The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the eighth annual Safest Cities report.
California’s 50 Safest Cities of 2022
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in California for 2022
Our thoughts are with those impacted by the recent Laguna Woods church shooting. Although these events are unpredictable, doing something to feel safer can help alleviate anxiety. If you’re curious about personal safety resources, we’ve gathered some:
See if your city made the full list.
When it comes to safety, daily concern seems to be the California state of mind. From those we surveyed, 56% of Californians feel a high daily level of concern for their safety. Californians were second in the nation for highest concern over COVID-19, third in the nation for concern over gun violence, and fifth for concern over violent crime.
Just 4 in 10 Californians say they feel safe in their state. But those who are lucky enough to call our safest cities home have less to worry about.
In this report
2022 California crime rates
California’s violent crime rate held steady year over year, avoiding the spike seen across most of the country. The Golden State saw 4.4 violent crime incidents per 1,000 people—exceeding the national rate of 4.0 but avoiding an increase over the previous reporting year.
California continued to see a decline in its property crime rate, falling nearly 9% from 23.4 incidents per 1,000 to 21.4. Again, California’s crime rate is higher than the national rate of 19.6, but it’s trending down year over year.
Level of concern and experience with crime in California
Higher-than-average levels of concern in California coincide with higher reports of personal experience with violent crime, gun violence, and package theft. Property crime was the only crime for which Californians reported less experience than the national average in our latest survey.
Reported experience with property crime was cut in half year over year, falling from 38% to 16% during our last survey period (US 18%). Experience with violent crime was two percentage points higher than the national average of 10%, and personal run-ins with package theft came in six points higher than the national average of 20%. Gun violence barely exceeded the nationwide average, with 9% of Californians reporting a personal experience (US 8%).
Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.
Crime concerns in California
We asked California residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Californians are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in California: Fear vs. reality
Californians are highly concerned about their safety and have the crime rates to back it up, yet only 25% use personal protection (US 34%).
- 54% of Californians said they are highly concerned about violent crime happening to them—that’s 13 percentage points higher than the US average.
- California is one of only 15 states that saw a dip in violent crime year over year.
- Despite having a higher statewide violent crime rate than the US and the Pacific region, all of California’s safest cities have rates below state, regional, and US rates.
- Proportionately, California reported fewer murders, rapes, and aggravated assaults than the rest of the country.
- Statewide, robberies made up 26% of all violent crimes—across the US, robberies account for 19% of all violent crime.
Attitudes about gun violence and personal safety in California
California reported the third-highest number of mass shootings in 2021, recording 46 incidents, an 18% increase over 2020.
- 1 in 2 Californians are worried about a gun violence incident happening to them, making California the third most concerned state.
- 25% of Californians use some type of personal protection. Pepper spray is used most often, with 17% carrying it. Concealed carry firearms are used least often, with 4% using them for personal safety.
- 8% of Californians use firearms to protect their property compared to the national average of 26%.
- 54% say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (US 44%)
Property crime in California: Fear vs. reality
Property crime rates in California are steadily dropping year over year, which may explain why Californians are less worried about property crime than any other crime category.
- Statewide, the property crime rate fell by 2 incidents per 1,000 people.
Larceny-theft was the most common property crime in The Golden State with over 528,000 incidents reported—but that’s nearly 100,000 fewer than reported the previous year.
- California saw a higher proportion of burglaries than the rest of the US, with burglaries making up 17% of all property crimes versus 16% nationwide.
- 64% of Californians use some form of property protection with security systems being the most popular (30%), followed by security cameras (29%).
- 38% say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic. (US 29%)
A closer look at the safest cities in California
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
- 230 cities met criteria to be considered for ranking.
- The top 3 safest cities in California (Danville, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Moorpark) hold their title and spot for the third year in a row.
San Gabriel (number 39) saw the most dramatic improvement year over year, climbing 32 spots to make it into the top 50.
- All of the safest cities reported violent and property crime rates below state, regional, and US rates.
- Surprisingly, 9 of the safest cities (18%) have more than 100,000 people, and 3 of those have populations over 200,000—including Santa Clarita, which landed at number 13. The average population among California’s safest cities is 77,162.
- 48% of the safest cities reported 0 incidents of murder.
- Among the safest cities, there were fewer reports of each major property crime this reporting year—except motor vehicle thefts, echoing rising national car thefts during the pandemic.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.
Find security and safety resources in your area
Didn't find your city in the top 50?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population as calculated using FBI data. To request a report of the remaining cities in your state, sign up for our email newsletter (we make it easy in a quick form below!) or email email@example.com with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.
NOTE: If your city is missing from our full report, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2020.
Find the safest cities in each state
Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.
Related articles on SafeWise
FBI: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.