Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in California

10 Most Dangerous Cities in California

California is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes, dynamic cultural scene, and abundant economic opportunities. However, not all places within the Golden State share an equal level of safety. Some cities face a more significant challenge in combating criminal activity, which distinguishes them as the most unsafe places to reside. Contrary to common assumptions, larger urban centers like Los Angeles and San Francisco don’t always exhibit the highest levels of danger. Surprisingly, smaller cities can outpace their larger counterparts in terms of crime rates. Before exploring the 10 most dangerous cities in California, draw attention to the table featuring the population and crime rate in the 100 Most Dangerous Cities in the state.

List Of 100 Most Dangerous Cities In California: Violent Crime RatePer 100,000 Residents

RankCityPopulationViolent Crime Rate
1Stockton313,6041,397 per 100k
2San Bernardino216,7151,318 per 100k
3Oakland434,0361,271 per 100k
4Compton96,6381,142 per 100k
5Richmond110,988931 per 100k
6Lancaster159,335853 per 100k
7Vallejo122,657845 per 100k
8Modesto216,542812 per 100k
9Victorville123,089803 per 100k
10Huntington Park58,181787 per 100k
11Los Angeles4,015,546732 per 100k
12Hawthorne87,305728 per 100k
13Santa Monica91,621725 per 100k
14San Francisco886,007670 per 100k
15South Gate94,445659 per 100k
16Highland55,686650 per 100k
17Merced83,854644 per 100k
18Lynwood70,619643 per 100k
19Paramount54,422638 per 100k
20Sacramento513,934627 per 100k
21Pomona152,776615 per 100k
22Inglewood109,398613 per 100k
23Pittsburg73,637606 per 100k
24Watsonville54,261604 per 100k
25Santa Cruz65,263596 per 100k
26National City61,791589 per 100k
27Chico95,826581 per 100k
28Antioch112,641575 per 100k
29Turlock74,120575 per 100k
30Rialto103,965572 per 100k
31Indio92,803571 per 100k
32Gardena59,833542 per 100k
33El Cajon103,686532 per 100k
34Long Beach467,974506 per 100k
35Riverside333,260506 per 100k
36Madera66,250504 per 100k
37Berkeley122,788503 per 100k
38San Leandro90,297503 per 100k
39Salinas156,943498 per 100k
40Carson91,947483 per 100k
41Santa Rosa177,884482 per 100k
42Hesperia95,915482 per 100k
43Apple Valley74,051458 per 100k
44Bakersfield388,080455 per 100k
45Hanford57,232449 per 100k
46San Jose1,040,008438 per 100k
47Santa Barbara91,717436 per 100k
48Santa Ana333,663435 per 100k
49Visalia134,961434 per 100k
50Pasadena141,913432 per 100k
51Bellflower77,196424 per 100k
52Palmdale157,138419 per 100k
53Gilroy60,106418 per 100k
54Concord130,615414 per 100k
55Norwalk105,067411 per 100k
56Ventura111,596410 per 100k
57Oceanside177,129402 per 100k
58Moreno Valley210,979401 per 100k
59Tulare65,134401 per 100k
60Hemet86,082398 per 100k
61San Rafael58,819391 per 100k
62Colton55,059390 per 100k
63West Sacramento54,372390 per 100k
64Delano53,002387 per 100k
65Upland77,398385 per 100k
66Fairfield118,383373 per 100k
67Pico Rivera62,880372 per 100k
68Placentia51,756371 per 100k
69Yucaipa53,964371 per 100k
70Union City75,202368 per 100k
71Woodland61,176366 per 100k
72San Diego1,441,737362 per 100k
73Ontario183,322359 per 100k
74Yuba City67,164359 per 100k
75Redlands71,941357 per 100k
76Citrus Heights88,496354 per 100k
77Chino93,348352 per 100k
78Napa79,526352 per 100k
79Lodi67,612351 per 100k
80Escondido153,215350 per 100k
81Vista102,227346 per 100k
82Oxnard211,349343 per 100k
83Fontana215,883342 per 100k
84Hayward161,588342 per 100k
85Chula Vista275,230328 per 100k
86Vacaville101,147327 per 100k
87Perris80,500325 per 100k
88Rosemead54,489321 per 100k
89Porterville60,209319 per 100k
90Anaheim353,915316 per 100k
91Downey112,330313 per 100k
92Petaluma62,425304 per 100k
93Buena Park82,627298 per 100k
94Glendora52,211297 per 100k
95Rancho Cordova75,869297 per 100k
96Garden Grove172,832292 per 100k
97La Mesa59,865291 per 100k
98Jurupa Valley110,111288 per 100k
99Azusa50,405286 per 100k
100Westminster91,086284 per 100k website

10 Most Dangerous Cities in California

From Stockton, with its staggering reported violent crimes, to Huntington Park, where incidents persist on a smaller scale, each of these cities faces unique safety challenges that deserve attention and consideration. Let’s explore“California’s most dangerous cities, delving into aspects such as population, violent crime rates, types of crimes, and more.

1. Stockton 

 Dangerous Cities in California
Stockton Waterfront by Denis Tangney Jr. from Getty Images Signature

Taking the top spot as the most unsafe city in California, Stockton, with a population of 313,604, experiences a staggering 4,380 reported violent crimes. This results in a violent crime rate of 1,397 incidents per 100,000 residents. The city witnesses approximately 34 homicides, 181 sexual assaults, 1,158 robberies, and 3,007 aggravated assaults on an annual basis.

2. San Bernardino 

 Dangerous Cities in California
View over San Bernardino by FiledIMAGE from Getty Images

San Bernardino, home to 216,715 individuals, secures the second position on the list. The city reports 2,858 violent crimes, yielding a violent crime rate of 1,318 incidents per 100,000 people. Notable statistics encompass around 46 murders, 140 rapes, 906 robberies, and 1,766 aggravated assaults each year.

3. Oakland 

Dangerous Cities in California
Downtown Oakland Skyline by Diane Bentley Raymond from Getty Images Signature

Oakland, housing 434,036 residents, claims the third spot. With 5,520 reported violent crimes, the city exhibits a violent crime rate of 1,271 incidents per 100,000 residents. Prominent figures include approximately 78 homicides, 372 sexual assaults, 2,859 robberies, and 2,211 aggravated assaults annually.

4. Compton 

Dangerous Cities in California
Compton by MattGush from Getty Images

Compton, with a population of 96,638, takes fourth place. The city reports 1,104 violent crimes, resulting in a violent crime rate of 1,142 incidents per 100,000 individuals. Notable data involves approximately 18 homicides, 40 sexual assaults, 427 robberies, and 619 aggravated assaults each year.

5. Richmond 

Dangerous Cities in California
Richmond Marina Bay waterfront, California by Andrei Stanescu from Getty Images

With a population of 110,988, Richmond secures the fifth ranking. The city experiences 1,034 reported violent crimes, leading to a violent crime rate of 931 incidents per 100,000 residents. Noteworthy statistics include around 16 homicides, 36 sexual assaults, 307 robberies, and 675 aggravated assaults annually.

6. Lancaster 

Dangerous Cities in California
Aerial View of Lancaster, California at Sunrise by Jacob Boomsma from Getty Images

Lancaster, accommodating 159,335 people, ranks as the sixth most dangerous city. The city records 1,359 violent crimes, culminating in a violent crime rate of 853 incidents per 100,000 residents. The city sees approximately 7 homicides, 114 sexual assaults, 374 robberies, and 864 aggravated assaults each year.

7. Vallejo 

Dangerous Cities in California
Base Chapel Retired Mare Island Naval Base Vallejo California by jmoor17 from Getty Images Signature

Vallejo, with a population of 122,657, claims the seventh position. The city reports 1,037 violent crimes, resulting in a violent crime rate of 845 incidents per 100,000 people. Notable figures comprise approximately 12 homicides, 138 sexual assaults, 336 robberies, and 551 aggravated assaults annually.

8. Modesto 

Dangerous Cities in California
Modesto, California by DenisTangneyJr from Getty Images Signature

Modesto, housing 216,542 residents, secures the eighth spot. The city registers 1,758 violent crimes, resulting in a violent crime rate of 812 incidents per 100,000 residents. Key statistics involve around 13 homicides, 94 sexual assaults, 399 robberies, and 1,252 aggravated assaults each year.

9. Victorville 

Dangerous Cities in California
Power Plant at Night Victorville- by MWCPhoto from Getty Images

Victorville, with a population of 123,089, ranks as the ninth most dangerous city. The city records 988 violent crimes, leading to a violent crime rate of 803 incidents per 100,000 individuals. Noteworthy data includes approximately 5 homicides, 45 sexual assaults, 255 robberies, and 683 aggravated assaults annually.

10. Huntington Park 

Dangerous Cities in California
Huntington Beach, California by DenisTangneyJr from Getty Images Signature

Huntington Park, home to 58,181 people, occupies the tenth position. The city reports 458 violent crimes, resulting in a violent crime rate of 787 incidents per 100,000 residents. The city witnesses around 3 homicides, 31 sexual assaults, 249 robberies, and 175 aggravated assaults on an annual basis.”


These cities serve as a poignant reminder of the diverse challenges California faces in terms of crime prevention and public safety. From social and economic factors to law enforcement capabilities, numerous variables contribute to these cities’ crime rates. However, it is important to note that despite these crime statistics, each city holds its unique vibrancy and potential for change.

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