California is a great place to live, hence its nearly 40 million residents. It is the most populated state in the US and the third largest by area. With its sunny beaches and warm temperatures, Cali attracts millions of tourists per year, generating a total economy of nearly 3 trillion dollars.

Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Palm Springs or Oakland, although very popular destinations, also tend to have a high crime rate and may not be considered as the safest places to start a family. And if you want to learn more about the high crime rate in the California area, here are the top five cities you should probably avoid.

 

Oakland

Oakland is consistently voted as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, with a high crime rate. And, with a violent crime rate of over 1,600 per 100,000 residents (according to Forbes statistics), you may not even enjoy a beach tent family vacation here.

On a more positive note, the rate of property crime has declined in the past few years so you’ll have a better chance of living without being assaulted or robbed if you don’t leave the house at all.

Emeryville

It may come as a surprise, but a city with a total population of just 12,000 inhabitants has the second largest crime rate in the state of California. Home of the Pixar Studios, Emeryville is located east of San Francisco and north of Oakland.

However, unlike Oakland, the high rates of property crime might make you feel safer on the streets than in the comfort of your own house. In the city of Emeryville, there is a chance of 1 in 7 to be the victim of a crime.

The good news is that the violent crime number has declined in the past five years, but we think that it’s still not safe to move there unless you score an excellent job and can afford a great security system.

 

Santa Cruz

With a population of just a little over 60,000 inhabitants, the city is known for its breathtaking landscapes, alternative community lifestyles, and the beautiful coastline.

Unfortunately, this city also has one of the highest crime rates in California for medium and large-sized cities. Violent crime rates and property crime rates are both at high levels, and it seems like the police cannot do much to stop that. Besides, Santa Cruz struggles with a high homelessness rate, with over 9,000 estimated people not having a place to stay.

Commerce

According to official FBI statistics, the city of Commerce is ranked as one of the most violent in California. With little over 13,000 people living there, this small city southeast of sunny Los Angeles deals with a high rate of property crime. Although the rates have decreased since 2016, there is still a long way ahead until Commerce becomes a safe city to live in.

 

Los Angeles

Although much safer than it used to be two decades ago, Los Angeles deserves the fifth place in our top due to a large number of crimes occurred in communities of all sizes and nationalities.

The City of Angels also faced national concerns as the LAPD revealed in 2015 that it had been under-reporting crimes on purpose over the past eight years. So, as much as you would want to grab your tanning lotions and facial moisturizers and head off to one of the city’s sunny beaches, it would probably be safer to move to other cities.