San Francisco goes by many names: San Fran, Golden Gate City, City by the Bay, Frisco, Tiny Rita (I made the last one up) . Whatever you call it, this densely populated peninsula boasts a whole ton of diverse neighborhoods, with big crowds and many popular tourist sights and attractions to match.

Originally established by Spanish colonists, San Francisco experienced massive growth during the Gold Rush in 1849. Today the city is a liberal, open-minded place, where history and the present day collide in an explosion of culture, flavors and, unfortunately, problems.

With the rise of Silicon Valley businesses setting up camp nearby, a sharp rise in the cost of living in the city has resulted in gentrification and added to the already sizable homeless population of the city. Other issues, such as drugs and crime related to thefts, add to this.


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How Safe is San Francisco?

San Francisco has a higher crime rate than the rest of California, at about 15% more per capita. This is likely due to many reasons – too many to delve into in this article.

Inequality in wealth distribution means that while those who can afford it live in relative luxury while others are left without homes or struggling just to make ends meet. For this reason homelessness – which isn’t illegal but does violate city law – is found all over town (and yes, even inside some parks). But don’t get too scared yet! With proper precautions you’ll be able to enjoy your time here as safely as anywhere else.

San Francisco Crime Rate 2020

The San Francisco crime rate in 2020 is about the same as it was in 2010. It’s been falling for the past four years, but that doesn’t mean there are no problems here! A recent study found a correlation between poverty and violent crime rates – though not causation – so while we have seen some improvement, police still have their work cut out for them. The nationwide trend of rising homicide rates also means more violence on city streets than before.

Here are the SF Police Department crime stats for Jan through Sept 13, 2020, compared to the same time period last year:

-Homicide: up 37.9%

-Robbery: down 17.7%

-Rape: down 52.1%

-Burglary: up 42.3%

-Arson: up 53.4%

-Car theft: up 32.3%

Places to avoid in San Francisco

Due to the massive gap between rich and poor in San Francisco, there are a few “ghetto-like” areas that you should definitely avoid. While you should always watch out for pickpocketing and petty theft, these areas show an increase in violent crimes such as gang activity so it’s best to stay away at all costs. Avoid these places if possible:

Safety Tips for Traveling to San Francisco

Want to know how to stay safe while traveling to San Francisco? You’ve come to the right place! Here are some tips that will help keep you out of harm’s way.

San Francisco is a great place to visit, but it also has one of the highest crime rates in California. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself while exploring the city. In fact there are plenty of ways for tourists and locals alike to make sure that they’re not only safe from criminals on the street, but other potential dangers such as homelessness or poverty. One way would be by visiting our website! We have all sorts of resources about travel safety tips for visitors who want to spend time here without worrying too much about their own personal safety. So come explore and learn more with us today!

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By Noah Friedlander – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,