Do you live in one of the murder capitals of California?
We all watch the news with horror when we hear about a homicide that happens not that far away from us. While a murder just blocks or even a couple of towns away from your house would make anyone uneasy, in the long run, most likely, where you live is relatively safe.
So we wanted to get the facts straight and dug into the FBI crime data in order to identify the places with the most murders and the highest murder rates per capita in California.
The result is the 10 Murder Capitals of the Golden State for 2019:
- Oakland (Photos)
- Stockton (Photos)
- Compton (Photos)
- San Bernardino (Photos)
- Salinas (Photos)
- Fresno (Photos)
- Vallejo (Photos)
- Bakersfield (Photos)
- Desert Hot Springs (Photos)
- Pomona (Photos)
The city with highest murder rate in California? That would be Orange Cove with 51.7 murders per 100,000 people.
While the city with highest number of murders period? Los Angeles with 281.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. There were ‘only’ 228 cities in California where a city reported a murder to the FBI, meaning 189 places had no murder.
If you’re curious, here are the places in California which had the least murder chances for its residents, based on population: Rancho Cucamonga, Corona, Sunnyvale, Fullerton, Berkeley.
For more reading on the Golden State check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In California
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In California
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In California
How we calculated the murder capitals of California
While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the most dangerous, we didn’t want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI’s last year of reporting. Specifically, we analyzed the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of murders that may happen in each city per year.
We only looked every single city in California for which FBI data was available for the most recent FBI Crime In The United States. That left us with 228 cities to rank.
Finally, averaged two scores:
- The raw number of murders in each city
- The murders per person
We felt as if a small place with 2,500 people and two murders makes it a lot more dangerous than a city of 25,000 people with one murder.
We must note that this report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments. It simply states where murders occurred most frequently.
Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California, United States. A major West Coast port city, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the third largest city overall in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth most populated city in California, and the 45th largest city in the United States. With a population of 419,267 as of 2015, it serves as a trade center for the San Francisco Bay Area; its Port of Oakland is the busiest port in the San Francisco Bay, the entirety of Northern California, and the fifth busiest in the United States of America. The city was incorporated in 1852.
Stockton is the county seat of San Joaquin County in the Central Valley of the U.S. State of California. Stockton was founded by Captain Charles Maria Weber in 1849 after he acquired Rancho Campo de los Franceses. The city is named after Robert F. Stockton, and it was the first community in California to not have a name of Spanish or Native American origin. The city is located on the San Joaquin River in the northern San Joaquin Valley and had an estimated population of 320,554 by the Caifornia department of finance for 2017. Stockton is the 13th largest city in California and the 63rd largest city in the United States. It was named an All-America City in 1999, 2004, 2015 and again in 2017.
Compton is a city in southern Los Angeles County, California, United States, situated south of downtown Los Angeles. Compton is one of the oldest cities in the county and on May 11, 1888, was the eighth city to incorporate. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 96,455. It is known as the “Hub City” due to its geographic centrality in Los Angeles County. Neighborhoods in Compton include Sunny Cove, Leland, Downtown Compton, and Richland Farms. The city is generally a working class city with some middle-class neighborhoods, and is home to a relatively young community, at an average 25 years of age, compared to the American median age of 35.
San Bernardino is a city located in the Riverside-San Bernardino metropolitan area. It serves as the county seat of San Bernardino County, California, United States. As one of the Inland Empire’s anchor cities, San Bernardino spans 81 square miles on the floor of the San Bernardino Valley and has a population of 209,924 as of the 2010 census. San Bernardino is the 17th-largest city in California and the 100th-largest city in the United States. San Bernardino is home to numerous diplomatic missions for the Inland Empire, being one of four cities in California with numerous consulates. The governments of Guatemala and Mexico have also established their consulates in the downtown area of the city.
Salinas is the county seat and largest municipality of Monterey County, California. Salinas is a suburban area located just outside the southern portion of the Greater Bay Area and 10 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Salinas River. The population was 157,218 as of 2016. The city is located at the mouth of the Salinas Valley roughly eight miles from the Pacific Ocean and has a climate more influenced by the ocean than the hot-summer interior. The majority of residents live in single-unit detached homes, built between 1950 and 2000, while one third of the housing stock has three or more units per structure. Salinas serves as the main business, governmental and industrial center of the region. The marine climate is ideal for the floral industry, grape vineyards, and vegetable growers. Salinas is known for its vibrant and large agriculture industry and being “The Salad Bowl of The World” as the hometown of writer and Nobel Prize in Literature laureate John Steinbeck, who based several of his novels there.
Fresno is a city in California, United States, and the county seat of Fresno County. It covers about 112 square miles in the center of the San Joaquin Valley, the southern portion of the California’s Central Valley.
Vallejo oh; Spanish: ) is a waterfront city in Solano County, California, located in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. Vallejo is geographically the closest North Bay city to the inner East Bay, so it is sometimes mistakenly associated with that region. The population was 115,942 at the 2010 census. It is the tenth most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the largest in Solano County. Vallejo sits on the northeastern shore of San Pablo Bay, 30 miles north of San Francisco, the northwestern shore of the Carquinez Strait and the southern end of the Napa River, 15 miles south of Napa. The city is named after General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, a native Californio, leading proponent of California’s statehood, and one of the first members of the California State Senate; the neighboring city of Benicia is named for his wife, Francisca Benicia Carrillo de Vallejo.
Bakersfield is a city in and the county seat of Kern County, California, United States. It covers about 142 square miles near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield’s population is approximately 365,000, making it the ninth-most populous city in California and the 52nd-most populous city in the nation. The Bakersfield-Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2010 census population of 839,631, making it the 62nd largest metropolitan area in the United States. The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, Oildale and Rosedale, has a population of approximately 464,000.
Desert Hot Springs, also known as DHS, is a city in Riverside County, California, United States. The city is located within the Coachella Valley geographic region, sometimes referred to as the Desert Empire. The population was 25,938 at the 2010 census, up from 16,582 at the 2000 census. The city has undergone rapid development and high population growth since the 1970s, when there were 2,700 residents.
Pomona is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Pomona is located in the Pomona Valley, between the Inland Empire and the San Gabriel Valley. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city’s population was 149,058.
There You Have It – The Places With The Most Murders In California For 2019
If you’re looking at the places in California with the most murders, and where residents have the highest chances of being killed themselves, this is an accurate list. Again, these statistics are an indication of where crimes occur, not a statement about the effectiveness of the law enforcement in the areas they serve.
For more California reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In California
- These Are The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In California
- 10 Safest Places In California
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In California
- 10 Worst Places To Live In California