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Owing to its huge size and great diversity, California is home to some of the nation’s more dangerous communities as well as some of its safest. However, those that score highest on our Safety Index, scattered about the state, are some of the most desirable communities to live in in the entire country: naturally beautiful, prosperous, and with very low crime. Let’s take a look at what makes California’s five safest cities so safe.

Hillsborough is the safest city in California. A small, affluent city of 11.5K in the San Francisco Bay area, Hillsborough notched a very high 0.89 score in our Safety Index due to a very low violent crime rate of 0.69 per 1,000 inhabitants and an even more impressive 6.07 property crimes per 1,000 residents.

Second place goes to Palos Verdes Estates, a wealthy city in Los Angeles County planned by the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olemsted Jr., boasts a similarly impressive Safety Index score of 0.84 bolstered by a remarkable 0.22 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.

Third in the ranking is Beverly Hills, the posh LA County city made famous by the television show, Beverly Hills 90210, and its various offshoots and reboots. Beverly Hills boasts a low violent crime rate, yet a somewhat high property crime rate of 52.30 per 1,000, perhaps due its famous populace drawing in a negative element that increases the frequency of home invasion. However, the city benefits from a high law enforcement to resident ratio, meaning that police response time is very quick.

At number four, Coronado is the southernmost of California’s five safest cities, located across San Diego Bay from the heart of San Diego. Coronado posted very low violent and property crime rates in 2017 that should put residents at ease.

Rounding out California’s top five is Truckee, a small city in the northeast part of the state away from major metropolitan areas. With a violent crime rate just over 1 per 1,000 and a similarly low property crime rate, Truckee earns its high position in the ranking.

Safest Cities in California, 2019

RankCitySafety Index
1Hillsborough0.89
2Palos Verdes Estates0.84
3Beverly Hills0.66
4Coronado0.53
5Truckee0.53
6El Segundo0.5
7Sierra Madre0.49
8Hermosa Beach0.47
9Los Altos0.45
10Mill Valley0.45
11Los Gatos0.44
12San Marino0.44
13Piedmont0.43
14Scotts Valley0.4
15Los Alamitos0.39
16Ripon0.39
17Imperial0.38
18Healdsburg0.34
19Newport Beach0.34
20Manhattan Beach0.32
21Pacific Grove0.3
22Foster City0.3
23Moraga0.3
24South Pasadena0.3
25Clayton0.29
26Sunnyvale0.28
27Benicia0.28
28Laguna Beach0.27
29Torrance0.25
30Belmont0.25
31Irvine0.25
32Glendale0.24
33Folsom0.24
34San Ramon0.23
35Murrieta0.23
36Newman0.21
37Palo Alto0.21
38South Lake Tahoe0.21
39Monrovia0.21
40Menlo Park0.2
41Simi Valley0.19
42Morro Bay0.19
43Cypress0.16
44Orange0.15
45Arroyo Grande0.15
46Rocklin0.14
47Redondo Beach0.13
48Novato0.13
49La Palma0.12
50Morgan Hill0.11
51Pleasanton0.11
52Placerville0.1
53Corona0.09
54Tustin0.09
55Placentia0.09
56Seal Beach0.08
57Bell Gardens0.08
58Martinez0.07
59Burbank0.07
60Hercules0.06
61Lincoln0.06
62Port Hueneme0.05
63Grover Beach0.05
64Livermore0.04
65Soledad0.04
66Vacaville0.03
67Mountain View0.03
68Santa Clara0.03
69Oakdale0.03
70Davis0.03
71San Gabriel0.02
72La Habra0.02
73Shafter0.02
74Paso Robles0.01
75Exeter0.01
76Monterey Park0.01
77Cathedral City0.01
78Dixon0.01
79Huntington Beach0.01
80Albany0
81Carlsbad-0.01
82Central Marin-0.01
83Marina-0.01
84Arcadia-0.02
85Claremont-0.02
86Walnut Creek-0.02
87Redwood City-0.02
88Roseville-0.03
89Milpitas-0.03
90Chino-0.04
91Fountain Valley-0.04
92La Mesa-0.04
93Alhambra-0.04
94Daly City-0.05
95Pasadena-0.05
96La Verne-0.05
97Fremont-0.06
98Burlingame-0.06
99Pacifica-0.06
100Seaside-0.06
101Tracy-0.08
102San Mateo-0.09
103Newark-0.09
104Livingston-0.1
105Brea-0.1
106Clovis-0.1
107Fullerton-0.1
108Azusa-0.11
109Brentwood-0.11
110Elk Grove-0.11
111Paradise-0.11
112Farmersville-0.11
113Galt-0.11
114Tehachapi-0.12
115Napa-0.13
116Kingsburg-0.13
117Reedley-0.13
118Chula Vista-0.13
119Auburn-0.16
120West Covina-0.16
121Glendora-0.16
122Ontario-0.17
123San Diego-0.17
124Kerman-0.19
125San Bruno-0.19
126West Sacramento-0.19
127Covina-0.19
128Hollister-0.19
129Fontana-0.19
130Culver City-0.2
131Campbell-0.2
132Santa Barbara-0.2
133Santa Paula-0.2
134South San Francisco-0.2
135Lindsay-0.21
136Corcoran-0.21
137King City-0.22
138Whittier-0.22
139Petaluma-0.22
140Escondido-0.23
141East Palo Alto-0.23
142Atascadero-0.24
143Rialto-0.25
144Anaheim-0.25
145Montebello-0.25
146National City-0.26
147Union City-0.27
148Chowchilla-0.27
149Hayward-0.27
150McFarland-0.28
151San Fernando-0.29
152San Rafael-0.29
153Oceanside-0.29
154Santa Rosa-0.29
155El Cajon-0.29
156Sanger-0.29
157Los Banos-0.3
158Gilroy-0.31
159Suisun City-0.31
160Rohnert Park-0.32
161Beaumont-0.33
162Tulare-0.33
163Alameda-0.33
164Garden Grove-0.34
165Upland-0.34
166Santa Maria-0.35
167El Monte-0.36
168Downey-0.36
169Redlands-0.36
170Avenal-0.37
171Oxnard-0.37
172Arcata-0.37
173Ukiah-0.37
174Woodland-0.38
175Calexico-0.38
176Westminster-0.38
177Visalia-0.39
178Ridgecrest-0.4
179Manteca-0.4
180Santa Ana-0.41
181Costa Mesa-0.41
182Buena Park-0.41
183Concord-0.41
184San Jose-0.42
185Baldwin Park-0.42
186Porterville-0.42
187Monterey-0.43
188Lemoore-0.44
189Los Angeles-0.44
190Fortuna-0.44
191Colton-0.44
192Pleasant Hill-0.44
193Anderson-0.46
194Citrus Heights-0.46
195San Luis Obispo-0.46
196Blythe-0.47
197Capitola-0.47
198Signal Hill-0.47
199Ventura-0.49
200Greenfield-0.49
201Long Beach-0.5
202Pittsburg-0.51
203Banning-0.52
204Yuba City-0.52
205Delano-0.53
206Hanford-0.53
207Fairfield-0.54
208Lodi-0.54
209Santa Monica-0.55
210Lompoc-0.56
211Palm Springs-0.57
212Pinole-0.58
213San Pablo-0.6
214Gardena-0.61
215Riverside-0.62
216California City-0.62
217Mendota-0.63
218Pomona-0.63
219Watsonville-0.65
220El Centro-0.65
221Chico-0.66
222Ceres-0.67
223Fresno-0.69
224Inglewood-0.71
225Bell-0.71
226Coalinga-0.72
227Turlock-0.76
228Sacramento-0.76
229Hawthorne-0.77
230Madera-0.77
231Bakersfield-0.78
232Brawley-0.82
233Berkeley-0.82
234Parlier-0.82
235Antioch-0.83
236Hemet-0.83
237Montclair-0.84
238Dinuba-0.84
239Salinas-0.88
240San Leandro-0.89
241San Francisco-0.92
242Merced-0.92
243Atwater-0.95
244Indio-0.97
245Huntington Park-1
246Grass Valley-1.02
247South Gate-1.05
248Marysville-1.06
249El Cerrito-1.1
250Redding-1.13
251Santa Cruz-1.14
252Richmond-1.17
253Eureka-1.28
254Vallejo-1.37
255Arvin-1.44
256Oroville-1.46
257Desert Hot Springs-1.48
258Clearlake-1.5
259Modesto-1.51
260Selma-1.71
261Barstow-1.76
262Red Bluff-1.82
263San Bernardino-1.92
264Stockton-1.97
265Susanville-2.06
266Oakland-2.07
267Emeryville-3.22

Methodology

We used the most recent FBI crime statistics to create state rankings. There were initially 7,430 cities in the data set. After filtering out the cities with populations of less than 10,000, 2,929 cities remained. We then calculated violent crime rates and property crime rates by dividing the crime numbers by the population to get rates per 1,000. We also calculated the ratio of law enforcement workers to per 1,000. These were weighted with -50% for the violent crime rate, -25% for the property crime rate, and +25% for the law enforcement rate. The resulting metric gave us a the safety index score. The higher this number more safe the city is.

Did your district make the list? Share the good news!

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Jason
 

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