These Are The 10 Safest Cities In California
We used data and science to determine the places in California where everyone sleeps safe and sound.
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 417 places in California with a population of more than 5,000, we came up with this list as the safest places here:
- Laguna Woods
- Rancho Santa Margarita
- Los Altos Hills
- Aliso Viejo
- Palos Verdes Estates
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked.
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 (2014). 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 three criteria:
- Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
- Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
- Total crimes per capita
For example, there were a total of 13 crimes committed in Imperial which had a reported population of 16,535. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.000786 which translates into a 1 in 1272 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 2014. This left us with a total of 417 places in California to rank.
We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 417 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.
Next, we averaged each places three 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 12 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.
Population: 16,535Property Crime Rank: 3Violent Crime Rank: 10
2. Laguna Woods
Population: 16,480Property Crime Rank: 9Violent Crime Rank: 13
3. Rancho Santa Margarita
Population: 49,558Property Crime Rank: 5Violent Crime Rank: 26
4. Los Altos Hills
Population: 8,408Property Crime Rank: 19Violent Crime Rank: 9
Population: 11,382Property Crime Rank: 29Violent Crime Rank: 5
6. Aliso Viejo
Population: 50,671Property Crime Rank: 7Violent Crime Rank: 35
Population: 5,281Property Crime Rank: 20Violent Crime Rank: 18
8. Palos Verdes Estates
Population: 13,668Property Crime Rank: 23Violent Crime Rank: 14
Population: 16,953Property Crime Rank: 22Violent Crime Rank: 23
Population: 11,646Property Crime Rank: 37Violent Crime Rank: 12
There You Have It
Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 15-minute drive of Imperial is the most desirable, according to science and data. But as most California residents would agree, almost every place here is awesome.Most dangerous cities in California:3rd Most Dangerous: Red Bluff 2nd Most Dangerous: Oakland Most Dangerous: Emeryville