California is a highly desirable location for many reasons, including its strong economy, beautiful weather, and vibrant cities. However, when considering places to live in the state, safety is a crucial factor to consider. To assist with this decision, we have compiled a list of the top ten safest cities to live in California for the year 2023.
10 Safest Cities in California
- Rancho Santa Margarita
- Aliso Viejo
- Yorba Linda
- Rancho Palos Verdes
- Laguna Niguel
- Mission Viejo
- Thousand Oaks
Danville, situated in the San Ramon Valley, is recognized as the safest city in California with a population of 43,582. It boasts a crime rate that is impressively 78% lower than the state average. Danville provides the perfect blend of suburban living with a peaceful ambiance, free from the hustle and bustle of urban areas. It offers a wide variety of options, including remarkable restaurants, coffee shops, and parks, along with highly-rated public schools. Thus, Danville is a top-rated city in California that guarantees a safe and ideal environment for families to reside in.
2. Rancho Santa Margarita
Rancho Santa Margarita, located in Orange County in Southern California, is a secure city with a population of 47,894. It boasts an impressive crime rate that is 76% lower than the state average. However, the cost of living in Rancho Santa Margarita is relatively high, with an average home price of $784,000, which is 216% higher than the national average. Additionally, the average income in the city is $104,556, which is considerably higher than the national average. Despite the higher expenses, Rancho Santa Margarita is a top-rated choice for those who value safety and can afford the cost of living.
Moorpark, situated near Los Angeles in Southern California, is a city with a population of 37,573 that offers a safe living environment. Its crime rate is significantly lower than that of 74% of California cities, with only 662 crimes per 100,000 people, resulting in a 1 in 152 chance of being a victim of a crime. Remarkably, no homicides were reported between 2017 and 2018. However, the cost of living in Moorpark is relatively high, with an average home price of $597,300, which is 207% higher than the US average and 39% higher than the California average. Despite the higher expenses, the average income in Moorpark is $100,457, which is 82% higher than the California average.
4. Aliso Viejo
Aliso Viejo, located in the San Joaquin Hills of California, is another safe city that stands out in terms of safety. With a population of 47,825, the city has a crime rate of 810 per 100,000, which is 69% lower than the California average. The chance of experiencing violent crime is rare, with only a 1 in 2,134 chance of becoming a victim. Although the median home price in Aliso Viejo is 56% higher than the national average, the city offers a median income of $103,261, making it an excellent option for those who value safety and can afford a higher cost of living.
Poway is a remarkably safe city with a population of 49,479, boasting a crime rate of only 847 per 100,000 people, which is 64% lower than the national average. The city has an excellent safety record, with only 34 assaults reported in 2021 and no murders. The chances of experiencing property crime in Poway are also notably low, with only a 1 in 129 chance of becoming a victim. Although Poway is relatively expensive, with a cost of living 61% higher than the US average, it offers a median income of $99,000, making it an attractive option for those who prioritize safety and can afford a higher cost of living.
6. Yorba Linda
If you’re looking for a safe place to live in California, consider one of these Safest Cities in California. Danville, located in the San Ramon Valley, tops the list with a population of 43,582 and a crime rate that is 78% lower than the California average. Rancho Santa Margarita in Orange County and Moorpark near Los Angeles are also among the safest cities in California, with crime rates significantly lower than the state average. Aliso Viejo, located in the San Joaquin Hills, and Poway, a city in San Diego County, also boast remarkably low crime rates. Yorba Linda, another city in Orange County, completes the list of California’s safest cities, with an excellent safety record and a high median income. These cities offer a great quality of life for those who prioritize safety and can afford a higher cost of living.
7. Rancho Palos Verdes
Rancho Palos Verdes, one of the safest cities in California, is situated in Los Angeles County on the Pacific Coast. The city has a population of 41,643 and a crime rate of 911 per 100,000 individuals. In 2021, it was ranked safer than 61% of US cities, with no recorded incidents of murder, only six robberies, and 34 assaults. However, there were 78 burglaries and 28 vehicle thefts during the same period, making the likelihood of being a victim of property crime 1 in 122.
8. Laguna Niguel
Laguna Niguel is situated just south of Irvine and is home to a population of 66,759 people. The city boasts a low crime rate of 929 per 100,000 individuals, making it 60% safer than the national average. The rate of violent crimes such as murders and assaults is exceptionally low, with a 1 in 1,570 chance of becoming a victim. Additionally, property crimes are also comparatively infrequent, with theft being the most common. Overall, Laguna Niguel is an ideal city for those prioritizing safety.
9. Mission Viejo
Mission Viejo, another city in Orange County, is home to a population of 94,513 and boasts a crime rate that is 62% lower than the California average. In 2020, there were no murders and only a few incidents of robbery and assault, resulting in residents having a 1 in 1,319 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime. Mission Viejo is an affluent area with a median income of $104,886, which is 90% higher than the national average. It is a safe and prosperous place to call home.
10. Thousand Oaks
Thousand Oaks, located in Southern California, has a population of 126,823 and a crime rate of 1,097 per 100,000 people. The city is considered safer than 58% of cities in the United States. In 2020, there were only 23 robberies, 32 assaults, and one murder reported in Thousand Oaks, with residents having a 1 in 1,649 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime. Property crimes are also relatively low, with residents having a 1 in 95 chance of becoming a victim, with burglary and theft being the most common. The median home price in Thousand Oaks is $837,100, which is 245% higher than the US average, making it an affluent community.
Safest Cities in California Bottom Line
While there are many safe cities in California, it is important to note that living in these areas often comes with a higher cost of living. The median home prices in these safe cities are typically well above both the national and California averages. Therefore, if you are searching for a high quality of life in one of California’s safest cities, it is important to be aware that purchasing a home may require a significant financial investment.
Safest Cities in California Methodology
We analyzed several factors to compile a list of the safest cities in California, including crime statistics, quality of life, and amenities. To ensure accuracy, we used crime data from local and state sources ranging from 2020 to 2022, as well as the latest FBI violent crime report. Additionally, we only considered cities with a population of at least 30,000. By taking these factors into account, we were able to provide an informed and comprehensive ranking of the safest places to live in California.