These Are 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. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2019.

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Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in California?

We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.

No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of California — and anyone looking to move to California — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.

The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Golden State for 2019:

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

After analyzing 417 cities in California, why did Emeryville take the top spot?

For the answer to this question and a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Eureka had 244 violent crimes and 1,400 property crimes in 2017.

Like all cities, there are rougher sections and nicer sections, so be sure to stay safe at night.

6. San Francisco

San Francisco Location In California

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:  | 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.

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

Barstow has seen recent crime trend upwards. Violent crime has increased in 2015-17, with most recent numbers showing an high 1 in 79 chance of being the victim of a violent crime.

Property crime is also high at 1 in 24.3 chance of being a victim.

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

Taft is another city that represents its county as one of the most dangerous places in California.

Coming in at 8th on our list, Taft mixes (relatively) middle of the pack violent crime and property crime without (relatively) excelling in either one.

We say relative because while its crime rates are middle of the pack for the top ten, they are still high for California as a whole.

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

Clearlake, California ranks as having the 16th highest violent crime rate.

While property crime fell by between 2015-17, violent crime rose.

That increase left Clearlake residents with a 1 in 104 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.

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 takes 10th because of its 5th place finish for violence.

Located in central California, 30 miles north of Sacramento, San Bernardino experienced rise in violent crime between 2015-17.

This left residents with a 1 in 77 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 25.9 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.

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:

Detailed List Of 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
11 Santa Monica 92,935 758 4,706
12 Marysville 12,275 773 4,138
13 Oroville 19,091 649 7,474
14 Modesto 213,677 970 3,961
15 Stockton 309,566 1,414 3,627
16 El Cerrito 25,704 653 5,217
17 Redding 92,127 709 4,169
18 West Hollywood 37,093 684 4,596
19 Selma 24,817 1,176 3,517
20 Richmond 110,804 915 3,725
21 Vallejo 122,174 857 3,762
22 Santa Cruz 65,132 627 5,656
23 Big Bear 5,270 986 3,377
24 Fort Bragg 7,289 644 4,678
25 Grass Valley 12,947 587 5,792
26 Santa Fe Springs 18,339 578 5,714
27 Needles 5,011 738 3,552
28 Dos Palos 5,291 1,115 3,231
29 Signal Hill 11,757 535 6,370
30 Palm Springs 48,193 601 4,073
31 Berkeley 122,687 542 4,906
32 Brawley 26,342 668 3,386
33 Gridley 6,588 1,578 2,853
34 South Gate 95,717 704 3,271
35 Montclair 39,318 584 3,901
36 San Leandro 91,386 573 4,065
37 Pismo Beach 8,291 506 4,740
38 Huntington Park 59,004 723 3,079
39 Merced 83,180 676 3,207
40 Fresno 526,371 565 3,841
41 Culver City 39,440 463 4,781
42 Crescent City 6,529 582 3,492
43 Desert Hot Springs 28,717 1,016 2,730
44 San Pablo 30,781 578 3,378
45 Atwater 29,442 638 3,230
46 Compton 97,728 1,191 2,643
47 Bakersfield 381,154 479 4,068
48 Anderson 10,281 418 4,785
49 Hemet 85,166 536 3,643
50 Sacramento 499,997 675 2,936
51 Antioch 112,252 540 3,419
52 Salinas 158,313 644 3,028
53 Monterey 28,584 437 4,219
54 Turlock 73,488 608 3,124
55 South El Monte 21,012 575 3,255
56 Chico 92,459 446 3,886
57 Yreka 7,564 674 2,815
58 El Centro 44,458 416 4,093
59 Fortuna 12,154 403 4,270
60 Victorville 123,284 699 2,691
61 Watsonville 54,226 549 3,155
62 Paramount 55,041 588 2,930
63 Long Beach 471,397 657 2,672
64 Ceres 48,673 466 3,289
65 Los Angeles 4,007,147 761 2,535
66 Pomona 153,066 557 2,929
67 Artesia 16,933 608 2,716
68 Riverside 328,023 508 3,058
69 Indio 90,055 709 2,539
70 Ventura 110,006 418 3,307
71 Hawthorne 88,664 662 2,563
72 Inglewood 110,811 708 2,490
73 Beverly Hills 34,781 339 5,229
74 Pinole 19,449 339 4,977
75 Capitola 10,222 332 6,084
76 Madera 64,939 582 2,620
77 San Luis Obispo 47,934 371 3,717
78 Arcata 18,054 354 3,904
79 Dinuba 24,387 795 2,308
80 California City 13,753 639 2,479
81 Susanville 14,414 1,449 2,178
82 Fairfield 116,372 469 2,794
83 Citrus Heights 88,126 396 3,156
84 Yuba City 67,042 380 3,291
85 Concord 129,789 355 3,404
86 Buena Park 83,552 349 3,367
87 Lakewood 81,317 391 2,978
88 Lodi 65,042 496 2,584
89 Moreno Valley 207,418 384 3,064
90 Blythe 19,572 316 4,113
91 Arvin 21,390 1,070 2,117
92 Corning 7,511 332 3,807
93 Lynwood 71,453 640 2,352
94 Visalia 132,143 345 3,326
95 Gardena 60,249 652 2,312
96 Colton 55,127 444 2,610
97 Costa Mesa 113,267 318 3,794
98 Santa Barbara 92,508 407 2,701
99 Bellflower 77,984 465 2,549
100 Ukiah 15,859 762 2,112

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14 thoughts on “These Are 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.

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