Homicide Rates in California

Jul 19, 2018 | Security

The homicide rate in California rose again in 2016.

It’s a dangerous world out there. Unfortunately, the natural beauty and allure of California does not make it immune to violence. Our state has always had its share but in some cases it grows beyond what it should be.

The most recent data available from the FBI shows that the number of homicides increased in our state for the second straight year in 2016. It’s not a surprise to see that high homicides rates are more commonly seen in cities with high poverty.

Homicide Break Down by City

In this 2017 article of The Sacramento Bee, the top cities in California with the highest homicide rates are as follows (these rates were calculated as the number of homicides per 100,000 residents.):

     1. Compton

It’s a city of 98,861 with a poverty rate of 27%. In 2016 Compton had 35 murders giving it a whopping 35.4 homicide rate!

     2. San Bernardino

A city of 217,303 that has a poverty rate of 29%. This town experienced 62 murders in 2016. The homicide rate is 28.5!

     3. Salinas

This city in Monterey County saw 35 murders in 2016 and has a poverty rate of 15%. With a population of 158,279, it has a homicide rate of 22.1.

     4. Oakland

Located on the Bay east of San Francisco, this city has a poverty rate of 19%. Its 242,998 residents saw 85 murders in 2016! That gives Oakland a homicide rate of 20.

     5. Richmond

This city is located north of Oakland on the Bay. It has a population of 110,868 residents and a poverty rate of 15%. In 2016, Richmond experienced 49 murders giving it a 15.9 homicide rate.

     6. Stockton

Located east of Oakland and south of Sacramento, Stockton has a population of 308,348 and a poverty rate of 18%. In 2016 there were 49 murders there, giving it a 15.9 homicide rate.

Of these six cities, four are satellites of larger cities. Compton and San Bernardino are neighbors with Los Angeles while Oakland and Richmond are just across the Bay from Francisco. These smaller cities could be poor suburbs where those with low socio-economic status have ended up living.

Cities with No Murders

But it’s not all bad news for Californians. There were six cities with populations over 110,000 that all had zero murders in 2016. Following the correlation between poverty and homicides, it’s important to note that five of the six all had poverty rates well below 10%. Only one, Murrieta, was above that number with 12%.

  1. Fremont – Population: 235,881; Poverty rate: 3%
  2. Elk Grove – Population: 169,742; Poverty rate: 7%
  3. Roseville – Population: 132,566; Poverty rate: 7%
  4. Thousand Oaks – Population: 129,853; Poverty rate: 8%
  5. Carlsbad – Population: 115,040; Poverty rate: 5%
  6. Murrieta – Population: 111,043; Poverty rate: 12%

The Bottom Line

Compared to the rest of the country, our state has a homicide rate of 4.9. That’s more than Massachusetts (2.0) and New York (3.2), but less than some other large states such as Texas (5.3), Florida (5.4), Ohio (5.6) and Illinois (8.2).

Our nation seems to be growing angrier, less patient and more violent with each passing year. Unfortunately, California is not immune to this trend. If you want to learn how you can protect your loved ones, employees and property, call American Security Force today at 855-722-8585.

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