These Are The 9 Most Dangerous Cities In California
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These Are The 9 Most Dangerous Cities In California

Widespread fascination has always surrounded the iconic cities of California, including the Hollywood sign and Lombard Street. However, some of these cities have garnered notoriety for their high crime rates, notwithstanding their allure. This article provides a ranking of the ten most criminally unstable cities in California.


Being one of the most dangerous communities in the United States, Oakland, California, is notorious for its exceptionally high crime rates. Although crime has decreased since the 1990s, the city’s violent crime rate remains 392 percent higher than the national average, surpassing national statistics. In 2022, Oakland recorded a violent crime rate of 1,547 per 100,000 inhabitants, an 8% rise compared to the preceding year.

Situated in Alameda County, Oakland functions as a prominent center for commerce within the East Bay Area. With a population of 440,646, this municipality ranks ninth in California and third-largest in the Bay Area.

The most frequently reported offenses in the municipality include burglary, vehicle theft, assault, and property theft. Gun violence is an additional regrettable issue that plagues numerous sections of the city, with a substantial portion of it being associated with gang activity.


Compton, situated in the South Los Angeles area of California, has gained notoriety due to its alarmingly high levels of criminal activity. Its population of 97,740 places it among the most perilous municipalities in the state of California. A alarming 279% higher than the national average, the violent crime rate in Compton was 1,105 per 100,000 people in 2022. A high occurrence rate of homicides, robberies, and aggravated assaults characterizes the city. In spite of ongoing endeavors to mitigate criminal activity, Compton continues to be a hazardous residential area in 2023.

San Bernardino

Being one of the most violent communities in California, San Bernardino is notorious for its high crime rate and has a population of 222,101. Surprisingly, the violent crime rate in the city is 331 percent higher than the national average, at 1,310 per 100,000 people. Violence-related offenses in San Bernardino increased by as much as 39% between 2017 and 2022, including robberies and murders. Aggravated assault has increased by a startling 150% since 2017, further solidifying San Bernardino’s status as one of the most unlivable municipalities in California, notwithstanding a decline in property crime.


Stockton, situated in San Joaquin County, is renowned for being among the most perilous urban areas in the Central Valley region of California. The crime rate in the 320,804-person city exceeds the averages of both the United States and the state. Recent statistics indicate that in Stockton, there were 1,260 reported violent crime cases per 100,000 people in 2022, or 1 in 79 chances of becoming a victim. Safety should be a top priority in Stockton, as the violent crime rate is an alarming 319% higher than the national average.

Compared to other communities of comparable size, the number of reported property crimes in the city in 2022 surpassed 9,300.


A violent crime rate of 2,356 per 100,000 residents has positioned Emeryville, California as the most perilous municipality within the state. Vigilant crime, specifically vehicle and property larceny, afflicts the municipality, which has a mere 12,905 inhabitants. The number of larceny incidents and violent crime reports increased substantially in 2022, surpassing 300 in number.

Due to its extremely sparse population, Emeryville, California has been designated as the most perilous location to reside in California, where the likelihood of an individual becoming a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 43.


Crime has been a significant issue in the Californian municipality of Vallejo for several years. The violent crime rate in the 124,886-person municipality is 966 per 100,000 inhabitants. Given that it is 244% greater than the national average, this rate warrants grave attention. Per year, the likelihood that a resident of Vallejo will fall victim to a violent crime is 1 in 100. Aggravated assault and robbery rank highest among violent offenses committed in Vallejo. In contrast, burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft are the most frequently encountered property offenses.

The crime problem in Vallejo is an urgent matter that jeopardizes the well-being and security of its residents. Notwithstanding certain progress in the realm of criminal activity reduction, the municipality continues to be among the most perilous localities in the state of California.


Situated in close proximity to the San Joaquin valley in California, Bakersfield is one of the most perilous communities in the state and is home to an estimated 405,000 inhabitants. A 27% increase over the national average, the violent crime rate in the city was 498 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2022.

In 2022, Bakersfield witnessed an excess of 15,500 occurrences of property crime. However, Bakersfield Now, a local news outlet, documented a 30% decline in homicides within the city during the same year. Persisting gang activity in the region has been a significant factor in the city’s violent environment. Bakersfield has acquired a notoriety as a high-risk municipality in California due to its crime rate, which is 94% higher than the national average.


Recognized as one of the most perilous residential areas in California, Richmond, situated in the San Francisco Bay area, is notorious for its high crime rate. Although it has a population of 110,567, the city is associated with a reputation for violent crime and may therefore be a more affordable option than others in the region. Richmond had 921 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2022, an increase of 273 percent compared to the national average. Meanwhile, throughout the same year, the municipality documented tens of thousands of occurrences involving the larceny of vehicles and property.

Despite being perceived as a relatively secure locale in comparison to its adjacent city, Oakland, Richmond continues to be dubbed one of the most hazardous locations in California and the Bay Area. The urban core, colloquially referred to as the “Iron Triangle,” is notoriously dangerous, in contrast to the generally held belief that the northeastern region of the city is comparatively secure. Richmond is one of the least desirable places to domicile in California on account of the high incidence of criminal activity, which poses a significant threat to one’s safety.


Situated north of Merced, Modesto is one of the most perilous municipalities in California, accommodating an estimated 219,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate in the municipality stands at 742 per 100,000 inhabitants, an amount that surpasses the national average by 188%. The categories of crimes that are most frequently reported in Modesto are property crime and theft. Modesto experienced more than 5,000 incidents of property crime and more than 1,600 incidents of violent crime in 2021, according to FBI statistics. Modesto has garnered acclaim for having one of the most elevated car theft rates in California. In 2020, there were 2,091 documented car thefts, or 389 per 1,000 inhabitants, which is substantially greater than the national average.

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