10 Safest Cities in California
- 2. Rancho Santa Margarita
- Aliso Viejo
- Yorba Linda
- Rancho Palos Verdes
- Laguna Niguel
- Mission Viejo
- Thousand Oaks
The safest city in California is Danville. Located in the San Ramon Valley, Danville has a population of 43,582 and an extremely low crime rate that is 78% lower than the California average. Danville offers suburban living in the bay area, removed from some of the nearby urban areas. Danville offers excellent restaurants, coffee shops, and parks and has highly-rated public schools. With its tranquil vibe and excellent safety record, Danville is one of the best cities in California to raise a family.
2. Rancho Santa Margarita
Rancho Santa Margarita is another one of the safest places to live in California. The city is located in Southern California in Orange County and has a population of 47,894. This city has a crime rate that is 76% lower than the California average. Living in Rancho Santo Margarita is quite expensive, with the average home price being $784,000, which is 216% higher than the national average. The average income in Rancho Santo Margarita is $104,556, which is much higher than the national average.
Also located in Southern California near Los Angeles, Moorpark has a population of 37,573 and is safer than 74% of California cities. The crime rate is 662 per 100,000 people meaning that residents have only a 1 in 152 chance of becoming the victim of a crime. Not one homicide was recorded from 2017 to 2018. The average home cost in Moorpark is $597,300, which is 207% higher than the US average and 39% higher than the California average. The average income in Moorpark is $100,457, which is 82% higher than the California average.
4. Aliso Viejo
Another one of the safest cities in California is Aliso Viejo. This city of 47,825 people is located in the San Joaquin Hills of California. Aliso Viejo has a crime rate of 810 per 100,000, making the city 69% safer than the California average. Violent crime is so low that the chance of becoming a victim is 1 in 2,134. The median home price in Aliso Viejo is 56% higher than the national average, and the median income is $103,261.
Out of a population of 49,479 Poway has a crime rate of 847 per 100,000 people, making it 64% lower than the national average. Poway is an extremely safe place to live, with almost nonexistent crimes, including zero murders and only 34 assaults being reported in 2021. Property crime is very low in Poway as well, with residents having only a 1 in 129 chance of being a victim. Poway is 61% more expensive than the US average and has a median income of $99,000.
6. Yorba Linda
Another one of California's safest cities, Yorba Linda, is located in Orange County and has a population of 68,017. Crime in Yorba Linda is 66% lower than the California average, with 889 crimes per 100,000 people. In 2022, there were zero murders in the city and just a few robberies and assaults. The chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime is 1 in 2,136. The average home price in Yorba Linda is $728,300, which is 294% higher than the US average, and an average income of $119,697.
7. Rancho Palos Verdes
Located off the Pacific Coast in Los Angeles County, Rancho Palos Verdes has a population of 41,643 and a crime rate of 911 per 100,000 people. In 2021, Rancho Verdes city was safer than 61% of US cities, with zero murders, six robberies, and 34 assaults in that year. In the same year, there were 78 burglaries and 28 vehicle thefts, making the chance of becoming a property crime victim 1 in 122.
8. Laguna Niguel
Laguna Niguel is located just South of Irvine and has a population of 66,759. The crime rate of Laguna Niguel is 929 per 100,000 people, making it 60% lower than the national average. The violent crime rate is extremely low, with few murders and assaults; overall, residents have a 1 in 1,570 chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime. Property crimes are comparatively low as well, with theft being the most common type of crime. Laguna Niguel is a great place to live if safety is a concern.
9. Mission Viejo
Also located in Orange County, Mission Viejo has a population of 94,513 and a crime rate that is 62% lower than the California average. The chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime is 1 in 1,319 with no murders and only a few robberies and assaults occurring in 2020. Mission Viejo is an affluent area with a median income of $104,886, which is 90% higher than the national average.
10. Thousand Oaks
Thousand Oaks has a population of 126,823 and a crime rate of 1,097 per 100,000 people, making it safer than 58% of US cities. The chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime in Thousand Oaks is 1 in 1,649. In 2020 there was only one murder, 23 robberies, and 32 assaults. The chance of becoming the victim of a property crime is 1 in 95, with burglary and theft being the most common. Being an affluent community, the median home price in Thousand Oaks is $837,100, which is 245% higher than the US average.
Safest Cities in California Bottom Line
Safety in California can often be associated with a high cost of living. While many of these cities are safe, the median home prices are well above national and California averages. So if you're looking for a high quality of life in one of the safest cities in California, you should be prepared to pay a hefty price to buy a home.
Safest Cities in California Methodology
To determine the safest cities in California, we looked at crime statistics, quality of life, and amenities. We used available crime data from local and state sources from 2020 to 2022. We also used the latest FBI violent crime report for additional data. In addition, we limited this list of the safest places to live in California to cities with a population of at least 30,000.