Like most major cities in the United States, Los Angeles, California has experienced its fair share of declining home sales and a flailing economy. However, with nearly 4 million residents in the city and over 13 million in the Los Angeles metropolitan area as of 2020, it has significantly bounced back becoming one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. Los Angeles is much more than what meets the eye and is perceived on the news.
The country’s second-largest city is full of culture, entertainment, year-round beautiful weather, and so much more. Los Angeles is many things to many different people and depending on your experience it can be La-La Land, the City of Angels, or just simply “L.A.” Regardless, moving to LA can be exciting, but also overwhelming.
Whether you’re relocating by yourself or uprooting your entire family to the city, safety is likely one of your top priorities. The Los Angeles metropolitan area consists of 88 cities, with approximately 140 unincorporated areas. With numbers like that, how do you choose where to settle down?
In order to help you find the safest place for you and your family, we’ve assembled a list of the safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Each has good schools, comparatively low crime rates, and family-friendly communities.
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What Are The Safest Neighborhoods in Los Angeles?
Although Los Angeles has a reputation for being relatively dangerous, it is also known as a safe and clean vacation destination. In fact, the city hosts over 35 million tourists every year. While the city’s high crime rates may alarm you, in comparison to other major cities in the United States, Los Angeles has the “largest decline in crime of any major American city” – according to the FBI’s crime stats.
Los Angeles is the fifth safest large city in the nation. The crime rates are lower here than in New Orleans, Los Vegas, and San Francisco. Just like any big city, there are areas of Los Angeles to avoid whether you are a resident or just visiting. Some of these include Skid Row, the Fashion District, Watts, Boyle Heights, and certain parts of downtown.
If you’re planning on moving to Los Angeles, finding a safe place to settle down should be one of your top priorities. The best way to draw a conclusion about which areas are the safest in the city is to examine raw crime data.
In order to assemble our list of the safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, we analyzed the violent crime rates, property crime rates, and overall crime in each area. Those with the lowest overall crime rate per 100K people made our list of the top ten safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, California.
- Bel Air
- Porter Ranch
- Mar Vista
- Shadow Hills
- Playa Del Rey
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 200
- Property Crime Per 100k: 999
- Population: 20,424
Tujunga is located in the San Fernando Valley region in Los Angeles, neighboring the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. This community is approximately 22 miles from the city center. While Tujunga was once a separate settlement, it is now linked to Sunland through their shared branch library, chamber of commerce, police station, City Council district, high school, and neighborhood council.
It is a semi-rural neighborhood, whose claim to fame is being the location of where Steven Spielberg filmed the forest scenes from E.T. Sunland-Tujunga is home to the top-rated Angeles National Golf Club, which offers a breathtaking view of the mountains. While most of the homes in this area are family-sized, you’ll find larger properties ideal for horse owners further into the hills.
Residents of Tujunga also enjoy great schools, friendly neighbors, excellent hiking trails, and cleaner air. With a relatively low overall crime rate, Tujunga takes the top sport for the safest neighborhood in Los Angeles. The violent crimes per 100K sits at 200, while the property crime is 999 for 2020.
2. Bel Air
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 130
- Property Crime Per 100k: 1,160
- Population: 8,746
Bel Air was founded by Alphonzo Bell back in 1923 after he got rich from striking oil on his farm in Santa Fe Springs. The community is located on the Westside of the city in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. Bel Air, along with Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills, forms the Platinum Triangle of neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
The neighborhood is notoriously upscale, home to many celebrities, entertainment executives, and populated with expensive cars and large mansions. There aren’t any official apartments in the area, instead, it consists of only single-family homes. Bel Air has one of the highest median incomes in the city and is not especially diverse. While there aren’t many shopping or dining options within the neighborhood, it isn’t far from others that do.
Bel Air ranks number two on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Its’ violent crime rate per 100K people is 130 and the property crime sits at 1,160 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 299
- Property Crime Per 100k: 1,005
- Population: 199,303
Adjacent to Burbank and Pasadena, Glendale lies in the Verdugo Hills. It is situated about 10 miles north of downtown Los Angeles and has a population of nearly 200,000. The city is home to the highest concentrations of Armenians outside of Armenia.
Glendale’s commercial area consists of a variety of businesses, including healthcare, aerospace, and entertainment (The Walt Disney Company, Dreamworks) to name a few. The city is also home to some fantastic shopping and dining experiences such as the Americana at the Brand and the Glendale Galleria.
Residents of Glendale enjoy plenty of biking, hiking, and general outdoor opportunities in the neighboring Verdugo Mountains and Griffith Park. Glendale is the third safest neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. The violent crime rate sits at 299, while the property crime per capita is 1,005 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 129
- Property Crime Per 100k: 1,296
- Population: 55,285
Located in the northern central portion of Los Angeles’ Westside region, Westwood is a safe, tight-knit neighborhood with a large student population. It also has a large number of young professionals and graduates due to the fact that the community is home to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Although the community is dominated by the UCLA campus and its 40,000+ UCLA students, the rest of the neighborhood consists of a blend of high-rise apartments, single-family homes, smaller apartments, and office buildings. Westwood Village borders the UCLA campus on the south side and is a major destination for dining, shopping, movie theaters, and other entertainment in the area.
Thanks to the average student budget, the area is relatively affordable. Westwood ranks fourth on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The violent crime rate per 100K people is 129 and the property crime per capita is 1,296.
5. Porter Ranch
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 125
- Property Crime Per 100k: 1,462
- Population: 22,688
Porter Ranch is a small suburban Los Angeles neighborhood in the foothills of the Santa Susana Mountains, situated in the northwest region of the San Fernando Valley. This area is also famous for the movie E.T., as it was featured in several of the park and neighborhood scenes. More recently, Porter Ranch has become infamous because of a massive natural gas leak that occurred and chased families out of the area for several months.
This community is predominately residential, consisting of planned developments. The streets are wide, quiet, well-maintained, and feature large homes. Porter Ranch only has two commercial roads that bisect the town where you’ll find shopping plazas with a variety of grocery stores, casual dining, and big-box retailers.
Residents of Porter Ranch enjoy excellent schools, a golf course at The Porter Valley Country Club, neighborhood parks, and numerous hiking trails in the adjacent mountains. Porter Ranch is the fifth safest neighborhood in Los Angeles with a violent crime rate of 125 and property crime of 1,462 per 100K people in 2020.
6. Mar Vista
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 208
- Property Crime Per 100k: 1,542
- Population: 42,620
Mar Vista is another Los Angeles community with a relatively low crime rate. It is located on the Westside of Los Angeles, roughly 12 miles from the city center. The high-quality international schools, numerous parks, and public libraries make this neighborhood the ideal choice for young families migrating to the city.
It is a quiet neighborhood compared to the trendy neighboring Venice community. Mar Vista consists of mostly single-family homes, few smaller apartment buildings, and restaurants and shops scattered along the area’s main thoroughfare, Venice Boulevard. As the prices in Venice climb, people are flocking to Mar Vista for comparatively lower-priced homes and more bang for their buck.
Mar Vista ranks number six on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The violent crime rate per 100K people sits at 208 and the property crime is 1,542 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 100
- Property Crime Per 100k: 1,650
- Population: 23,965
Situated in the Westside of Los Angeles, Brentwood is infamous for being the location of the stabbing deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman involved in the O.J. Simpson murder case. Aside from this crime, the area has a relatively low crime rate and is one of the safest neighborhoods in the city.
The community is a quiet, mostly residential area that consists of a healthy mix of affordable apartment living and conventional-looking homes. Brentwood is not very diverse, with a 85% White population and Asians coming in second at a very distant 7%. It does, however, contain a variety of shops and restaurants along its main road, San Vicente Boulevard.
The Brentwood Country Mart is a unique collection of fantastic food, charming boutiques, and independent bookstores. Like Westwood, this area is home to a large concentration of young students, along with wealthy families and high-profile residents, due to its close proximity to UCLA. Brentwood comes in seventh on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The violent crime rate per 100K is 100, while the property crime is 1,650 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 386
- Property Crime Per 100k: 1,464
- Population: 46,531
Arleta is in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles and contains a high percentage of Latino residents, along with people born outside of the U.S. This area offers a small-town ambiance and reasonable living. During the postwar boom in the 1950’s many sturdy, affordable homes were built that still exist today.
Residents of Arleta have easy access to the 118, 405 and 5 freeways, making the area a convenient and inexpensive home base for commuters. While the neighborhood itself is lacking in green space, there are a number of nearby recreation facilities that provide opportunities for outdoor activities.
This neighborhood was also the fictional home for the McFly family in the Back to the Future movie series. Arleta is the eighth safest neighborhood in Los Angeles with a violent crime rate per 100K coming in at 386 and property crime per capita at 1,464 for 2020.
9. Shadow Hills
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 190
- Property Crime Per 100k: 1,696
- Population: 3,577
Located in the Verdugo Mountains and northeastern section of the San Fernando Valley, Shadow Hills is roughly 19 miles outside of Los Angeles. It is sparsely populated with a mere 3,577 residents. The area consists of primarily large properties and is a popular place for equestrians who enjoy miles of trails for their horses.
Shadow Hills is a relatively quiet community with very few shops and restaurants. However, Burbank is not far away and is considered a dining and shopping hub. While you can expect a lot of land to come with your home, properties tend to be expensive and renters don’t have much to choose from in Shadow Hills.
Its close proximity to Angeles National Forest makes wildlife sightings, such as bears and coyotes, commonplace. Shadow Hills ranks ninth on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The property crime rate per 100K people sits at 190, while property crime is 1,696 for 2020.
10. Playa Del Rey
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 170
- Property Crime Per 100k: 1,746
- Population: 16,056
Playa del Rey, (Spanish for “King’s beach”), is a beachside neighborhood located on the Westside of Los Angeles. Situated just south of the marina, Playa del Rey is primarily residential with some shopping and dining offered along its main thoroughfare.
When it comes to housing, this area is a mix of large single-family homes, affluent beach pads on the sand, and large apartment complexes. This area is great for retirees, families, and professionals. The only downside to Playa del Rey is that residents have to deal with the noise from the nearby Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Playa del Rey rounds out our list at number ten for the safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Its’ violent crime rate per 100K people is 170 and property crime for the area comes in at 1,746 for 2020.
Safest Neighborhoods in Los Angeles for 2020
|Rank||Neighborhood||Population||Violent Crime (per 100K)||Property Crime (per 100K)|
|10||Playa Del Rey||16,056||170||1,746|
What areas of Los Angeles are dangerous?
Based on crime rates, the most dangerous neighborhoods in Los Angeles include Chinatown, Civic Center-Little Tokyo, South Park, Lincoln Heights, Leiment Park, West Adams, South Los Angeles, Hyde Park, Southeast Los Angeles, and Watts. Whether you’re visiting or planning on relocating to the city, these areas should be avoided. For a deeper analysis, examine the chart below:
|Neighborhood||Violent Crime (per 100K)||Property Crime (per 100K)||Tota Crime|
|Civic Center-Little Tokyo||2,924||9,745||12,669|
|South Los Angeles||1,702||3,021||4,723|
|Southeast Los Angeles||1,608||2,708||4,316|
Is Compton still dangerous?
The city of Compton has a reputation for being dangerous and was even dubbed “The Most Dangerous City in California” because of its exceptionally high crime rate. In fact, it had the highest crime rate in the state back in 1970. In the 1990s and 2000s, Compton experienced a substantial drop in homicides and crime has since stabilized in the 2010s. Though the overall crime rate in Compton remains high and the city is still relatively dangerous, the homicide rates are reduced due to turf wars being settled between gangs in the area.