The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In California For 2019


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Golden State for 2019.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in California and is updated for 2019.

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Growing up, our parents taught us many things: how to make friends, how to share, how to tie our shoes, and most importantly, how to stay safe. Safety is a large concern for anyone, especially those who live alone or are moving to new places.

But one of the most exciting parts of starting a new job or graduating college is having the possibilities to move to new places you always dreamed about. One place in particular that people often love in California.

When you think of California, what are the first things that come to mind? Is it the sunny beaches? Disneyland? Seeing the iconic Hollywood sign for the first time? What about strolling through the streets of San Francisco and seeing seals lapping up the sun?

California is one of those states that everyone dreams about. It has perfect weather, amazing people, and is a great state for anything outdoors. When we think about California, you probably aren’t thinking about how safe it is.

When you move or visit a new place, one question should always be asked: How safe is it? A city can seem magical on postcards and Instagram but have a darker side to it that you should be wary of. Some cities you may be able to safely walk home alone after midnight, but others you may want to take an Uber.

So how do you know which cities in California are the most dangerous? Luckily for you, RoadSnacks did the work for you to bring you that exact information.

Interested to see which cities came out as the most dangerous in California?

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in California for 2019:

  1. Emeryville (Photos)
  2. Oakland (Photos)
  3. Red Bluff (Photos)
  4. Commerce (Photos)
  5. Eureka (Photos)
  6. San Francisco (Photos)
  7. Barstow (Photos)
  8. Taft (Photos)
  9. Clearlake (Photos)
  10. San Bernardino (Photos)

We analyzed 417 cities in California using the most recent FBI crime data to determine which cities were the most dangerous. There was one clear winner: Emeryville, California.

Many people may first think of Oakland as the most dangerous city in California, but it actually ranks second on our top 10 list. Other dangerous cities in California include San Francisco and San Bernardino. Yup, even San Francisco came out as one of the most dangerous places in California.

Want to learn more about our methodology? Read on to see how we crunched the numbers and to see how your favorite cities in California ranked.

Or learn more about the safest places in California.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

For more California reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In California

Most Dangerous Cities In California Graph

Click To Enlarge

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In California For 2019

Emeryville, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 11,971
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,261 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 17,408 (1st most dangerous)
More on Emeryville:  Data | Photos

It will probably surprise most people to see Emeryville as the most dangerous city in California. However, this is the THIRD year in a row it occupied the top spot in our analysis.

North of Oakland, east of San Francisco, and home to Pixar Studios, Emeryville is one of the smallest city on this list.

Residents face crazy high rates of property crime, with a 1 in 5.7 chance of being the victim of one (that’s 9 times higher than in Los Angeles).

Luckily, violent crime has fallen by 37% between 2015-17, but there’s still an unsettling 1 in 79 chance of being the victim of violence here.

Oakland, CA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 424,915
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,299 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,982 (8th most dangerous)
More on Oakland:  Data | Photos

Oakland is only the 8th biggest city in California, but it’s one of the most violent by far.

Bump City residents face a ridiculously high 1 in 76 “shot” of being the victim of a violent crime, a number that has been steadily rising.

Property crime has also increased between 2015-17, so Oakland may overtake Emeryville in a few years.

Review Of Oakland by HomeSnacks User

To everybody thinking about moving to Oakland : Its dreadful, horrible chaos. Please just stay where you are.

Actually, Oakland s a wonderful place to live. We just dont need any more people here. Really.

Bad: weather. Bad: diverse, fun population. Youve been warned. Lol

Red Bluff, CA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 14,169
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,129 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,775 (4th most dangerous)
More on Red Bluff:  Data | Photos

Red Bluff’s motto might tout that the city is “a great place to live,” but its status as the 3rd most dangerous city in California might stain that saying a bit.

Located 125 miles north of Sacramento, Red bluff residents have a 1 in 14.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime every year.

Violent crime has also gone up nearly 30% between 2015-17, with a higher than 1 in 88 chance of being the victim of violence.

Review Of Red Bluff by HomeSnacks User

I live in this horrible town. Moved here from WA state five years ago to retire. In the last 2 years the entire side of my house was defaced with graffiti, my car has been broken into twice, human excrement along with toilet paper has been thrown over my back fence, and little pieces of wood with nails in them have been strewn all along my driveway on two occasions. This town is full of m**h addicts, drug dealers, bikers running drugs on I5 corridor, thieves, animal abusers, molesters, hundreds of homeless – most dragging around pathetic pit bulls. It really is the dregs of society; and a few really nice people who are trying to make it better but are hopelessly outnumbered. Oh, and most everyone is a Republican with several guns – and I do not mean handguns. Dont even think about coming here unless you have one too and are willing to use it.

Ramos donuts actually has nice people working and great donuts. Thats it. Litter is everywhere, people still throw it out car windows and their cigarette butts too. Probably 80% of the people who live here still smoke. Nowhere to go except a few restaurants; no one is on the streets after dark, no one except the bicycle people who spend the night and most days stealing and then selling their goods.

Commerce, CA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 12,994
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 815 (22nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 9,034 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Commerce:  Data | Photos

Commerce calls itself “the Model City,” and, to its benefit, it’s one of the least violent cities on this list.

But this small city to the southeast of Los Angeles does have super high rates of property crime, which earns it a 4th place spot for the most dangerous places in California.

The good news is that violent crime has fallen by almost 30% in recent years, and property crime is also slowly dropping down to a 1 in 11.1 chance in 2017.

Eureka, CA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 27,230
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 896 (19th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,141 (14th most dangerous)
More on Eureka:  Data | Photos

Though there has been a modest drop in violent crimes, the alarming increase in property crime from 2015-17indicates that Eureka isn’t satisfied with being at the bottom of this list.

Eureka residents had a 1 in 111 chance of a violent crime, while having a 1 in 19.4 chance of a property crime, 19th and 14th in the state, respectively.

San Francisco, CA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 881,255
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 9)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 715 (32nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,168 (6th most dangerous)
More on San Francisco:  Data | Photos

We may get some heat for including San Fran on this list, but hey — the numbers don’t lie. The cultural and commercial center of Northern California and the most densely packed city in the whole state, the City by the Bay also has a bit of a crime problem.

Residents face a 1 in 16.2 chance of being robbed, and a 1 in 139chance of being the victim of violence.

These numbers are much worse than Los Angeles, and they’re only getting worse, with violent crime up by 24% and property crime up by 32% from 2015-17.

Review Of San Francisco by HomeSnacks User

I felt happy to stay San Francisco, Good surroundings,people like to enjoy and helpful to us

I like to go golden bridge, Coit tower

Barstow, CA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 24,028
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,256 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,111 (32nd most dangerous)
More on Barstow:  Data | Photos

Located in San Bernardino County., Barstow is the 7th most dangerous city in California.

With residents facing a 1 in 79 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017, Barstow it earns a spot on the most dangerous places in California.

Review Of Barstow by HomeSnacks User

This place is absolutely the worst place to stay or drive through.

Everything felt super dirty and everything is super depressing and gloomy.

Taft, CA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 9,393
Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 17)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 883 (20th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,311 (25th most dangerous)
More on Taft:  Data | Photos

The tiny town of Taft might not be familiar to most residents of California. Taft has really seen crime rise very quickly in the last few years.

For instance, there were 83 violent crimes in the entire city. For a town of 9,393, that’s a lot.

Residents in Taft have a 1 in 23.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the FBI.

Clearlake, CA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 15,018
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 958 (16th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,135 (30th most dangerous)
More on Clearlake:  Data | Photos

Located in Lake County., Clearlake is the 9th most dangerous city in California.

With residents facing a 1 in 104 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017, Clearlake it earns a spot on the most dangerous places in California.

Review Of Clearlake by HomeSnacks User

Schools are bad, crime is bad, cops, county and city workers horrible, stealing funds, picking on poor folks so they never rise up the ladder. I own a home here. I hate this place.

Horrible people, starting at the top like the local law and judges.

San Bernardino, CA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 217,259
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,291 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,867 (43rd most dangerous)
More on San Bernardino:  Data | Photos

San Bernardino ranks as the 10th most dangerous city in California because it has a marginally higher rate of violent crime.

Residents of San Bernardino had a 1 in 77 chance of being the victim of a rape, murder, or assault in 2017, and a 1 in 25.9 chance of being the victim of theft or arson.

Review Of San Bernardino by HomeSnacks User

It’s pretty bad these days. Used to be better. There are a few nice areas left.

How Is Your Town In ?

How we determined the most dangerous cities in California for 2019?

Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.

For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.

So what criteria did we use? Have a look:

  • Violent Crimes Per Capita
  • Property Crimes Per Capita

In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 417 cities in California.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 417 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Dangerous Index”.

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in California — Emeryville.

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in California.

Locking It All Up In California

The latest FBI crime data shows that Emeryville ranks as the most dangerous city in California for 2019.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Emeryville and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.

If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in California:

  1. Moraga (Pop. 17,653)
  2. Ojai (Pop. 7,603)
  3. Los Altos Hills (Pop. 8,579)

For more California reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In California?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Emeryville 11,971 1,261 17,408
2 Oakland 424,915 1,299 5,982
3 Red Bluff 14,169 1,129 6,775
4 Commerce 12,994 815 9,034
5 Eureka 27,230 896 5,141
6 San Francisco 881,255 715 6,168
7 Barstow 24,028 1,256 4,111
8 Taft 9,393 883 4,311
9 Clearlake 15,018 958 4,135
10 San Bernardino 217,259 1,291 3,867

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19 thoughts on “The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In California For 2019

  1. Stockton is the most horrible city I have ever been to, we got robbed, stole everything we had, and burned the moving trucks, the city is full of bastards. Don’t ever go there, it is a deadly, filthy, hell hole.

  2. When are you planning to update this list with more recent data? I’m very curious to see where the CA cities net out now.

  3. In san Francisco, a major problem is cars windows being broken into for theft. As this is considered a “misdemeanor'” those who are caught are let go without being charged.
    Likewise, bicycle theft.

  4. This list is Garbage. I have lived in a few of these cities and there is no way that this list is accurate. Here is a better top 5 list.

    Oakland
    Los Angeles
    Stockton
    San Francisco
    Victorville

    Not necessarily in that order for all of them but… Grass Valley? REALLY? The Title of this article is These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In California For 2017 and is clearly Clickbait! ALL of us who read it and this comment have all wasted our time.

  5. These are “per capita” numbers. Big Bear Lake’s full-time population is 5,209 but it’s a resort town and its weekend and holiday population can be over 100,000. So the numbers are obviously skewed and proves that this article has a very flawed formula.

  6. This article is bull I live in Red Bluff, Ca nothing happens in Red Bluff. This town is so dead and lifeless that you can hear the crickets chirping at night. So go f yourself. You’re probably some snot nose liberal that’s got his/her thumb up their..

  7. AHAHAHAHAH! What a complete GARBAGE list I’ve ever seen.

    Have you ever been to Carson, South Gate, Stockton, Modesto, Oakland, and other notorious places? Of course not, because you listed the sleepy community of Grass Valley on this list. Do you have any idea what Grass Valley is like? Seriously, this list is absolute trash you and have to stop posting this list. It’s completely flawed and is lying directly to the reader’s faces.

  8. I live in Grass Valley. This year alone six dead (so far) on 49 and 20 by reckless /drunk drivers. Alcoholism is rampant. Multiple murder cases, robberies with assault, graft. Your the clueless self righteous no nothing idiot.

  9. RE San Francisco: “but hey — the numbers don’t lie.” “These numbers are much worse than Los Angeles, and they’re only getting worse.”

    The numbers aren’t lying, but the author is definitely screwing with the facts. At the bottom, the list shows San Francisco’s violent crime per capita rate is smaller than Los Angeles (715 vs 716), and by all accounts, the trend shows the violent crime rates in both cities are declining, not getting worse.

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