This City in California Has Been Named the Crime Capital of the State


California is famous for its sunny weather, diversified culture, and thriving economy. However, not all areas of the Golden State are equally secure and affluent. Some cities in California have high rates of violent and property crime, making them risky places to live and visit. Based on the most recent FBI data, this article will tell which California city has the highest crime rate in the state, as well as the causes contributing to its crime problem.

Emeryville Has the Highest Crime Rate in California

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, Emeryville, a tiny community in Alameda County, has California’s highest crime rate in 2023. Emeryville recorded 1,671 violent crimes and 6,405 property crimes per 100,000 population, for a total crime rate of 8,076. This is more than 16 times higher than the national average of 491 per 100,000 people and more than 10 times higher than the state average of 777 per 100,000.

Emeryville has a much higher crime rate than other cities in California with comparable or greater populations. In contrast, Oakland, which is close to Emeryville and has a population of almost 400,000, had a crime rate of 6,447 per 100,000 people in 2023. San Francisco, which sits across the bay from Emeryville and has a population of more than 800,000, had a crime rate of 5,195 per 100,000 people in 2023. Los Angeles, California’s largest city with a population of more than 3.9 million, had a crime rate of 2,515 per 100,000 persons in 2023.

Why Is Emeryville So Dangerous?

Emeryville’s high crime rate may be ascribed to a variety of variables, including geography, demographics, economics, and policing. Some of these criteria include:

Location: Emeryville is located in a heavily populated and urbanized area, bordered by high-crime areas such as Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond. Emeryville also has convenient access to major roads and public transit, making it easier for offenders and victims to travel around.

Demographics: Demographics: Emeryville’s population is varied and transitory, with a large concentration of young adults, renters, and non-family families. According to the United States Census Bureau, Emeryville had a population of 12,104 in 2020, with 51% between the ages of 18 and 34, 69% renters, and 64% non-family households. These demographic factors may enhance the likelihood of social disorder, anomie, and criminality.

Economy: Emeryville’s economy is diversified and polarized, with a strong concentration of retail, entertainment, and biotechnology businesses, as well as a significant level of poverty and economic disparity. According to the United States Census Bureau, Emeryville’s median household income in 2019 was $77,806, which was lower than the state median of $80,440.

However, Emeryville had a poverty rate of 18.4%, which was greater than the state average of 11.8%. Furthermore, Emeryville’s Gini score of 0.52, which measures income inequality, was higher than the state level of 0.49. These economic conditions can contribute to feelings of relative deprivation, dissatisfaction, and criminal behavior.

Policing: Emeryville’s police department is tiny and understaffed, limiting its capacity to prevent and respond to crime. According to the Emeryville Police Department, there were 37 sworn officers and 15 civilian staff in 2020, resulting in 3.1 officers and 1.2 staff per 1,000 people.

This is less than the national average of 3.4 officers and 2.8 employees per 1,000 people in 2019. In recent years, the Emeryville Police Department has encountered budget cuts, staffing difficulties, and low morale, all of which can have an impact on performance and accountability.


In summary, Emeryville, California has the state’s highest crime rate in 2023, with considerably higher rates of both violent and property offenses. The city’s crime issue is driven by variables such as its urbanized and accessible location, varied and transient demographics, economic polarization, and the difficulties encountered by its tiny and underfunded police department. Understanding these elements is critical for resolving and minimizing Emeryville’s crime concerns while also preserving the safety and well-being of its citizens.

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