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The 20 Most Dangerous Cities in California in 2019


Every year, data and statistics are gathered to find the safest and most dangerous places to live. The most dangerous places are usually decided by comparing the volume of crime with the occurrence of crime in relation to the population. This gives a figure of how often a crime occurs for every 100,00 people. This information is especially useful to know if you are planning to move into an area as most people want to buy property in an area that is considered safe. If you live in California or you are thinking of moving to this state, then having up to date statistics about the crime rates in different cities is important.  Bear in mind this is not us knocking any city you may live in or are considering.  These are what the statistics say. Here are the 20 most dangerous cities in California:

20. Inglewood

Area Vibes says that there are 3,545 incidents reported annually in Inglewood, giving it a crime rate of 3,199 per 100,000 people. By comparison, the crime rate for California is 2,946 per 100,000 and the national average is 2,745 per 100,000. Overall, Inglewood’s rate of crime is nine percent higher than the Californian rate of crime and 17 percent higher than the national average. Therefore, this city makes it onto the bottom of the 20 most dangerous cities in California.

19. Huntington Park

Huntington Park’s overall crime rate has dropped fairly significantly since 2003, according to City-Data statistics. Property crime and most violent crimes have fallen. However, there has been a significant increase in the number of reported rapes and sexual offenses in recent years.

18. Madera

The average number of crimes reported in Madera annually is 2,080, says Area Vibes in the crime rate statistics they provide for this city. When all types of crime are combined, Madera has a nine percent higher crime rate than California and the rate is 17 percent higher than the national average. Violent crime is a bigger issue than property crime in this city, as it is30 percent higher than California’s average rate and 52 percent higher than the national average.

17. Redding

In previous years, Redding has ranked higher on the list. However, thanks to a drop in violent crime, it is now considered safer than in the past, notes Record Searchlight. In 2016, there was a surge in violent crime, but this situation began to improve in 2017. Nonetheless, this is still not the most desirable place in California to live with property and violent crime rates higher than both the Californian and national averages.

16. Santa Cruz

Neighborhood Scout ranks Santa Cruz in the bottom two percent in terms of safe cities in the United States. There are a total of 4,487 crimes reported each year in this city. Of these, 422 are violent crimes, while 4,065 are property crimes. Therefore, property crime is a bigger issue in this area. However, there are plenty of neighborhoods in the city that are considered safe, including Bonny Doon, Davenport, Soquel Drive, Rodeo Gulch Road, Twin Lakes, Five Branches U, and Live Oak.

15. Vallejo

In the last year, the number of crimes in Vallejo has decreased by seven percent, according to Area Vibes. Despite this drop in the crime rate, it is still amongst the most dangerous cities in California. It is in the bottom six percent in terms of the safety of a city and there is a one in 22 chance of you becoming a victim of any crime if you live in this city. The overall crime rate of Vallejo is 68 percent above the national average.

14. Richmond

Richmond was once in the top 10 of the most dangerous cities in California. In fact, there was a time when a state of emergency was declared, and extra support was brought into the area to tackle the crime problem. Now, the situation has dramatically improved and the city now ranks in only 14th position. In early 2018, the East Bay Times reported that killings in the area had stopped. This had been a significant problem for the city in the past. Richmond was known for its high homicide rates since the 1970s.

13. Modesto

The crime rates in Modesto have landed it in the thirteenth position on the list of the most dangerous places to live. However, Time has ranked this city in the fifth position on their list of the places in California where people are the most terrified to live. This is partially due to the high rate of violent crime, which is 549.4 per 100,000 residents. However, they have used other metrics when creating their list. For example, they have taken into account that 54.2 percent of Modesto residents do not feel safe at night and that the city has the 64th highest poverty rate in the United States at 20. 3 percent.

12. Compton

Compton has a high enough crime rate that it makes it onto the list of the most dangerous cities in California. However, the good news is that crime rates have dropped in this city for almost all crimes since 2003, according to the statistics by City-Data. The exception to this is theft, which has risen from 991 in 2003, to 1,402 in 2017. There has also been hardly any change in the number of reported robberies.

11. Stockton

Although property crime is higher in Stockton than the averages for California and national statistics, it is violent crimes that are the big problem in this city. According to Area Vibes, violent crime is 215 percent higher than the average for California and 269 percent higher than the national average. These crimes include an average of 55 murders, 154 rapes, 1,208 robberies, and 2,962 assaults in Stockton. This brings the total number of violent crimes in Stockton that are reported in one year to 4,379.

10. San Bernardino

San Bernardino has a population of 217, 259 and one in 77 residents are at risk of a violent crime in this area as it is the fifth most violent city in California. Although this may seem shocking, there has been a 12 percent drop in violent crime in recent years If you do decide to live in this city, then Neighborhood Scout says that the best area to live is Devore Heights. Other good areas include Cajon, Arrowhead Springs, Devils Canyon Road, and Del Rosa.

9. Clearlake

Although Clearlake has many picturesque spots that give the impression it is a peaceful area, there has been a recent surge in crime rates in this city that has put it at ninth position on the list. Statistics provided by Area Vibes show that crime rates are 75 percent higher than the nation’s average. Violent crime is the biggest problem as this is 113 percent higher than the Californian average and 150 percent higher than the average for the United States.

8. Taft

According to Area Vibes, the number of crimes reported annually is 488, and both property and violent crime are a problem in this area. It has a crime rate that is approximately 76 percent higher than the average for California and 89 percent higher than the national average. Although murder rates are low, the incidences of assaults and property crimes are high.

7. Barstow

Road Snacks ranks Barstow in the seventh position on the list of most dangerous places, which is down two places from last year. This drop is thanks to the falling rates of violent crimes in the city. However, property crimes are still a big problem in the area and property crime has risen in recent years. One of the most significant crimes in this area is arson, of which there is a one in 24.3 percent chance of being a victim.

6. San Francisco

With a population of 884,363, San Francisco is the fourth most populous and the second most densely populated city in California. Despite the fact that it is the cultural and commercial center of Northern California, it is also the sixth most dangerous city in which to live. It surprises many people to learn that the crime statistics for this city are much worse than for Los Angeles, but that is what the figures show. The chance of being a victim of violent crime is one in 139 and there is a one in 16.2 chance of getting robbed. Since 2015, there has been a 24 percent rise in violent crime and a 32 percent rise in property crime.

5. Eureka

Neighborhood Scout says that Eureka is in the bottom two percent of safe cities in the United States. The average number of reported crimes in this city annually is 1,742. This is a combination of 244 violent crimes and 1,498 property crimes. However, not all neighborhoods in Eureka are dangerous. Some of the safest neighborhoods include Freshwater and Freshwater Corners, Humboldt Hill, Fields Landing, Myrtletown. And Cutten.

4. Commerce

Commerce is a city in Los Angeles County that has a population of 12,823. The crime rates in this city have dropped slightly, so it has moved from the third position on the list of most dangerous cities in California to the fourth position. This is predominantly thanks to a drop in violent crime though, so there is still a significant risk of becoming a victim of property crime if you choose to live in this area. In fact, there are 9,034 property crimes for every 100,000 people.

3. Red Bluff

According to Area Vibe, residents of Red Bluff are at significantly greater risk of crime than most other places in the United States. In fact, they have a 151 percent greater risk of violent crime than the California average and a 195 percent higher risk than the national average. In terms of property crime, those living in Red Bluff are at 171 percent greater risk than the average for California and 187 percent more at risk than the national average. Overall, there is a 168 percent higher crime rate in Red Bluff than the California average and a 195 percent greater crime rate than the national average.

2. Oakland

Oakland is the eighth largest city in California with a population of 424,915. It is also one of the worst cities to live in terms of violent crime. Also known as Bump City, Oakland residents have a one in 7.6 chance of being a violent crime victim. Property crime is also on the rise in this city, which means it may top the list in the future. With so high crime rates, you may wonder why anybody would live in this city. Well, Home Snacks’ statistics show that this city is diverse with good amenities and excellent education. These facts may sway residents to stay in the area, despite the crime.

1. Emeryville

Topping the list of the most dangerous cities in California is Emeryville, and this city also topped the list in 2017 and 2018. Therefore, it is the city’s third year as the most dangerous city in California. This city is located just north of Oakland. And has more property crimes than any other city in California, with 17,408 per 100,000 people. This means that those living in Emeryville have a one in 5.7 chance of becoming a victim of property crime. On the upside, violent crime is gradually decreasing in this city, although the risks are still high in comparison to other cities in the state.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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