This is the Most Dangerous Top 10 Cities to Live in California

California, a state known for its diverse landscapes and vibrant cities, also harbors areas with high crime rates. Here we explore the top 10 most dangerous cities in California, highlighting the challenges they face.

1. Oakland: A Hub of Commerce and Crime

  • Location: Alameda County
  • Population: 440,646
  • Crime Rate: High rates of vehicle theft, property theft, burglary, and assault Oakland, despite its status as a commerce hub in the East Bay Area, struggles with significant crime, particularly gang-related violence​​.

2. San Bernardino: High Crime in Southern California

  • Location: East of San Francisco
  • Population: 222,101
  • Crime Rate: Violent crime rate 1,310 per 100,000, 331% higher than the national average San Bernardino grapples with high rates of robbery and murder, with violent crimes increasing significantly in recent years​​​​.

3. Stockton: Central Valley’s Crime Problem

  • Location: San Joaquin County
  • Population: 320,804
  • Crime Rate: Violent crime rate 1,260 per 100,000, 319% higher than the national average Stockton faces a high violent crime rate with prevalent property crimes. The likelihood of becoming a victim is 1 in 79​​.

4. Compton: Persistent Violence and Crime

  • Location: South Los Angeles region
  • Population: 97,740
  • Crime Rate: Violent crime rate 1,105 per 100,000, 279% higher than the national average Compton continues to struggle with high rates of homicides, robberies, and aggravated assaults​​​​.

5. Vallejo: A Long Battle with Crime

  • Location: North of San Francisco
  • Population: 124,886
  • Crime Rate: Violent crime rate 966 per 100,000, 244% higher than the national average Vallejo residents have a 1 in 100 chance of falling victim to a violent crime each year, with aggravated assault and robbery being common​​.

6. Richmond: Violence Near San Francisco

  • Location: San Francisco Bay area
  • Population: 110,567
  • Crime Rate: Violent crime rate 921 per 100,000, 233% higher than the national average Richmond, while more affordable than neighboring Oakland, faces significant violent crime, especially in the central part of the city known as the “Iron Triangle”​​.

7. Modesto: High Crime in a Smaller City

  • Location: Stanislaus County
  • Population: Approx. 219,000
  • Crime Rate: Violent crime rate 742 per 100,000, 188% higher than the national average Modesto is notorious for high rates of property crime and theft, including one of the highest rates of car theft in California​​.

8. Merced: Dubbed the Murder Capital of California

  • Location: Central Valley
  • Population: 86,333
  • Crime Rate: Violent crime rate 599 per 100,000 Merced’s homicide rate is the highest in the state, and it has historically been among the country’s most violent metro areas​​.

9. Crescent City: Small Town with Big Crime Rate

  • Location: Coastal
  • Population: 6,600
  • Crime Rate: 79% higher than the national average Crescent City, despite its small size and natural beauty, suffers from high rates of burglary, robbery, theft, murder, assault, and rape​​.

10. Barstow: Drug and Gang Culture Driving Crime

  • Location: San Bernardino County
  • Population: 25,400
  • Crime Rate: 123% higher than the national average Barstow is plagued by drug and gang culture, leading to prevalent assault, theft, robbery, and burglary​​.

Safety Tips for Residents and Visitors

  1. Be Vigilant in Crowded Places: Especially in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, where pickpockets and scam artists are common​​.
  2. Register with Local Park Rangers: If planning outdoor activities, especially in remote areas without cell service​​.
  3. Safeguard Your Hotel Room: Never leave valuables unattended in your hotel room​​.
  4. Research and Plan: Use crime mapping services to determine safe areas, particularly when traveling to new locations​​.
  5. Stay Aware: If an area seems unsafe or if the behavior of individuals appears threatening, leave the area immediately.


While California boasts many safe and picturesque cities, these top 10 most dangerous cities highlight the state’s struggles with crime, particularly in areas with poverty and gang activity. Awareness and caution are essential when visiting or residing in these cities. Despite these challenges, California continues to offer a rich tapestry of cultural and natural experiences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *