos, CA 30,816 32 1,041
16 Clayton, CA 12,173 65 928
17 Aliso Viejo, CA 51,984 84 757
18 Atherton, CA 7,256 55 1,033
19 Laguna Niguel, CA 65,700 82 872
20 Sierra Madre, CA 11,080 72 974
21 Saratoga, CA 30,886 106 621
22 Yorba Linda, CA 68,889 65 1,036
23 Villa Park, CA 5,933 33 1,247
24 Fairfax, CA 7,623 52 1,233
25 Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 42,563 77 1,047
26 Gonzales, CA 8,508 117 752
27 Hughson, CA 7,552 26 1,337
28 Mission Viejo, CA 96,928 104 999
29 Bear Valley, CA 5,497 90 1,073
30 Irvine, CA 276,115 61 1,316
31 Truckee, CA 16,429 115 1,004
32 San Ramon, CA 76,325 73 1,276
33 Los Gatos, CA 30,720 45 1,402
34 Moorpark, CA 36,813 130 901
35 Agoura Hills, CA 20,814 76 1,335
36 Foster City, CA 34,808 123 1,002
37 Poway, CA 50,438 114 1,141
38 Lincoln, CA 47,741 92 1,267
39 Murrieta, CA 113,016 70 1,399
40 La Canada Flintridge, CA 20,480 78 1,401
41 Newman, CA 11,271 115 1,259
42 Mill Valley, CA 14,423 62 1,462
43 Oakley, CA 41,509 125 1,178
44 Canyon Lake, CA 11,227 142 1,024
45 Lake Forest, CA 84,224 157 898
46 Coronado, CA 26,294 110 1,391
47 San Clemente, CA 65,596 138 1,237
48 Thousand Oaks, CA 129,240 133 1,305
49 Calabasas, CA 24,295 123 1,358
50 Colusa, CA 5,930 84 1,534
51 Folsom, CA 78,155 81 1,572
52 Soledad, CA 25,560 195 665
53 Solvang, CA 5,899 118 1,440
54 Fillmore, CA 15,708 190 757
55 Twentynine Palms, CA 26,210 152 1,243
56 Buellton, CA 5,139 116 1,478
57 Hercules, CA 25,570 117 1,478
58 Belmont, CA 27,285 142 1,381
59 Benicia, CA 28,370 98 1,663
60 Piedmont, CA 11,464 122 1,517
61 La Habra Heights, CA 5,426 73 1,750
62 Chino Hills, CA 79,480 88 1,713
63 Solana Beach, CA 13,542 95 1,691
64 Simi Valley, CA 126,635 145 1,440
65 Laguna Hills, CA 31,715 138 1,472
66 Glendale, CA 202,381 135 1,540
67 Cupertino, CA 60,970 126 1,590
68 Cypress, CA 49,064 140 1,479
69 Windsor, CA 27,679 220 1,007
70 Ripon, CA 15,659 83 1,826
71 Santa Clarita, CA 216,350 162 1,424
72 San Marcos, CA 97,290 200 1,167
73 Waterford, CA 8,928 179 1,344
74 Rocklin, CA 63,735 103 1,780
75 Temple City, CA 36,500 147 1,512
76 Diamond Bar, CA 56,996 100 1,829
77 Martinez, CA 38,619 139 1,602
78 Sunnyvale, CA 154,919 117 1,731
79 Goleta, CA 31,000 164 1,454
80 South Pasadena, CA 25,961 69 1,941
81 Encinitas, CA 63,722 166 1,451
82 Walnut, CA 30,189 142 1,606
83 San Juan Capistrano, CA 36,532 224 1,226
84 Calistoga, CA 5,336 168 1,480
85 Morgan Hill, CA 45,277 159 1,594
86 Camarillo, CA 67,714 158 1,603
87 Los Alamitos, CA 11,671 137 1,730
88 San Marino, CA 13,402 104 1,902
89 Yucaipa, CA 53,614 138 1,729
90 St. Helena, CA 6,210 177 1,497
91 Pacifica, CA 39,353 218 1,341
92 Scotts Valley, CA 11,985 116 1,894
93 Novato, CA 56,698 162 1,634
94 Cudahy, CA 24,146 306 886
95 Dana Point, CA 34,123 187 1,509
96 Eastvale, CA 62,422 88 2,113
97 Williams, CA 5,201 211 1,442
98 Pacific Grove, CA 15,716 101 2,061
99 Placentia, CA 52,437 169 1,647
100 Pleasanton, CA 84,440 117 1,967

Breaking Down Crime In The Safest And Most Dangerous Cities In California

Safest Cities in California Breakdown

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HomeSnacks is based in Durham, NC.

We aim to deliver bite-sized pieces of infotainment about where you live.

We use data, analytics, and a sense of humor to determine quality of life for places across the nation.

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