Safest cities in California

Top 10 Safest cities in California with the Best quality of life – 2023

According to the FBI, the United States of America recently registered an average rate of 308 violent crimes per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 1958. The crime rate is a good indicator of how safe a city or state is. As with every other state, safety is one of the many things to consider when moving to California. According to the Office of the Attorney General, California recently registered 433.5 violent crimes and 2290.3 property crimes reported per 100,000 population. If you’re moving somewhere in the US and are looking for a state that offers a high level of security and safety, here are the Top 10 safest cities in California! While these cities may not be the biggest or most popular, they have been chosen based on their quality of life.

Safest Cities in California - infographic

Methodology

We based our ranking on the 3 following criteria: the violent-crime rate, the property crime rate, and the total crime rate (the sum of both property and violent crime rates). Statistics come from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program and Neighborhood Scouts. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), The UCR Program “includes data from more than 18,000 city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies. Agencies participate voluntarily and submit their crime data either through a state UCR program or directly to the FBI’s UCR Program”.

We’ve used these data to rank the 10 safest cities in California while also considering their quality of life. To support our ranking, we thought it would be relevant to compare the statistics of the cities concerned with the rates of the State of California.

(*FBI & National Incident-Based Reporting System)

MovingWaldo's list of the Safest cities in California

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1. Rancho Santa Margarita

1. Rancho Santa Margarita
Highly rated public schools
  • Population: 47,969
  • Crime Rate (violent and property): 6.32 per 1,000 (76/100)

Rancho Santa Margarita, a suburb of Irvines, is one of the top safest cities in California. It has a violent and property crime rate of 6.32 per 1,000 population, which is significantly lower than the average violent and property crime rate in California. The City is dedicated to its crime-fighting strategy and maintaining a peaceful atmosphere in the community. Living in Rancho Santa Margarita offers its residents a quiet suburban feeling with many coffee shops and parks. Most people are homeowners in Rancho Santa Margarita and the public schools in this area are highly rated.

(*FBI Uniform Crime ReportingNeighborhood Scout, World Population Review)

Rancho Santa Margarita, California

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2. Danville

3. Danville
Best for the outdoorsy
  • Population: 43,890
  • Crime Rate (violent and property): 6.72 per 1,000 (73/100)

Danville, a suburb of Oakland with a population of 43,890, is one of the top safest cities in California. The violent and property crime rate in Danville is 6.72 per 1,000 people, which is lower than the average crime rate in California. Residents in Danville enjoy a serene suburban environment. In Danville, you can ride your bike on the Diablo Road Trail or take your dog to the Canine Corral in the dog park. The Sycamore Valley Park offers playgrounds for kids, a fountain, a reflection pond, and an area for recreational activities like jogging and sports.

(*FBI Uniform Crime ReportingNeighborhood Scout and World Population Review)

Danville, California

3. Moorpark

2. Moorpark
Best for families
  • Population: 36,656
  • Crime Rate (violent and property): 6.89 per 1,000 (73/100)

Moorpark is recognized for having the lowest number of serious crimes. Hence it is one of the safest cities in California. The total crime rate is 6.89 per 1,000, which is less than California’s average. The city has six elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, and one continuation school. Moorpark has a family zoo, art centers, and a number of recreational activities for families.

(*FBI Uniform Crime ReportingNeighborhood Scout & World Population Review)

Moorpark, California

4. Saratoga

5. Saratoga
Small town feel
  • Population: 32,059
  • Crime Rate (violent and property): 7.66 per 1,000 (69/100)

Saratoga is another safe city in California, with a population of about 32,059 individuals. The property and violent crime rate in this city is 7.66 in 1,000 people, which is significantly below the California average. In addition to its fine dining, unique shops, and distinctive cultural institutions, Saratoga is well known for its outstanding schools. Residents of Saratoga can escape Silicon Valley’s hustle and bustle while enjoying a high quality of life.

(*FBI Uniform Crime ReportingNeighborhood Scout and World Population Review)

Saratoga, California

5. Orinda

9. Orinda
Best for the outdoorsy
  • Population: 19,888
  • Crime Rate (violent and property): 7.69 per 1,000 (69/100)

Orinda, a suburb of Oakland with a population of 19,888, is one of the safest places to live in California. With a violent crime rate of 7.69 per 1,000 people. In Orinda, there are a lot of restaurants and coffee shops. The city also has impressive theaters and art centers for art lovers to enjoy. Orinda is full of lovely parks for people to relax with family and friends. 

(*FBI Uniform Crime ReportingNeighborhood Scouts and World Population Review)

Orinda, California

6. Aliso Viejo

6. Aliso Viejo
Best for young families
  • Population: 53,046
  • Crime Rate (violent and property): 7.99 per 1,000 (67/100)

Aliso Viejo has been named among the safest cities in California, with a violent crime rate of 7.99 per 1,000 people. One of the top Aliso Viejo attractions is the world-famous Aliso Viejo Country Club golf course, which Jack Nicklaus designed. Additionally, residents enjoy the public park, with multiple tennis courts and other sports fields for various uses. As one of the most popular points of interest in Aliso Viejo, residents also have access to the picnic area and a children’s playground.

(*FBI Uniform Crime ReportingNeighborhood Scout and World Population Review)

Aliso Viejo, California

7. Yorba Linda

7. Yorba Linda
Award-winning schools
  • Population: 69,156 
  • Crime Rate (violent and property): 8.90 per 1,000 (63/100)

Yorba Linda, located in Orange County with a population of 67,725, is one of the safest places to live in California. There is a violent crime rate of 8.90 per 1,000 people. An award-winning public library, a black gold golf club, and an Equestrian Center can be found in Yorba Linda. Additionally, the residents enjoy award-winning schools, investment in public infrastructure, strong leadership, visionary planning, public and private partnerships, and an exceptional quality of life.

(*FBI Uniform Crime ReportingNeighborhood Scouts and World Population Review)

Yorba Linda, California

8. Rancho Palos Verdes

4. Rancho Palos Verdes
Stunning scenic views
  • Population: 42,287
  • Crime Rate (violent and property): 9.27 per 1,000 (61/100)

According to its crime statistics and data, Rancho Palos Verdes has been named the fourth safest city in California. The total crime rate in Rancho Palos Verdes is 9.27 per 1,000 people, which is far below the average crime rate in California. Residents in Rancho Palos Verdes enjoy quiet streets, good schools, and stunning ocean and city views. In Rancho Palos Verdes, there are a lot of coffee shops and parks, and the public schools are highly rated.

(*FBI Uniform Crime ReportingNeighborhood Scout and World Population Review )

Rancho Palos Verdes, California

9. San Juan Capistrano

8. San Juan Capistrano
A charming town
  • Population: 36,209
  • Crime Rate (violent and property): 10.43 per 1,000 (56/100)

Another safe city in California is San Juan Capistrano.  The total crime rate is 10.43 per 1,000 people making it one of the safest cities in California. In San Juan Capistrano, there are a lot of coffee shops and restaurants where residents enjoy Mediterranean dishes and world-class Mexican cuisine. The city has just one high school, which is highly rated, and many students attend high schools in neighboring cities.

(*FBI Uniform Crime ReportingNeighborhood Scouts and World Population Review)

San Juan Capistrano, California

10. Windsor

10. Windsor
Best for young couples and families
  • Population: 26,252
  • Crime Rate (violent and property): 10.67 per 1,000 (55/100)

Windsor is located in Sonoma County, California. It is a family-oriented community with an exceptional quality of life. The total crime rate of Windsor is 10.67 per 1,000 people, which is 55% lower than the average total crime rate in California; hence it is considered one of the safest cities in California. The city pays among the lowest amount per capita for police services, yet crime rates are low compared with other communities. Residents in Windsor enjoy a wide variety of services and recreational opportunities, well-planned business areas, and a lively downtown. Windsor has excellent local schools and has access to academically competitive colleges and universities in Sonoma County.

(*FBI Uniform Crime ReportingNeighborhood Scout and World Population Review)

Windsor, California

Conclusion

With a vast and diverse population, it’s no wonder why this Golden State has continued to expand its population size over the past decade. With knowledge of crime statistics, you would better understand how to move to one of the safest places to live in California. Of course, safety is not the only thing to look out for if you plan to move to California. The cost of living is also essential. Check out our list of the cheapest places to live in California. Are you moving soon? Discover the best movers in Los Angeles

MovingWaldo's list of the Safest cities in California in 2022

1. Rancho Santa Margarita
2. Moorpark
3. Danville
4. Rancho Palos Verdes
5. Saratoga
6. Aliso Viejo
7. Yorba Linda
8. San Juan Capistrano
9. Orinda
10. Windsor

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