California, known for its thriving economy and diverse landscapes, attracts many with its picturesque vineyards in Napa Valley and bustling city life in Los Angeles.
Known for its enviable climate and many opportunities, the Golden State offers a variety of desirable & safe cities to call home.
With an array of options, it is important to consider the safety aspect, especially for settling down.
The safety of a city can play a crucial role in determining the quality of life for its residents.
As such, exploring the top 10 safest cities in California is worthwhile.
These cities have excelled in providing a secure environment, allowing residents to enjoy the best of what the state has to offer.
Keep reading to learn more about these safe locations within the beautiful Californian landscape.
10 Safest Cities in California
- Rancho Santa Margarita
- Aliso Viejo
- Yorba Linda
- Rancho Palos Verdes
- Laguna Niguel
- Mission Viejo
- Thousand Oaks
The city of Danville holds the prestigious title of being California’s safest city. Situated in the San Ramon Valley, it boasts a population of 43,582 and a crime rate that is a remarkable 78% lower than the state average.
This suburban haven is nestled within the Bay Area, offering a respite from urban hustle and bustle. Danville features top-notch public schools, a variety of restaurants, cozy coffee shops, and well-maintained parks.
Its peaceful atmosphere and outstanding safety make Danville the ideal location for families seeking the best of California living.
2. Rancho Santa Margarita
Rancho Santa Margarita, a city in Southern California’s Orange County, boasts an impressive safety record. With a population of 47,894, its crime rate is 76% lower than the state average.
While living in this safe haven comes at a premium, with the average home price at $784,000 (216% above the national average), the average income for residents is $104,556, significantly higher than the national average.
Moorpark, a city near Los Angeles in Southern California, has a population of 37,573 and ranks as one of the safer cities, with a 74% safety rating. The crime rate is 662 per 100,000 people, which translates to a 1 in 152 chance of being a victim of a crime.
Remarkably, no homicides were reported between 2017 and 2018. The city’s average home cost is $597,300, making it 207% higher than the US average and 39% higher than California’s average. Moorpark’s residents enjoy an average income of $100,457—82% higher than the state average.
4. Aliso Viejo
Located in California’s San Joaquin Hills, Aliso Viejo is well-known for its safety and high standard of living. With a population of 47,825, the city boasts a crime rate of 810 per 100,000 residents, making it 69% safer than the California average.
Violent crime is particularly low, with an individual’s odds of becoming a victim at a mere 1 in 2,134. The high quality of life in Aliso Viejo is further reflected in the median home prices, which are 56% higher than the national average, and its residents’ median income of $103,261.
In Poway, California, safety is a key feature of the community. With a population of 49,479, the crime rate is only 847 per 100,000 people, making it significantly safer than the national average by 64%. Remarkably, in 2021, Poway reported zero murders and a minimal 34 assaults.
Additionally, property crime is notably low, with only a 1 in 129 chance of victimization. While this exceptional safety comes at a cost—an overall living expense that is 61% higher than the US average—residents of Poway enjoy a median income of $99,000.
6. Yorba Linda
Yorba Linda, a city in Orange County with a population of 68,017, stands out as one of the safest cities in California. The crime rate here is 66% lower than the state’s average, recording 889 crimes per 100,000 residents.
In 2022, Yorba Linda experienced no murders and only a handful of robberies and assaults. With a 1 in 2,136 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime, safety is a prominent feature of this city.
Moreover, Yorba Linda boasts an average home price of $728,300, 294% higher than the US average, and an average income of $119,697.
7. Rancho Palos Verdes
Situated along the Pacific Coast in Los Angeles County, Rancho Palos Verdes boasts a population of 41,643 and a crime rate of 911 per 100,000 residents.
In 2021, this city was more secure than 61% of other US cities, recording no murders, six robberies, and 34 assaults. Additionally, there were 78 burglaries and 28 vehicle thefts, indicating a 1 in 122 chance of experiencing property crime.
8. Laguna Niguel
Laguna Niguel, situated south of Irvine, is home to 66,759 individuals and boasts a crime rate of 929 per 100,000 residents, 60% lower than the national average. This city’s low violent crime rate, including rare instances of murder and assault, provides its inhabitants with a 1 in 1,570 chance of experiencing such an offense.
Furthermore, property crimes are also reasonably low, with the majority being theft-related. Therefore, Laguna Niguel is an ideal location for those prioritizing safety.
9. Mission Viejo
Mission Viejo, in Orange County, is home to 94,513 residents and boasts a crime rate that’s significantly lower, at 62%, than the California average.
The likelihood of encountering a violent crime here is 1 in 1,319. In 2020, the city had zero murders and only a handful of robberies and assaults. This upscale neighborhood, with a median income of $104,886, has an income level that’s approximately 90% higher than the national average.
10. Thousand Oaks
Home to 126,823 residents, Thousand Oaks boasts overall safety higher than 58% of US cities. With a crime rate of 1,097 per 100,000 people, the likelihood of experiencing a violent crime is 1 in 1,649.
The city witnessed one murder, 23 robberies, and 32 assaults in 2020. Property crime risks, such as burglary and theft, stand at 1 in 95. This prosperous community’s median home price is $837,100—significantly above the US average by 245%.
Top 10 Safest Cities in California: Key Takeaways
Safety in the Golden State often comes with a steep price for housing. Many of the 50 safest cities in California boast a high quality of life, but their median home costs significantly surpass both national and state averages.
To enjoy the perks of living in one of these secure Californian cities, be prepared to invest substantially in purchasing a residence.
Safest Cities in California Methodology
Various factors were considered to identify the safest cities in California, including crime statistics, quality of life, and available amenities.
Crime data was gathered from local and state sources for 2020 to 2022. Furthermore, the latest FBI violent crime report was utilized for supplemental information. The analysis focused on cities with a population of at least 30,000.