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Safest Cities in California

safest cities in california

Feeling safe in your city is a top priority. Sleepless nights spent worrying about walking down the street or leaving your home is not a fun way to live!

So, if you’re wondering what are the Safest Cities in California are?

Here are some of the best places to call home in “The Golden State”!

Let’s get started…

The State Of California

California is a state steeped in natural beauty and rich history. From the bustling cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco to the Sierra Nevada mountains and deserts of Southern California, this state offers a variety of climates and terrains for residents to explore.

California has a rich history that dates back to the establishment of a Spanish mission system in the 18th century. It later became part of Mexico and was eventually ceded to the US in 1848 after the US-Mexican War. Today, it is home to nearly forty million people. Its diverse population is reflective of the state’s history – one where different cultures have left their mark and found a home.

Home to many celebrities!

Though California has seen its share of challenges over the years, today it stands as one of the most populous states in America. The current economy is largely driven by technology companies, making it one of the most innovative areas in the world.

Silicon Valley hosts some of the world’s most esteemed companies while Hollywood creates a star-studded setting full of unforgettable attractions including film studios, movie theaters, theme parks, and unique museums.

Business is booming…

In addition, laws passed recently by state leaders have created new job opportunities that benefit both individuals and businesses alike. It’s clear that a lot has changed since its addition to the Union; however, what hasn’t changed is how much this remarkable state has to offer visitors and residents alike.

What Makes a City Safe?

Several factors contribute to making a city safe. These can include effective law enforcement, low crime rates, accessible healthcare facilities, well-maintained infrastructure, affordable housing options, and access to quality education. 

A city can only be made safe when it is watched over and preserved by law enforcement officers who display integrity, trustworthiness, and courage in their work. Safety also encompasses several other key ingredients that are necessary for a city to thrive, such as strong public infrastructure, a vibrant and engaged citizen base, effective crime prevention measures, and infrastructure that promotes pedestrian safety.

Join your local neighborhood watch…

Furthermore, regular community policing activities such as neighborhood watch ensure the streets are safe and are essential components of creating an environment in which everyone feels protected. Finally, factors such as community engagement, social cohesion, and economic stability also play a role.

The Safest Cities In California


Not to be confused with other Danville’s, this Californian oasis is known as one of America’s safest cities. Sitting pretty in Contra Costa County, with a 78% lower crime rate than the California average. Despite its peace and tranquility, it’s not all dull in Danville. 

It offers restaurants, coffee shops, parks, and highly-rated public schools, making it a wonderful place for families. Just bear in mind that this security does come at a price (we’re talking about the cost of living here); however, for safety-seeking citizens, it may just be worth every penny. So, there we have it folks: keep your wits about you in Danville because otherwise, you might miss out on a fantastic experience!


Rancho Santa Margarita

With an impressive history of maintaining its population under 50,000 and its educated residents, it is no wonder that Rancho Santa Margarita is one of the safest cities in California. 

Its crime rate of only 6.3 per 1000 is astonishingly low – 76% lower than the national average! Although it comes at a price – since property values are a whopping 216% higher than usual – an average annual salary of $104,556 makes this small town incredibly attractive to those looking to call a safe place home.


If you’re in the market for a safe place to put down stakes, Moorpark is definitely worth a look. This fast-growing city located in Southern California’s Ventura County packs a punch above its weight – its crime rate of 662 per 100,000 people is lower than 74% of other cities across the state, and not one homicide was reported during 2017-2018. 

Plus, if you want to invest in property here, you’re sure to get value for money; homes come with an average cost of $597,300, making it a great option for high earners wanting a safe environment – after all, the average household income is $100,457! What won’t be putting you at risk? The crime rates… but maybe your wallet will!

Aliso Viejo

It seems no surprise that Aliso Viejo is one of the safest Californian cities; after all, it does have a crime rate that’s lower than the California average. Situated among the stunning San Joaquin Hills, Aliso Viejo is a quiet oasis right next to Laguna Beach.

 But don’t be fooled – this city of 47,825 people might look peaceful on the outside, but its residents enjoy plenty of peace of mind due to its low 810 crime rate per 100,000! With its median home price being 56% higher and median income reaching over $100k, life in Aliso Viejo is one of well-deserved comfort.


If you’re looking for a safe place to hang your hat, look no further than Poway, California. This quaint small city has the lowest crime rate of any city in the state: with an astonishing low VC and PC rate of 1.1 and 7.4, respectively, it produces an overall rate of 8.5 to make some areas look dangerous in comparison!

 As an unincorporated community that only turned into a city in 1980, Poway is home to approximately 50,000 people, who enjoy living free of crime, with zero murders reported in 2021 as well as only 34 assaults (although one assault is still too many assaults)!


Safety comes at a price!

 Property crime is minimal, too, with residents having only a 1 in 129 chance of being a victim of crime. However, being safe comes at a cost; Poway is 61% more expensive than the average US cost of living, but with a median income of $99,000, you can definitely afford it!

Yorba Linda

Nestled in Orange County, Yorba Linda is raising eyebrows for more than just being the birthplace of a former president. It’s known as one of California’s safest cities, with criminal activity that is 66% lower than the state average. 

Boasting a VC rate of 0.5 and a PC rate of 8.4, it’s clear to see why Yorba Linda has earned its safe city status with an overall crime rating of 8.9 in 2022 (and no reported murders!). Best of all, the chance of becoming a victim of any sort of violent crime in this place is slim – 1 in 2,136! Although living here requires a higher-than-average home budget ($728,300!) and income ($119,697), safety seems well worth the cost in lovely Yorba Linda.

Palos Verdes Peninsula

Who knew safety could be so beautiful? Located on the bluffs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles, Rancho Palos Verdes has a lot to offer gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, Santa Catalina Island, and Los Angeles — not to mention some of the best horse and hiking trails in California. 

With a crime rate of 911 per 100,000 people and zero murders in 2021, it’s safer than 61% of cities across the US. Plus, with just 78 burglaries and 28 vehicle thefts that year, you’ve got a 1 in 122 chance of falling victim to property crimes. Talk about a winning combination!

Palos Verdes Peninsula

Laguna Niguel

Boasting VC and PC crime rates of 0.6 and 8.7, respectively, Laguna Niguel is one of the best places to live in California if you’re looking for safety. Not to mention it’s situated right next to the affluent city of Irvine, with a median household income nearly double the US average!

 With a population of 66,759 people and an overall crime rate of 929 per 100,000 citizens — 60% lower than the national average — Laguna Niguel is a perfect place for anyone wanting optimal security along with their work-life balance.

That’s just petty theft!

Additionally, its violent crime rate is extremely low; statistically speaking, it equates to individuals having just a 1 in 1,570 chance of being affected by any assaults or murders in the area — phew! Theft remains the only major property crime present, though, so even that won’t be much of an issue you need to worry about here.

Mission Viejo

Mission Viejo is certainly living up to its name as the safest city in California. Boasting a population of just under 100,000, it impressively managed to keep its violent crime rate for 2020 at an ultra-low 0.8 and its property crime rate at an equally impressive 9.0 – making a combined total of 9.8 that was maintained from 2021. Tough luck for bad guys, as this vibrant city saw extraordinarily little robbery and assault throughout the year. 

It’s no surprise why, with its average median income almost doubling the national average – so your wallet is safe too! Finally, we think it’s worth mentioning that Mission Viejo is based in Orange County, where safety, cleanliness, and good times make for a truly excellent area to live in!

San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano sits atop the list of California’s safest cities – its VC rate of 1.7 might be the second highest, but it is more than made up for by its low PC rate of 8.4 and combined crime rate of 10.1. 

But aside from being a safe place to live in, this charming Orange County city has something else to boast about – it was here that Franciscan missionaries decided to plant the first vineyards in California back in 1779, officially launching the state’s long history with winemaking. So even if San Juan Capistrano isn’t a famous American Viticultural Area, it can still claim involvement in the beginnings of what eventually would become one!

Thousand Oaks

Who’d have guessed that living in Thousand Oaks could be so safe? With a crime rate of 1,097 per 100,000 inhabitants and only one murder to report in 2020, you’ll have a tough time getting mugged here – statistically speaking. 

What’s more, the chances of becoming a victim of a property crime are even lower at 1 in 95! Although it helps to have a decent bank balance – with houses costing an average of $837,100 – the peace of mind alone is worth every penny. It seems that Thousand Oaks really lives up to its reputation as one of California’s safest cities.

Thousand Oaks

Santa Clarita

Oh-la-la! Step aside Big Apple; the show is in town – Santa Clarita, the largest city on California’s safest cities list. With a thriving population of 220,000 residents and VC and PC rates that form a tidy 10.4 combination, this edge city packs a punch of safety with a side of quality living. 

There’s truly no need to head to Los Angeles when you’ve got Santa Clarita right around the corner. Who needs bright lights or expensive brunch spots when you can rest assured your wallet and personal security are safe?

Temple City

Coming in with a solid 10.4 on the Crime-o-Meter, Temple City has quickly become this year’s poster city for safety in California. And while 36,000 may not seem like a lot of people compared to some cities in LA County, their approach to thwarting criminals is definitely one worth emulating! 

In fact, its combined violent and property crime rates are impressive enough that other much larger cities may soon be asking Temple City how they do it. So, get ready for a deluge of curious neighbors–you won’t be able to keep your crime prevention tactics secret for much longer!


If you’re looking for somewhere safe to party in the Golden State, they don’t come much better than Santee – a small city near San Diego, just chock-full of amazing places to visit and things to do. 

Sure, it may have the highest reported number of violent crimes out of any on this list – but with a 2.8 VC rate and 7.7 for property crime coming together to make a total of 10.5, it’s still considered fairly safe compared to other cities throughout the state. And, with those numbers falling from 13.7 to 1.7 over the past few years, Santee is becoming one of California’s safest spots for touring – so why not take advantage?

Lake Forest

Lake Forest is no stranger to the top safest cities, but it’s just barely holding its own this year with a VC rate of 1.1 and a PC rate of 9.8, making its total safety index 10.9. It’s still quite safe overall, though the rising crime rates have people worried. 

Lake Forest

Interestingly enough, if you thought the name had something to do with forestry – think again! The forest in question actually consists mainly of eucalyptus trees and isn’t even close by-it merely stands between two man-made lakes (which explains the ‘lake’ part in its name)!

How To Keep Your Home Safe?

Whether you live in any of the aforementioned cities or elsewhere, it’s always a good idea to ensure your home is as safe and secure as possible. Start by investing in some basic safety equipment like deadbolts, window locks, and outdoor security lights. Motion-sensing cameras can be an added layer of protection, too. 

Additionally, make sure your home is well-lit both inside and out. Doing so will help deter potential criminals and make it easier for you to spot any suspicious activity. Finally, always be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut – if something feels off, it probably is! Taking a few simple precautions can go a long way in keeping you safe. 

Relocating For Work?

If you’re relocating to The Golden State, then you’ll want to find out more about the Cheapest Places to Live in California and How to Get a Work Permit in California, or perhaps you’d like to know The Richest Cities In California.

If you have a criminal record, you might be wondering Can A Felon Move to Another State?

Fancy a bite with the family while you’re in California? Then check out Which Restaurants Accept EBT In California for 2023.

Final Thoughts

California is a great state to live in, and it’s even better when you know that you can trust your safety

With its mix of large cities, edge cities, and smaller towns – there are plenty of places where you can find peace of mind. Whether it’s Thousand Oaks with its low VC rate or Lake Forest with its eucalyptus trees – you’ll be sure to find a place that feels just right.

So don’t wait any longer; start exploring, and stay safe!

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