Top 5 Safest cities in California with the Best quality of life – 2024

California, often referred to as the “Golden State”, is a diverse region in the United States, home to cities that offer both safety and natural beauty. From bustling big cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco to Silicon Valley, renowned for its technological innovations, and the beautiful beaches on the Pacific coast in San Diego in Southern California, residents here enjoy a rich variety of experiences. However, there are things you need to know before moving to California, starting with the safety in the State.

Are you looking for a place to call home where you can feel comfortable and safe, surrounded by convenient amenities? We’ve got you covered! The 5 safest cities to live in California with the best quality of life in 2024 are listed below!

map of safest cities in california

Methodology

Our ranking methodology is based on a careful analysis of the total number of crimes, which consist of violent crimes, property crimes and arson. To ensure accuracy, we calculated the average number of various crimes per 1000 people. The data was gathered from the FBI UCR California for the year 2019. 

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, the environment (cleanliness), as well as the availability of recreational facilities and parks.

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1. Rancho Santa Margarita

Apartment in Rancho-Santa-Margarita
  • Population: 47,442
  • Crime Rate: 6.87 crimes per 1,000 people

Rancho Santa Margarita is a small city with a cozy village vibe, with a family-oriented community where safety is a top priority. The residents collaborate through various programs, and the presence of law enforcement ensures the maintenance of a safe city, evidenced by a low crime rate of 6.87 crimes per 1,000 people.

Most of the residents here are in their 30s, living in large condominiums and houses. They consider it a great place to raise a family, with a friendly community, offering a high quality of life. They have access to amenities such as parks, including Lake Santa Margarita parks, pools, pedestrian, and bicycle trails, and public schools nearby.

City of RSM (Dec 2023), Local Logic (Nov 2023), Ucr.fbi.gov (Dec 2022), & City Data (Dec 2016)

Rancho Santa Margarita, California

2. Moorpark

Apartment in Moorpark
  • Population: 35,975
  • Crime Rate: 7.06 crimes per 1,000 people

Moorpark, a small city in Southern California and home to 5,975 residents, most ranging in their 30s. Conveniently located near to universities, like California State University (30-minute drive), California Lutheran University (15-minute drive), and major institutions like UC Santa Barbara, Pepperdine, UCLA, and USC, all within a 50-minute drive, ideal for young professionals seeking to further their education.

Commuting here is easy, the city has its own Metrolink Station, with stops from Oxnard to Los Angeles Union Station, as well as bus services. It is also recognized as a low-cost city with a long history of being the safest city in Ventura County. Moorpark has a reported crime rate of 7.06 crimes per 1,000 people, providing a secure environment for its residents.

Moonpark City (De 2023)Local Logic (Nov 2023), Ucr.fbi.gov (Dec 2022), & City Data (Dec 2016)

Moorpark, California

3. Danville

Apartment in Danville
  • Population: 43,240
  • Crime Rate: 7.38 crimes per 1,000 people

Danville is a wealthy town located in the San Ramon Valley in Contra Costa County, California. Housing options range from luxury homes to condos and townhomes. Residents enjoy shopping centers in Downtown Danville and larger malls like Blackhawk Plaza.

The town is home to several outdoor recreation areas, and if you enjoy hiking, Mount Diablo State Park is the perfect place with hiking trails. Residents here say it stands out for being a quiet and safe town, with a reported low  crime rate of 7.38 crimes per 1,000 people.

 Local Logic (Nov 2023), Ucr.fbi.gov (Dec 2022), & City Data (Dec 2016)

Danville, California

4. Saratoga

Apartment in Saratoga
  • Population: 30,163
  • Crime Rate: 8.49 crimes per 1,000 people

Saratoga, a small city in Santa Clara County, is home to around 30,163 residents, primarily in their 40s to late 50s. Renowned for being an expensive suburb where residents live in luxury homes, it offers a strong sense of security, complemented by a low crime rate of 8.49 crimes per 1,000 people.

Just a 13-minute commute to Silicon Valley, residents here enjoy working in proximity to employers such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and IBM. Saratoga also offers open spaces like Sanborn County Park and Hakone Estate and Gardens, along with boutique shopping and high-end restaurants, enhancing the quality of life while maintaining its small-town feel.

Saratoga (Dec 2023), Local Logic (Nov 2023), Ucr.fbi.gov (Dec 2022), & City Data (Dec 2016)

Saratoga, California

5. Orinda

Apartment in Orinda
  • Population: 19,483
  • Crime Rate: 10.88 crimes per 1,000 people

Orinda, a suburb of Oakland in Contra Costa County, has a population of 19,483 and a reported crime rate of 10.88 crimes per 1,000 people, making it one of the safest places to live in California. Renowned for its luxury hillside homes with spectacular views, surrounded by green areas and small downtown shops.

Residents claim to enjoy different recreation areas, including Siesta Valley, Orinda Community Park, and Orinda Oaks Park. They appreciate the city’s scenic arts and theaters, with the Rheem Theater being a local favorite. While buses are available for commuting, they say that the best way to get around is by car, with the San Francisco Bay Area just a quick 20-minute ride away.

Redfin (Dec 2023), Local Logic (Nov 2023), Ucr.fbi.gov (Dec 2022), & City Data (Dec 2016)

Orinda, California

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Conclusion

When choosing a new place to live in the Golden State, proximity to bus stations, parks, and prestigious public schools is key. However, safety in California always stands out as one of the most crucial considerations. Our updated list reflects this priority, our methodology not only considers crime statistics based on FBI California data, but also incorporates valuable insights from reputable forums about residents living in these neighborhoods.

Deciding the ideal city in California to call home requires patience, so be sure to carefully review this list before making your final decision. Planning to move to California soon? Discover the best movers in Los Angeles!

 

Last year’s ranking (2023)

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

 

Our rankings are meticulously curated, considering affordability and quality of life. It’s important to highlight that certain places were excluded from last year’s lists due to insufficient rental data. Moreover, entries with higher average housing prices in the previous year were excluded from the current rankings. We encourage readers to weigh these rankings in light of their individual needs and preferences for a more informed decision-making process.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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