Reality Check: Is Oakland Really the Most Crime-Ridden City in California?

The FBI released its annual Crime in the United States report last week, sparking headlines throughout California that the city of Oakland was the most “crime-ridden” city in the Golden State.

However, a deeper dive into the numbers reveals that when it comes to overall crime rate – violent crime incidents plus property crime incidents per 1,000 people – it’s Emeryville that actually has the highest rate of crime in the California. Eureka in Humboldt County is next. Oakland is third.

Oakland does rank as No. 1 in the state when it comes to violent crime alone. But this statistic doesn’t embody all of the crime carried out in the city.

By adding property crime, for which Oakland has the eighth highest rate, to violent crime incidents and recalculating the overall total crime rate for each city, you come away with the complete picture.

Below are the crime rates and respective rankings for each of the Bay Area cities that has a population of over 10,000 people.

Generally speaking, East Bay cities have higher overall crime rates than the rest of the Bay Area, followed by the North Bay, South Bay, and then cities along the Peninsula.

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