10 Most Dangerous Cities in California (2022 Update) | House Grail (2023)

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  • 10 Most Dangerous Cities in California (2022 Update) | House Grail (1) Pete Ortiz
  • Last updated:
10 Most Dangerous Cities in California (2022 Update) | House Grail (2)

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Violent crime is a concern for anyone moving into or traveling through an unfamiliar city, and violence is a general concern for all of us as citizens. California has three of the most violent cities in the United States: Stockton, Oakland, and San Bernardino. Here’s a look at the 10 Californian cities with the highest rates of violent crime. In this analysis we screened for cities of more than 5,000 people, ranking them by taking the highest number of crimes per population to lowest, shown as crimes per thousand people.

10 Most Dangerous Cities in California (2022 Update) | House Grail (3)

The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in California: A Quick Look

1. Barstow

10 Most Dangerous Cities in California (2022 Update) | House Grail (4)
Population24,121
Violent Crimes in 2019274
Violent crimes per 1,000 people in 201911.4

Located in San Bernardino County approximately 2 hours northeast of Los Angeles, Barstow is in the 7th percentile for safety nationwide, meaning 93% of cities are safer. Very little of the city is considered safe based on crime mapping, with the western part of the city slightly less severe in terms of the number of crimes committed annually. Nonetheless, it is a well-visited tourist stop, with multiple museums and Barstow Station, a local restaurant built to resemble a train station.

2. Compton

Population96,638
Violent Crimes in 20191,104
Violent crimes per 1,000 people in 201911.4

Compton is famous as the hometown of the fictitious DJ Jazzy Jeff from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire as well as the town that launched the careers of many rap artists, including Coolio and Ice Cube. Compton is unfortunately also one of the more violent cities in California, with the southwest part of the city only slightly less prone to violence than the rest.

3. Dos Palos

Population5,594
Violent Crimes in 201964
Violent crimes per 1,000 people in 201911.4

Located in Merced County approximately 2 hours south of Sacramento, Dos Palos is one of the low-population cities on our list, along with Needles and Big Bear. Crime maps indicate the southern part of the city and the central city areas are worst, with much less crime toward the western parts of the city and outlying areas.

4. Oakland

Population434,036
Violent Crimes in 20195,520
Violent crimes per 1,000 people in 201912.7

Oakland is one of the most populous cities of the San Francisco bay area. Before their removal to Las Vegas, the city was the home of the famed Oakland Raiders. The current Vice President, Kamala Harris, was born in Oakland. Despite the large population and fame, the city struggles with a high crime rate. Crime is generally associated with areas near the bay, with much less occurring in affluent or western outlying areas.

5. Susanville

10 Most Dangerous Cities in California (2022 Update) | House Grail (5)

Susanville is located in Lassen County. It is a pioneer town, dating back to the settling of California. Its current primary employers include two state and one Federal prison. The crime statistics of this city are skewed by this: Many of the crimes committed are in the prisons and committed by prisoners.

6. San Bernardino

10 Most Dangerous Cities in California (2022 Update) | House Grail (6)
Population216,715
Violent Crimes in 20192,858
Violent crimes per 1,000 people in 201913.2

San Bernardino is a particularly violent area east of San Francisco in Southern California, with a crime occurring approximately once every 26 minutes. It is the second-largest city on our list so far and is famous for its role on Route 66. Crime is concentrated in central and down-town areas, with more affluent and outlying areas less affected.

7. Emeryville

Population12,380
Violent Crimes in 2019166
Violent crimes per 1,000 people in 201913.4

Emeryville is in Alameda County, north of Oakland. Home of Pixar Animation Studios and situated near Berkeley University, it shares many of the same violent neighborhoods as Oakland. Crime is associated with less affluent areas, which is most of the city proper. Suburbs to the west are much less affected.

8. Stockton

Population313,604
Violent Crimes in 20194,380
Violent crimes per 1,000 people in 201914

Stockton is a Gold Rush city, built in the mid-1800s and is today known for its #1 status in the US News most diverse city ranking. It is the largest city on our list. As is the case with the other large cities we’ve analyzed, crime is centered in the metro areas. The chance of violent crime is 1 in 130 in the central metro areas and drops to 1 in 412 in the southern parts of the city.

9. Needles

Population5,001
Violent Crimes in 201971
Violent crimes per 1,000 people in 201914.2

Needles is located in San Bernardino County along with three other of the most violent cities in California on our list. It is the last stop before entering the Mojave National Preserve, a scenic geography with unusual plants and rock formations. Unfortunately, it has more than its share of the already-high crime of San Bernardino County, with most violent-prone parts of the city west of the Colorado River.

10. Big Bear

Population5,311
Violent Crimes in 201976
Violent crimes per 1,000 people in 201914.3

Following the trend of increased violence in San Bernardino County is Big Bear, only slightly more populous than Needles. The city is famous for the nearby Big Bear Lake, mountains, and ski resorts. The more highly populated areas of the city are the most violent.

10 Most Dangerous Cities in California (2022 Update) | House Grail (7)

Violent Crime Rates In California and San Bernardino

Most of California has been experiencing a decrease in violent crime and property crime. One extreme example of the opposite is San Bernardino, which has seen an extreme increase of 15% in violent crime as of 2019 (the most recent statistics available from the Department of Justice), even though property crime has decreased. This is why 3 of the cities above are listed in San Bernardino county. Most of the rest of California is sharing in the national decline of violent crime.

How to Stay Safe in California

Staying safe in any city or community can be difficult for outsiders who do not know the area. When traveling in any new area, do basic research. Use a crime mapping service to know where safe areas are, know where you will arrive (airport, bus stop, etc.) and where you are going and how to get there (hotel or friend’s house), and communicate your plans and when you’ll call to check in with others. Let them know what town you’re in and when you plan to call them to let them know you’re safe.

Stay aware. If an area seems unsafe, avoid it. If the behavior of an individual or group seems unsafe, leave the area. Know where police stations are and keep your phone charged.

10 Most Dangerous Cities in California (2022 Update) | House Grail (8)

Conclusion

Except San Bernardino County, most of California is experiencing a decrease in violent crime. Most crimes in the most violent cities are concentrated in populous areas, usually central metro or downtown. Remember when traveling to these areas that just because an area is high-crime does not necessarily mean the entire area is less safe all the time — and that crimes can be committed in low-violence areas as well. It is best to be thoughtful, aware, and prepared at all times to avoid mishap and ensure a safe, enjoyable journey.

Sources

(Video) 9 Minutes of Mind Blowing Moments Caught on Camera!

Featured Image Credit: downtown stockton (Image Credit: HaeB, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

Contents

  • 1 The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in California: A Quick Look
    • 1.1 1. Barstow
    • 1.2 2. Compton
    • 1.3 3. Dos Palos
    • 1.4 4. Oakland
    • 1.5 5. Susanville
    • 1.6 6. San Bernardino
    • 1.7 7. Emeryville
    • 1.8 8. Stockton
    • 1.9 9. Needles
    • 1.10 10. Big Bear
  • 2 Violent Crime Rates In California and San Bernardino
  • 3 How to Stay Safe in California
  • 4 Conclusion

Writer

10 Most Dangerous Cities in California (2022 Update) | House Grail (9)

Pete Ortiz

Pete has been working in the trades since high school, where he first developed a passion for woodworking. Over the years, he has developed a keen interest in a wide variety of DIY projects around the home. Fascinated by all sort of tools, Pete loves reading and writing about all the latest gadgets and accessories that hit the market. His other interests include astronomy, hiking, and fishing.As the founder of House Grail, Pete's primary goal is to help consumers make educated decisions about DIY projects at home, in the garage, and in the garden.

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OUR categories

FAQs

What city has the highest crime rate 2022? ›

In 2022, The top 10 most dangerous cities in the US are Little Rock, Memphis, Tacoma, Detroit, Pueblo, Cleveland, Springfield, Lansing, Kansas City and Chattanooga.
...
Most Dangerous Cities in the US.
Rank1
CityLittle Rock
StateArkansas
Population (2022 Estimates)204,171
Violent Crimes (till July 2022)902
29 more columns

Is San Bernardino worse than Compton? ›

In 2019, San Bernardino had the third-highest murder rate in the entire state. One of the oldest cities in Los Angeles county is also considered to have one of the highest crime rates in the country. In Compton, your chance of being a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 85.

What is the number 1 dangerous city in California? ›

LOS ANGELES - Three cities in California are considered some of the most dangerous in the United States, according to a new study from WalletHub. San Bernardino, Oakland and Los Angeles ranked as California's most dangerous cities, while Fremont, Irvine and Chula Vista were scored as the safest places to live.

Where should I not live in California? ›

There are both pros and cons of living In California. Not all the cities in this state are safe and sound.
...
11 Most Dangerous Cities In California
  • Oakland. Population: 440,046. ...
  • Stockton. Population: 320,804. ...
  • Susanville. ...
  • Signal Hill. ...
  • San Bernardino. ...
  • Compton. ...
  • Crescent City. ...
  • Marysville.

What is the safest city in USA 2022? ›

15 Safest Cities In The US In 2022
  • Wenatchee, Washington. ...
  • Appleton, Wisconsin. ...
  • Dubuque, Iowa. ...
  • Portland, Maine. ...
  • Worcester, Massachusetts. ...
  • Rochester, Minnesota. ...
  • Methodology For The Safest Cities In The US. ...
  • The Bottom Line. Safety is a complex equation, so keep in mind that many safe places to live aren't on this list.

What US city has the highest murders rate? ›

Homicide stats for America's biggest cities
  • Memphis, Tenn. 306 homicides. The homicide rate was 48.7 per 100,000.
  • Detroit. 303 homicides. ...
  • Milwaukee, Wis. 195 homicides. ...
  • Atlanta. 159 homicides. ...
  • Kansas City, Mo. 156 homicides. ...
  • Louisville, Ky. 192 homicides. ...
  • Indianapolis. 239 homicides. ...
  • Las Vegas. 152 homicides.
19 Oct 2022

What are the worst cities to live in 2022? ›

Here are the 10 most dangerous big cities in the US for 2022:
  • Albuquerque, NM.
  • Lubbock, TX.
  • Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR.
  • Shreveport-Bossier City, LA.
  • Bakersfield, CA.
  • Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Springfield, MO.
  • Corpus Cristi, TX.
19 Oct 2022

What state has the highest crime? ›

What crime data does the FBI publish?
LocationProperty Crime Rate (2020)Violent Crime Rate (2020)
United States1,958.2398.5
Alabama2,136.8453.6
Alaska2,260.5837.8
Arizona2,227.7484.8
48 more rows
6 Oct 2022

Where is the safest place to live in California? ›

Here are the 10 Safest Cities in California for 2022
  • Danville.
  • Rancho Santa Margarita.
  • Moorpark.
  • Aliso Viejo.
  • Yorba Linda.
  • Laguna Niguel.
  • Poway.
  • Mission Viejo.

Is San Bernardino the poorest city in California? ›

San Bernardino County's rate of poverty is higher than state and national averages and is the highest among counties compared, except for Los Angeles and Miami-Dade, where 13.4% and 15.6%, respectively, of the population live in poverty.

What is the number 1 dangerous place in the world? ›

1. Afghanistan. With a 2022 score of 3.554 (actually slightly safer than 2021's 3.631), Afghanistan remains the most dangerous country in the world for the fifth year in a row.

What is the Top 5 dangerous city? ›

The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in the World:
  • TIJUANA, Mexico. 115 murders per 100,000 people.
  • JUAREZ, Mexico. 111 murders per 100,000 people.
  • ACAPULCO, Mexico. 103 murders per 100,000 people.
  • IRAPUATO, Mexico. 98 murders per 100,000 people.
  • GUAYANA, Venezuela. ...
  • CARACAS, Venezuela. ...
  • CAPE TOWN, South Africa. ...
  • MOSSORO, Brazil.
13 Oct 2022

What is the nicest part of California to live? ›

Best Places To Live In California In 2022
  • San Francisco. Population. 815,201.
  • Los Angeles. Population. 3,849,297. ...
  • San Jose. Population. 983,489. ...
  • Vallejo. Population. 124,886. ...
  • Oxnard. Population. 201,879. ...
  • Modesto. Population. 218,771. ...
  • Fresno. Population. 544,510. Median home price. ...
  • Bakersfield. Population. 407,615. Median home price. ...
26 Oct 2022

Where is the cheapest but safest place to live in California? ›

Sacramento: one of the safest places to live in California

As the state capital city, Sacramento is also surprisingly one of the cheapest places to live in California. Downtown Sacramento is not that cheap, however, there are lots of smaller surrounding suburbs that have affordable rent and real estate prices.

What is the number 1 safest state? ›

Vermont is the safest state in the United States, according to a new report from WalletHub. The ranking is based on 53 different indicators ranging from unemployment rates to assaults per capita. Vermont is followed by Maine, New Hampshire, Utah, and Hawaii, respectively.

Where is the cheapest and safest place to live in USA? ›

Augusta, a small city near Georgia's border with South Carolina, is one of the cheapest and safest places to live in the USA. It has a low crime rate and a low cost of living, making it perfect for those looking to live comfortably and save money.

What is the top 10 safest city in the US? ›

Rankings for the safest cities to live
  • Glens Falls, NY. Population: 14,722. ...
  • Ridgefield, CT. Population: 25,011. ...
  • Midland, MI. Population: 83,445. ...
  • Port St. Lucie, FL. ...
  • McKinney, TX. Population: 202,690. ...
  • Frisco, TX. Population: 210,719. ...
  • Sunnyvale, CA. Population: 152,258. ...
  • Portland, ME. Population: 68,313. Median Household income: $61,695.
19 Sept 2022

What cities will boom in the future? ›

  • Austin, Texas. Current population (city): 961,855. ...
  • Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Current population (city): 467,665 / 174,762. ...
  • Orlando, Florida. Current population (city): 307,573. ...
  • Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina. ...
  • Houston, Texas. ...
  • Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida. ...
  • San Antonio, Texas. ...
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.
8 Sept 2022

What is the most moved to city 2022? ›

Big city spotlight: #1 Tampa, FL is the most popular large city to move to in 2022, and it's not the only popular city in the state: #2 Orlando, #6 Jacksonville, and #13 Miami also are attracting moves in. Four Texas cities also land in the top 20: #10 Dallas, #11 Austin, #14 Houston, and #15 San Antonio.

What is the #1 city in the world? ›

  • London, England. Highlighted rankings: Nightlife (1), Museums (1) ...
  • Paris, France. Highlighted rankings: Sights and Landmarks (1), Shopping (2) ...
  • New York City, United States. Highlighted rankings: Promotion (2), Culture (2) ...
  • Tokyo, Japan. ...
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates. ...
  • Barcelona, Spain. ...
  • Rome, Italy. ...
  • Madrid, Spain.
9 Nov 2022

What are the most unsafe states to live in? ›

The Most Dangerous States in America

Louisiana was named the least safe state in America for the second year in a row. Mississippi was also the second least safe state in the country for a second year in a row.

Where is the safest place to live in the US? ›

Safest Cities in the U.S.
Overall Rank*CityTotal Score
1Columbia, MD85.99
2Nashua, NH84.44
3Laredo, TX83.96
4Portland, ME83.49
65 more rows
10 Oct 2022

What 10 states have the highest crime rate? ›

Below is the law office's ranking of the top 10 states with the highest rates of violent crime for 2020:
  • Tennessee.
  • Arkansas.
  • Louisiana.
  • Missouri.
  • South Carolina.
  • South Dakota.
  • Arizona.
  • Michigan.
18 Oct 2022

Where is the happiest place to live in California? ›

Concord is named the “happiest” city in America, according to a study by HouseFresh. The city was also named the “smiliest” in the country. For both categories, San Francisco cracked the top 20 with a ranking of 15th. No other California city cracked the top 20 in either the “happiest” or “smiliest” categories.

What is the safest small city in California? ›

California's Safest Small Cities
  • Rancho Santa Margarita.
  • Danville.
  • Yorba Linda.
  • Mission Viejo.
  • San Ramon.
  • Los Gatos.
  • Poway.
  • Camarillo.
10 Feb 2022

Where is the nicest and cheapest place to live in California? ›

Ventura in Los Angeles is an affordable California beach town to live in if you want to be somewhere with beautiful views and charming weather. Some other inexpensive coastal cities to live in California are Long Beach, San Pedro, and Eureka.

What is the brokest city in California? ›

1. Huron. Unfortunately, Huron ranks as California's poorest city due to a combination of low salary and a scarcity of jobs. The city of 7,084 inhabitants has the second lowest median household income and the second highest poverty rate in California.

Is California a poor state? ›

The four other inhabited U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are listed separately.
...
List.
State or TerritoryCalifornia
Population38,589,882
Population under Poverty Line4,853,434
Poverty Rate12.58%
53 more columns

What is the most dangerous state in America in 2022? ›

The South continues to be ranked as the least safe states in the U.S., according to WalletHub. Louisiana was named the least safe state in America for the second year in a row. Mississippi was also the second least safe state in the country for a second year in a row.

What is the most feared state? ›

Louisiana came in first as the most dangerous state in the nation with a violent crime rate of 564 per 100,000 people and had 738 murders in 2021. At the bottom of the list was Kansas with a violent crime rate of 345.8 per 100,000 people and 141 murders last year.

What is the #1 most dangerous state in the US? ›

1. Alaska
Population:733,391
Homicides:49
Violent crimes (per 100,000 people):838
Violent crime rate annual change:-3.4%

Which state in USA is safest? ›

Vermont is the safest state in the United States, according to a new report from WalletHub. The ranking is based on 53 different indicators ranging from unemployment rates to assaults per capita. Vermont is followed by Maine, New Hampshire, Utah, and Hawaii, respectively.

What are the top 10 most violent cities? ›

Most Violent Cities in America 2022
  • Oakland, CA (1,299)
  • San Bernardino, CA (1,291)
  • Anchorage, AK (1,203)
  • Nashville, TN (1,138)
  • Lansing, MI (1,136)
  • New Orleans, LA (1,121)
  • Minneapolis, MN (1,101)
  • Chicago, IL (1,099)

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