California Earthquake Statistics, History and Facts (2021)



Here are a few of the most interesting California Earthquake statistics and facts I was able to dig up in my internet travels. As always, be sure to check back in the future as I will be updating this post as new and updated stats become available.

California Earthquake Facts and Statistics

Photo by Andrew Buchanan on Unsplash

Earliest reported California earthquake:

1769 (30 miles Southeast of Los Angeles)


Largest California earthquake of all time:

1906 San Francisco and 1857 Fort Tejon earthquakes (7.9)


Deadliest California earthquake in history:

1906 San Francisco earthquake (3,000 deaths)


Costliest California earthquake in history (not adjusted for inflation):

1994 Northridge earthquake ($15 billion)


Number of 3.0 or greater earthquakes in California:

  • 2015: 130
  • 2014: 191
  • 2013: 240
  • 2012: 243
  • 2011: 195
  • 2010: 546

Average number of earthquakes in southern California earth year:

about 10,000 earthquakes each year (only 15-20 are greater than 4.0)


Number of known faults in California:

15,700 known faults


Number of active faults in California:

about 500 active faults


The San Andreas Fault runs almost the entire length of California.


California accounts for 60% of all earthquake insurance premiums written in the US.

Please note that some of these numbers are easier to find than others. These California Earthquake stats are based on news reports and not official company tallies. No information contained on DMR should be relied upon to make investment decisions. Basically, this is the best I can find and I don’t guarantee anything to be 100%.