Total crime NAT. AVG.
Violent crime NAT. AVG.
Property crime NAT. AVG.
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Date & Last Updated: This data reflects the 2022 calendar year and was released from the FBI in September, 2023; this is the most current data available.
StatisticReportedincidents/100k peopleSanta Barbara/100k peopleCalifornia/100k peopleNational/100k people
Total crime2,195n/a (estimate)2,5002,8432,324
Violent crime400n/a (estimate)455500370
Vehicle theft169n/a192.4471.9282.7
Property crime1,795n/a (estimate)2,0442,3431,954

An Overview of Crime Rates in Santa Barbara, CA

When we analyze the latest crime report, the Santa Barbara crime rate is 7.5% higher than the national average. These incidents are classified into two primary categories: violent and property crimes. Violent crimes include assault, robbery, rape and murder. Whereas property crimes encompass theft, vehicle theft and burglary. In the case of Santa Barbara, there were 400 reported violent crimes, equivalent to 455 per 100,000 individuals, 23.2% higher than the national average. Additionally, Santa Barbara recorded 1795 property crimes, amounting to 2044 per 100,000 residents, 4.6% higher than the U.S. average.

When assessing the total crime rate in Santa Barbara per 100,000 people, it stands in the median range among all cities with reported crime data. Our analysis of total incidents, encompassing both violent and property crimes within Santa Barbara, underscores the close alignment of reported crime rates with the national average as reported by other areas.

Santa Barbara maintains a property crime rate that closely resembles the national norm. In Santa Barbara, 2044 property crimes were reported, aligning with the national average of 1954 per 100,000 individuals. Consequently, the area's safety profile stands on par with the average city, neither significantly safer nor more dangerous. This consistency underscores a balanced commitment to community safety and security, providing residents with a stable and reassuring living environment.

What Do the Locals Say About Crime in Santa Barbara?

AreaVibes conducted surveys inquiring about the safety perception of Santa Barbara residents. Out of the respondents (79 in total), 57% expressed a strong sense of security, believing that crime rates in Santa Barbara were low, and they felt comfortable walking alone at night. Conversely, 43% held a contrasting viewpoint, expressing concerns about safety in the area and feeling uncomfortable walking alone during the nighttime hours.

Is Santa Barbara a Safe Place to Live?

To determine if Santa Barbara is a safe place to live, let's take a look at the overall crime rate of the area, as well as the number of daily crimes. Santa Barbara has a total crime rate that is 8% higher than the national average per 100,000 residents. This results in a total of 6.01 daily crimes (1.1 violent daily crimes and 4.92 daily property crimes) in Santa Barbara.

Has Crime in Santa Barbara Increased Since Last Year?

Year-over-year crime data allows residents and potential residents to assess the crime in Santa Barbara. A decrease in crime rates may indicate improving safety, while an increase could raise concerns. The year-over-year crime rate in Santa Barbara has decreased by 14.8%. Violent crimes have increased by 2.8%, while property crimes have decreased by 18%. By comparing crime rates from one year to the next, authorities and communities can identify trends and patterns in criminal activity. This helps in understanding whether crime is increasing, decreasing, or remaining stable over time.

Santa Barbara Neighborhood Crime Rates

There are more than 8 different neighborhoods in the Santa Barbara area. Depending on their location and other socioeconomic factors, the rate of crime in each neighborhood is vastly different. Areas that are located near the center or downtown core, tend to be more densely populated and typically see higher crime rates. While neighborhoods in the outskirts of the city tend to be less densely populated and have lower unemployment and poverty rates. Some of the safer neighborhoods in Santa Barbara include Las Positas, Riviera and Mesa. While Waterfront, Downtown and Eastside have a reported crime rate that is higher than average. This reinforces the need to do a quality check on multiple neighborhoods as their crime rates can be quite different.

Potential Causes for Crime in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara has a poverty rate of 12.3, while the national average is 15.1. In the past, there has been a direct correlation between high or low poverty rates and high or low crime stats. Elevated poverty levels and income disparities can contribute to heightened criminal activity, as individuals may resort to unlawful means to address their fundamental necessities. While lower poverty levels have led to a reduction in typical crime levels compared to other areas.

The educational level achieved in any given city can influence crime rates significantly. Greater educational achievement is frequently associated with decreased crime rates, as it offers individuals improved job prospects and alternatives to engaging in crime related activities. Conversely, lower educational attainment rates tend to coincide with elevated crime rates. In Santa Barbara, 83.6% of residents have successfully graduated from high school, in contrast to the national average where 83% have achieved high school graduation.

In Santa Barbara, the median home price stands at $1,082,300, diverging from the national average of $184,700. Elevated housing costs often induce financial strain among residents. When individuals grapple with the challenges of affording housing, they may find themselves compelled to resort to criminal activities as a means of addressing their financial hardships, including acts like theft or fraud. This predicament is particularly pronounced in areas where housing affordability poses a persistent issue, giving rise to heightened concerns regarding crime. In such instances, some individuals and families may find themselves constrained to reside in cramped or subpar housing conditions, exacerbating stress levels and potentially fostering domestic disputes and associated criminal incidents.

Santa Barbara crime map

The Santa Barbara crime map provides a detailed overview of all crimes in Santa Barbara as reported by the local law enforcement agencies. Based on the color coded legend above, the crime map outlines the areas with lower crime compared to the areas with higher crime. The Santa Barbara crime heat map offers insight into the total crimes on a block group level. Please note that the red areas on the Santa Barbara crime map does not always indicate that it is a dangerous area for its residents. Areas on the heat map could be inflated if they are located in high traffic areas like airports, sports centers or large parks. Other areas on the heat map could see increased crime rates if they are located in major tourist areas like the downtown core.
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Crime Quick Facts

  • Santa Barbara crime rates are 8% higher than the national average
  • Violent crimes in Santa Barbara are 23% higher than the national average
  • In Santa Barbara you have a 1 in 41 chance of becoming a victim of crime
  • Santa Barbara is safer than 22% of the cities in the United States
  • Year over year crime in Santa Barbara has decreased by 11%

Santa Barbara, CA Crime Quiz


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        Daily Crime In Santa Barbara (per 100,000 people)

        The chart above shows the number of daily crimes in Santa Barbara, CA per 100,000 people. In Santa Barbara, the number of daily crimes is projected to be 1.14 times less than the California average and 1.08 times more than the national average. The average number of daily violent crimes in Santa Barbara is 1.10 times less than the California average and 1.23 times more than the daily national average. With regards to property crimes, Santa Barbara has a daily crime rate that is 1.15 times less than the California average and 1.05 times more than the overall daily national average.

        How Safe is Santa Barbara (higher is better)

        How safe is Santa Barbara, California compared to other cities in California and the rest of the cities across the United States? The graphs above show that Santa Barbara is safer than 35% of the cities in California and 22% of the cities in the United States. These results are calculated by analyzing all cities in California and across the US as a whole and determining how many areas have a lower crime rate than Santa Barbara. Overall, Santa Barbara is ranked below average compared to all other cities across the United States.

        Chance of Being A Victim of Crime in Santa Barbara

        The chance of being a victim of violent crime in Santa Barbara is 1 in 220
        The chance of being a victim of property crime in Santa Barbara is 1 in 49
        The chance of being a victim of crime in Santa Barbara is 1 in 41
        Interested in knowing the odds that you will be a crime victim in Santa Barbara? In Santa Barbara, you have a 1 in 220 chance of falling victim to a violent crime, such as rape, robbery, assault, or even murder. In terms of property crime, your chances of being a victim are 1 in 49. These crimes include theft, vehicle theft, and burglary. Your overall chance of being a victim of crime in Santa Barbara, CA is 1 in 41.

        Year Over Year Crime In Santa Barbara (per 100,000 people)

        The year over year change in crime per 100,000 people helps to understand whether crime in Santa Barbara, CA is on the rise or declining. The violent crime rate in Santa Barbara has increased by 7%, while the property crime rate in Santa Barbara has decreased by 14% year over year. Summing up the numbers, Santa Barbara has decreased by 11% with regards to total crimes year over year.

        Santa Barbara police department

        Item Santa Barbara California National
        Law enforcement employees (officers & civilians)20251,506558,732
        Police officers & civilians /1000 residents2.23.63.3
        There are a total of 202 Santa Barbara police officers. This results in 2.2 police officers per 1,000 residents which is 37.8% less than the California average and 30.9% less than the National average.

        Sex offenders in California

        State Total offenders California /100K National /100K
        There are a total of 79,891 sex offenders in California. This yields a total of 232 sex offenders in California per 100,000 residents which is 13% less than the national average.

        Nearby Cities With Low Crime Rates

        City Population Violent crime/100k people Property crime/100k people Total crime/100k people
        Summerland, CA74570329399
        Toro Canyon, CA1,91870329399
        Mission Canyon, CA2,64978368446
        Montecito, CA8,210175822998
        Carpinteria, CA13,4492391,2711,509
        Goleta, CA32,1421491,6251,774
        Isla Vista, CA15,7337153,3514,066
        Santa Barbara, CA90,9114552,0442,500

        Cities with similar population

        City Population Violent crime/100k people Property crime/100k people Total crime/100k people
        Westminster, CA90,8573972,9723,369
        Bellingham, WA90,8214066,5136,919
        Kirkland, WA91,1461162,3632,479
        San Leandro, CA90,4895774,9205,497
        Carson, CA91,3544742,7443,218
        Santa Barbara, CA90,9114552,0442,500
        Source: The Santa Barbara, CA crime data displayed above is derived from the FBI's uniform crime reports for the year of 2022. The crime report encompasses more than 18,000 city and state law enforcement agencies reporting data on property and violent crimes. The uniform crime reports program represents approximately 309 million American residents, which results in 98% coverage of metropolitan statistical areas.