Most Dangerous Cities in California: Top 5 Crime Hotspots

May 24, 2024

most dangerous cities in California

Criminal activity varies significantly across California, with some cities showing exceptionally high violent crime rates. If you're considering a move or just curious about the safety in different parts of the state, it's essential to know where the crime hotspots are. Based on data from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, here are the top 5 most dangerous cities in California.

5. Richmond

Richmond, despite its relatively small population of around 110,000, has made it to the list due to its high crime rates. In 2019, Richmond saw an alarming violent crime rate of 931 per 100,000 residents. This rate includes 16 murders, 36 reported rapes, 307 robberies, and 675 aggravated assaults. The "Iron Triangle" neighborhood is particularly well-known for its high levels of crime, prompting the city to employ ShotSpotter gunshot detection technology in hopes of curbing violent incidents. Although Richmond has seen some community-driven efforts to reduce crime, it remains one of the most dangerous cities in California.

4. Compton

Compton, historically infamous for its gang violence, continues to struggle with high crime rates. With a population of approximately 97,740, the city recorded a violent crime rate of 1,142 per 100,000 residents in 2019. This number includes 18 murders, 40 rapes, 427 robberies, and 619 aggravated assaults. Compton's challenges are rooted in economic instability and long-standing gang activities, making it a difficult environment for its residents. Despite numerous law enforcement efforts and community programs aimed at reducing gang violence, Compton remains a significant crime hotspot in California.

3. Oakland

Oakland, a major city in the San Francisco Bay Area with a population of around 434,036, has persistently high crime rates. The city reported a violent crime rate of 1,271 per 100,000 people in 2019, including 78 murders, 372 rapes, 2,859 robberies, and 2,211 aggravated assaults. Oakland's crime problems are often attributed to systemic issues such as poverty, economic disinvestment, and inadequate infrastructure. The city has seen various community initiatives and law enforcement efforts aimed at reducing crime, but it remains one of the most dangerous cities in California.

2. San Bernardino

San Bernardino, with a population of 216,715, is another city grappling with high crime rates. In 2019, the city had a violent crime rate of 1,318 per 100,000 residents. This figure includes 46 murders, 140 rapes, 906 robberies, and 1,766 aggravated assaults. San Bernardino has faced significant economic challenges over the years, contributing to its high crime levels. Although there have been improvements in certain areas, the city continues to struggle with violent crime and remains a place where residents face substantial safety risks.

1. Stockton

Stockton tops the list as the most dangerous city in California, with a population of 313,604 and a violent crime rate of 1,397 per 100,000 residents. In 2019, the city witnessed 34 murders, 181 rapes, 1,158 robberies, and 3,007 aggravated assaults. Stockton's high crime rates are often linked to economic instability; the city even filed for bankruptcy in 2012. Despite various community outreach programs and increased law enforcement efforts, Stockton continues to experience high levels of violent crime, making it a particularly dangerous place to live.

Crime Rates per Capita in the Top 5 Most Dangerous Cities in California (2019)
City Population Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 residents) Murders Rapes Robberies Aggravated Assaults
Richmond 110,000 931 16 36 307 675
Compton 97,740 1,142 18 40 427 619
Oakland 434,036 1,271 78 372 2,859 2,211
San Bernardino 216,715 1,318 46 140 906 1,766
Stockton 313,604 1,397 34 181 1,158 3,007

For more detailed crime data and statistics, you can visit the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

If you want to know more about different cities and explore further, visit our homepage.

David Sunnyside
As the co-founder of Urban Splatter, I merge my engineering expertise with digital marketing savvy to offer fresh perspectives on architecture and design. My technical background ensures our content's precision, while my dedication to meditation brings a mindful approach to our bustling digital presence. Join me in exploring the artistry and analytics of building spaces at Urban Splatter.

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