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How much do crime rates vary across California counties?

Crime Rates Vary Widely Among Large Counties

  • Among the counties with populations of 500,000, or more, San Francisco had the highest crime rate in 2017, more than double the statewide rate. Sonoma County's rate was the lowest and was about two-thirds of the statewide rate.

  • Variations among county crime rates are probably explained by factors such as demography (areas with larger populations of young men tend to have higher crime rates), local economy, law enforcement resources, and degree of urbanization.

  • For more information on state and county crime rates, visit the Criminal Justice Statistics Center on the Department of Justice’s website.

Last Updated: January 2019