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The 50 Safest Cities in California — 2016

Safest Cities in California

The Golden State gives us the game-changing tech of Silicon Valley, the glamour of the red carpet, and the ideal picture of how to live a healthy, active lifestyle. From the Golden Gate Bridge to the Giant Dipper roller coaster at Mission Beach, California is a state full of iconic landmarks that have become part of the very fabric of America. These 20 cities embody the best that this sunny, easygoing state has to offer when it comes to protecting hearth and home.

All of the cities on our list have more than 11,000 residents, which makes their outstanding safety records even more impressive. Over 50 percent of California’s safest cities had fewer than 20 violent crimes during the FBI’s most recent reporting period, and 17 of the 20 cities reported zero incidents of murder. In 75 percent of these cities, the chance of falling victim to a violent crime is less than one in 1,000. When it comes to property crime, your chance of becoming a victim is less than 10 in 1,000 for 90 percent of the cities we’ve recognized.

With half of our cities making their second appearance on the list, safety is more than a priority — it’s a way of life. Whether it’s a desert jewel like our number one city, Imperial, or a bustling urban oasis like Mission Viejo, these close-knit communities balance the carefree California lifestyle with smart safety strategies that keep residents, visitors, homes, and businesses safe from harm. But you don’t have to live in one of these safest cities to be one of the Golden State’s safest citizens. If you’re ready to adopt more proactive safety practices for your home and loved ones, find easy ways to increase your level of security on our California Safety Directory.

How We Chose the Safest Cities in California

To identify the 10 safest cities in California, we reviewed the most recent FBI Crime Report statistics from 2014, along with population data. We eliminated all cities with fewer than 10,000 residents as well as any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI.

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From there, we evaluated the remaining cities. We narrowed it down based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) in each city. To further level the playing field, we calculated the likelihood of these crimes occurring out of 1,000 people in each city.

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities reports.

You can also see how the cities ranked in the past with the 2015 Safest Cities in California report here.

1. Imperial 

Previous rank: 2

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.30
Property Crimes per 1,000: 2.78

2. Rancho Santa Margarita ↑

Previous rank: 3

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.54
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.10

3. Aliso Viejo 

Previous rank: 4

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.69
Property Crimes per 1,000: 5.39

4. Laguna Woods 

Previous rank: 6

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.36
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.16

5. Moorpark 

Previous rank: 23

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.10
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.85

6. Hillsborough 

Previous rank: 1

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.09
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.05

7. Palos Verdes Estates ↑

Previous rank: 15

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.37
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.85

8. Moraga

Previous rank: 8

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.47
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.85

9. Sierra Madre 

Previous rank: 24

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.17 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.30

10. Mission Viejo 

Previous rank: 14

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.73 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.90

11. Laguna Niguel 

Previous rank: 11

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.12
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.52

12. Lake Forest 

Previous rank: 16

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.30 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.55

13. Saratoga 

Previous rank: 5

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.61
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.25

14. Clayton 

Previous rank: 7

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.34
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.53

15. Orinda 

Previous rank: 20

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.21
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.89

16. Poway ↑

Previous rank: 26

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.41
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.76

17. San Ramon 

Previous rank: 12

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.31
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.97

18. Danville ↓

Previous rank: 10

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.39
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.05

19. Lincoln 

Previous rank: 25

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.37
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.11

20. Walnut

Previous rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.96
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.71

21. Los Altos 

Previous rank: 22

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.23
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.64

22. Fillmore

Previous rank: 17

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.97

23. Yorba Linda 

Previous rank: 13

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.66
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.37

24. Soledad 

Previous rank: 21

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.05
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.99

25. Calabasas 

Previous rank: 30

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.78
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.36

26. Truckee 

Previous rank: 18

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.11 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.15

27. San Clemente 

Previous rank: 29

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.06
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.51

28. Foster City ↓

Previous rank: 9

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.43
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.15

29. Rancho Palos Verdes 

Previous rank: 35

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.56
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.07

30. Agoura Hills 

Previous rank: 45

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.82 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.27

31. Maywood ↑

Previous rank: 44

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.16
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.98

32. San Juan Capistrano 

Previous rank: 31

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.72
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.60

33. Avenal 

Previous rank: 34

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.29 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.07

34. Windsor 

Previous rank: 28

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.14
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.29

35. Hercules 

Previous rank: 19

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.08
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.43

36. Canyon Lake 

Previous rank: 40

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.18
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.65

37. Irvine 

Previous rank: 36

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.49
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.53

38. Temple City 

Previous rank: 37

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.24
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.80

39. Oakley 

Previous rank: 42

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.16
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.07

40. Santa Clarita 

Previous rank: 38

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.48
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.78

41. Thousand Oaks ↓

Previous rank: 27

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.99 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.38

42. Diamond Bar

Previous rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.86
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.74

43. Mill Valley 

Previous rank: Not ranked 

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.76
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.05

44. Simi Valley 

Previous rank: 39

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.11
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.78

45. Twentynine Palms 

Previous rank: Not ranked 

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.39
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.61

46. Murrieta 

Previous rank: 47

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.63
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.45

47. Chino Hills 

Previous rank: 32

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.79
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.38

48. La Puente 

Previous rank: 46

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.35
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.84

49. La Mirada 

Previous rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.81
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.89

50. Goleta 

Previous rank: 50

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.14
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.76

Didn’t see your city rank in the top 50?

Check the remaining cities below, and take a look at the most recent FBI crime data here.

51. Belmont 52. Placentia 53. Novato
54. Dana Point 55. Camarillo 56. Laguna Hills
57. La Canada Flintridge 58. Solana Beach 59. San Gabriel
60. Carpinteria 61. Dublin 62. La Palma
63. Cypress 64. Morgan Hill 65. Santee
66. Encinitas 67. San Marcos 68. Corcoran
69. Hawaiian Gardens 70. Glendale 71. Lawndale
72. Sunnyvale 73. San Marino 74. Orange
75. Newman 76. Cudahy 77. Hollister
78. Carlsbad 79. Wildomar 80. Pleasanton
81. Santa Paula 82. Cupertino 83. Atascadero
84. Daly City 85. Eastvale 86. Lafayette
87. Rocklin 88. Seaside 89. Sonoma
90. Benicia 91. Fremont 92. Monterey Park
93. Menlo Park 94. Ripon 95. Duarte
96. La Habra 97. Pacifica 98. Torrance
99. Los Alamitos 100. Tustin

How safe is your home?

Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.

To learn more about the home security options available to you in your area, select the city nearest you in the drop down menu below.


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