Is Sacramento Safe To Visit? Everything You Need To Know Before Traveling


is sacramento safe

Situated 93 miles north of San Francisco is California’s flourishing capital city of Sacramento. Although often overlooked by travelers, Sacramento has a lot to offer visitors, including a thriving food and art scene, museums and its lush natural surroundings.

If you are thinking about visiting Sacramento and have qualms about the safety of the city, we go you covered. We deep dived into the statistics, crime reports and talked to the residents of the city to give you a better understanding of how safe the city really is.

Sacramento Crime Stats

Looking at the statistics, Sacramento is a moderately safe place to visit. According to crime statistics released by the FBI, Sacramento ranked 42th for highest violent crime rate in the country in 2019, 675.60 incidents per 100,000 residents. It also ranked 69th for property crime rate in the country, 2,936.62 per 100,000 residents.

The national average for violent crime is 366.7 per 100,000 residents and the national average for property crime is 2,109.9 per 100,000 residents.

Sacramento’ violent crime rate is 1.8 times more than the national average and its property crime rate is 1.39 times more than the national average.

Austin, Las Vegas, San Jose, and Pittsburgh all have similar violent crime rates as Sacramento.

Violent crimes include; homicides, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults and the violent crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population; the result is multiplied by 100,000.

Sacramento Murder Stats

In 2020 Sacramento reported 43 homicides, which was a 26.47% increase from 2019, where 34 homicides were reported.

In 2020 Sacramento had a murder rate of 8.19 per 100,000 residents. To put that in perspective St. Louis had the highest per capita murder rate in 2020 with 64.54 murders per 100,000 residents. Sacramento’s murder rate is 8 times LESS than St. Louis. Cities with similar murders rates include: San Antonio, Aurora, Denver and Orlando.

As of November 10, 2021 there have already been 45 homicides reported in Sacramento.

*Murder is calculated by dividing the number of reported murders by the total population; the result is multiplied by 100,000.

Other Crime Stats

Aggravated assaults and motor vehicle thefts also saw significant increases in 2021, increasing by 23.1% and 25.02% respectively.

Rape, robbery and larceny saw slight increases, while burglary and robbery decreased.

Here’s a breakdown of all the crimes in the city for 2021 compared to 2020 (Jan 1 – July 31)

  2020 2021 Percentage Change
Homicide 23 30 +30.43%
Rape 62 63 +1.61%
Robbery 438 437 -0.23%
Aggravated Assault 1,163 1,432 +23.13%
Burglary 1,604 1,194 -25.56%
Larceny/Theft 4,541 4,626 +1.87%
Motor Vehicle Theft 1,219 1,524 +25.02%

Sacramento vs The Most Dangerous Cities In The United States

Here’s a list of the top 10 most dangerous cities in the United States ranked by violent crime rate in 2020. It can give you some perspective on Sacramento’s violent crime rate, which is 675.60.

Sacramento’s violent crime rate is 3.17 times LESS than Memphis, the most dangerous city on the list.

City Population Number of violent crimes in 2020 Rate per 100,000 people
Memphis 633,104 15,310 2,418.24
Detroit 639,111 14,370 2,248.44
Baltimore 2,707,064 9,273 2,027.01
St. Louis 301,578 6,017 1,995.17
Little Rock 202,591 3,657 1,805.11
South Bend 103,453 1,765 1,706.09
Cleveland 372,624 6,281 1,685.61
Milwaukee 577,222 9,407 1,629.70
Kansas City 508,090 7,919 1,558.58
Lansing 112,644 1,699 1,508.29
Springfield 169,176 2,545 1,504.35

Sacramento vs the rest of California

City

Population

Violent Crime Rate

Property Crime Rate

Stockton

313,604

1,396.67

3,943.51

San Bernardino

216,715

1,318.78

4,190.30

Oakland

434,036

1,271.78

6,420.67

Modesto

216,542

811.85

3,317.14

Los Angeles

4,015,546

732.15

2,383.34

San Francisco

886,007

669.63

5,505.60

Sacramento

513,934

627.12

3,182.12

Long Beach

467,974

506.22

2,414.02

Riverside

333,260

505.91

2,937.65

Bakersfield

388,080

455.06

4,141.93

San Jose

1,040,008

438.36

2,419.60

Santa Ana

333,664

435.47

2,040.38

San Diego

1,441,737

361.72

1,882.52

Fontana

215,883

342.32

1,433.18

Chula Vista

275,230

328.45

1,386.48

Anaheim

353,915

316.46

2,333.33

Fremont

240,887

166.05

1,877.64

Santa Clarita

218,103

127.00

944.05

Irvine

292,673

64.24

1,306.24

*All data is from the 2019 FBI Crime Stats Report**

The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Sacramento

Income and crime are inversely correlated. This maps gives you a really great starting point on which parts of Sacramento are safest.

sacramento worst neighborhood

Here’s a map showing you the worst neighborhoods in Sacramento according to residents:

worst neighborhoods sacramento

  • Del Paso Heights
  • Oak Park
  • Strawberry Manor
  • North Highlands
  • Rancho Cordova
  • Meadowview
  • Fruitridge
  • Northgate
  • Broderick
  • G Parkway
  • Lincoln Village
  • Valley Hi
  • Arden
  • South Area
  • Rio Linda/Elverta

Driving tour of the worst neighborhoods of Sacramento

Safest neighborhoods in Sacramento

safest neighborhoods sacramento

  • East Sacramento
  • Folsom
  • Land Park
  • Tahoe Park
  • Orangevale
  • Pocket/Greenhaven
  • Arden Park/Hills
  • River Park/College Glen
  • Curtis Park
  • Downtown
  • Midtown

Is Downtown Sacramento safe?

Downtown Sacramento is a relatively safe area to visit during the day and at night. At night you might encounter homeless people asking for change, but they are pretty harmless if you don’t engage with them.

Most of downtown is relatively safe to walk around during the day, but certain areas at night can get sketchy. Avoid the areas around Caesar Chevez Park and the downtown library, as well as K-Street.

Driving tour of Downtown Sacramento:

https://youtu.be/bnb7iIw55hc

What do residents of Sacramento say about its safety

  1. "The layout of Sacrament is patchy when it comes to good and bad neighborhoods. You can be in a nice neighborhood and then walk four blocks and end up in the ghetto."
  2. "The majority of the hoods in Sacramento are located in the south and north parts of the city."
  3. "Pretty much all of South Sac between Elk Grove and Land Park/Curtis Park should be avoided. Greenhaven, South Land Park, and Pocket are exceptions. Those are pretty nice neighborhoods."
  4. "Sacramento is odd in that we have some really rough neighborhoods that are located right next to some really nice neighborhoods. And these neighborhoods are often only separated by a freeway, railroad tracks, or major road. For instance, Pocket is a really affluent neighborhood and is located next to Meadowview, a very dangerous neighborhood."
  5. "A lot of our “ghettos” don’t look like ghettos. They look like typical suburban neighborhoods and relatively decent looking apartment buildings. Looks can be deceiving."
  6. "There are no areas of Sacramento that I wouldn’t walk through during the day."
  7. Here’s everything you need to know about Midtown…the Safeway in Midtown is commonly referred to as ‘Stabway’. All the people that I know who have lived down there have dealt with break-ins, and property theft."
  8. "There are places you wouldn’t want to be walking around alone at night, much like any other city but aren’t Los Angeles, Chicago, or Oakland."
  9. "There are some areas you should definitely avoid, but it’s a relatively safe place."
  10. "Del Paso Heights is also known as ‘Deepest Parts of Hell’ for good reason. AVOID!"

Is Sacramento safe at night?

Sacramento is relatively safe at night as long as you avoid the areas mentioned above.

Is it safe to visit alone?

Sacramento can be a safe place to visit alone if you learn the layout of the city and learn which areas are safer and which areas you should avoid. You should also take special precaution as a solo traveler as you are more vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime.

Tips to stay safe in Sacramento

  • Do you research before you travel here. Figure out which neighborhoods you should avoid. Go on Google street-view and look at the area you want to visit. If you see a lot of vacant buildings, graffiti, chain-link fences in front yards, houses in a state of disrepair or ruin, abandoned cars, liquor stores/check cashing/MetroPCS stores, avoid that area.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings. That means to keep your ears and eyes open. Keep your headphones off and don’t scroll aimlessly through your phone.
  • Lsten to your gut. If a situation feels unsafe or if you feel uncomfortable, even if you don’t know why, leave. Don’t stick around to find out.
  • Do NOT use public WiFi, as these are the common grounds for hackers and thieves. If you have to use WiFi then use a VPN. They will encrypt all your online data.
  • Don’t look and behave like a tourist. If you have to check a map do it discreetly on your phone. The goal is to avoid giving off the appearance of looking vulnerable and confused.
  • Map your route before you leave. Don’t just hop in the car, set the GPS and drive. You need to know where you are going and what you are going through.
  • Do not to let your car go below 1/4 tank of gas. You don’t want to end up in a gas station in a sketchy part of town at night.
  • Park in a well-lit and high traffic areas, and if possible, park as close to the building as you can.
  • Don’t drink to excess.

Is Sacramento Safe To Visit?

Statistically speaking, Sacramento is a moderately safe place to visit. The violent crime and property crime rate isn’t troubling. And most residents agree that the city is pretty safe, minus a few sections of the city.

Just be aware that the layout of Sacramento is patchy and can be tricky. You could be in a nice neighborhood and literally be three blocks away from a rough area.

East Sacramento, downtown and midtown are generally the safer areas, whereas north and south Sacramento have a lot of problems ares like Del Paso Heights, Oak Park and Valley Hi.

If you can learn the layout of the city before you visit and avoid the areas mentioned above, you can mitigate your chances of becoming a victim.

Other Cities You Might Be Interested In:

Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Baltimore, Barstow, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Oakland, Philadelphia, Reno, San Antonio, San Bernardino, San Jose, Slab City, St. Louis, Stockton

Mariska Lee

Mariska is a recovering attorney who gave up her professional job to discover new perspectives of life while traveling in a 2009 Ford Transit. She has been living the van life for 3 years and has not looked back since.

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