The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Florida

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart
Florida may be home to Disney World, but it certainly is known for much more than that! Within the Sunshine state, there are ten cities that you MUST avoid whether you’re going on vacation or a local native. Whether it be Leesburg or Daytona Beach, let’s take a look at the 10 worst cities in Florida.

Florida is known for many things, including alligators, Disney World, and the awkward superhero known as “Florida Man.” Florida Man is the de facto name mentioned in news headlines whenever a Florida resident commits an unusual or exceedingly stupid crime. We all love Florida Man.

The most ghetto cities in Florida are Florida City, Lake City, Opa Locka, Paltka, and some areas of Miami Beach. This is followed by Lake Park, Panama City Beach, Daytona Beach, and a few others. Be aware of these areas while visiting Florida, so that you don’t accidentally wander into them.

Of course, with a state that’s known for funky crimes like Florida, it only makes sense that some of the cities are a little unsafe. Or, at the very least, it’s safe to say that there are a couple of cities that are ghetto and downright dangerous. That’s how Florida Man happens.

Wondering what is going on in this state, or whether that oddly affordable town is worth moving to? We’ve got the answers that you’re searching for.

Related Content: Most Dangerous Cities In Florida | Most Dangerous And Worst Neighborhoods In Miami | Pros And Cons Of Living In Daytona Beach, FL | Is Panama City, Florida A Good Place To Live?

Is Florida A Safe State?

Compared to other states, the Sunshine State is unreasonably unsafe. It ranks as the bottom 48th state on the safety ranking. This means that the state has a higher chance of theft, murder, rape, and drug addiction. Many of the reasons why the crime rate is so high deals with the nightlife, which is famous for being excessive in nature.

If you pay attention to the news, then this shouldn’t be that big a surprise for you. Florida is not known for being remarkably crime-free. In fact, many of the drug crimes that have hit the news in the area did so due to their shocking behavior.

It’s really the crime that makes Florida so darn hood. Before we talk about the worst cities in the states, take a look at this infographic we created.

What Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Florida Like?

The most dangerous cities in Florida all have crippling poverty, bad schools, and awful crime rates. We did a little bit of research to find out what’s going on with crime rates as well as the overall quality of life. Here’s what we found…

(Dis)Honorable Mention: Miracle Village

Miracle Village might sound like a nice place to be, but it’s not. It’s a unique “community” that is designed to be a safe haven for registered child sex offenders—many of which were violent. While the community is meant to help them rehabilitate themselves, it doesn’t always work out their way.

Due to the nature of the community, children are not allowed anywhere near the community. Even women are advised not to go alone in this area because it could lead to something violent. Since it is not a fully incorporated city, it’s technically not capable of being a part of this list. Even so, the sheer number of sex offenders makes this village worth noting.

10. Leesburg

  • Violent Crime: 760
  • Property Crime: 5,272
  • Murder: 4.3
  • Rape: 99.9
  • Robbery: 134.6
  • Assault: 521.1
  • Burglary: 807.7
  • Theft: 4090.5
  • Vehicle Theft: 373.4

When it comes to physical danger, Leesburg isn’t that bad. However, it still remains one of the most dangerous cities in Florida due to the threat it poses to your wallet. Due to the property crime rate of over 5,271, this is the 11th most dangerous city in terms of property crime.

According to statistics, this place is fairly violent and suffers from a struggling school system. That might be why the violent crime rate is twice as high as the national average.

9. Belle Glade

  • Violent Crime: 1036
  • Property Crime: 3,959
  • Murder: 10.1
  • Rape: 65.4
  • Robbery: 221.4
  • Assault: 739.5
  • Burglary: 674.1
  • Theft: 2,929
  • Vehicle Theft: 357.2

Admittedly, Belle Glade isn’t quite a city. It’s more of a run-down suburb that is in dire need of upkeep. Even so, it’s still one of the most violent cities in Florida and property crimes remain on the rise here. While the city has seen a slight crime slump in recent years, it’s still a rough neighborhood.

As the 9th most violent place in Florida, Belle Glade is not the nicest place to live regardless of what you want to do in life. (Unless, of course, that thing is fighting.) Property crime is also not too good here. A typical person here will have a 1 in 25.3 chance of being stolen from.

8. Daytona Beach

  • Violent Crime: 1106.9
  • Property Crime: 4864.6
  • Murder: 11.6
  • Rape: 24.6
  • Robbery: 131.8
  • Assault: 938.7
  • Burglary: 556.3
  • Theft: 3983.8
  • Car Theft: 324.5

Daytona Beach is a white-hot tourist spot famous for having cars that drive on its beaches as well as a truly world-class nightlife scene. That’s why people who want to celebrate Spring Break flock here every year. It’s a party central that invites drinking, tanning, and dancing in the sun. Unfortunately, it’s also a hotspot for crime.

Everything here has a higher chance of happening, especially if you’re a local. While Daytona Beach’s crime has decreased by 12 percent since last year, people are still rightfully concerned about their ability to stay safe. Police still struggle with an unusually high burglary rate, and murders still regularly happen here.

You have a 1 in 17 shot at being a victim of crime here. Locals have every reason to be worried.

7. Panama City Beach

  • Violent Crime: 850
  • Property Crime: 7,422
  • Murder: 15.5
  • Rape: 154.6
  • Robbery: 162.4
  • Assault: 518
  • Burglary: 695.8
  • Theft: 6,695
  • Vehicle Theft: 30.9

With its pleasant beaches and picturesque landscapes, it’s easy to see why many Northerners love to vacation at Panama City Beach. It’s a beautiful area, but the problem is, it’s not exactly the nicest town to live in.

The property crime rate here is what makes Panama City Beach one of the worst places to live. With a large-scale theft rate of over 6,695 per 100,000 residents, the chances of being a victim of property crime are sky-high here.

A typical resident here will have a 1 in 13 chance of being a crime victim here. Sadly, crime is still climbing in Panama City Beach, so it’s not looking too rosy here.

6. Lake Park

  • Violent Crime: 860
  • Property Crime: 9,465
  • Murder: 22.9
  • Rape: 34.4
  • Robbery: 321.2
  • Assault: 481.9
  • Burglary: 963.7
  • Theft: 7,859
  • Vehicle Theft: 642.5

Petite in size but elegant in appearance, Lake Park has the ambiance of a place that is made for the rich. Unfortunately, its appearance seems to have caught the attention of burglars, thieves, and carjackers.

The violent crime rate is not as high as it once was, but the property crime is shockingly high. If you choose to live here, you have approximately a 10 percent chance of having something extremely valuable taken from you.

Vehicle theft is unusually high here, at three times the national average.

Don’t Want to Read the Whole List? Watch this Video

5. Miami Beach

  • Violent Crime: 937
  • Property Crime: 7,475
  • Murder: 5.4
  • Rape: 103.3
  • Robbery: 300.2
  • Assault: 528.4
  • Burglary: 695.2
  • Theft: 6,351.1
  • Vehicle Theft: 429.4

Considering that Grand Theft Auto had a video game that was based off Miami Beach, it’s safe to say that this neighborhood sealed its reputation for being crime-ridden in its own right. Though the video game came out years ago, Miami Beach remains one of the most dangerous cities in Florida to this day.

Robberies are out of control here, and it’s become far more worrisome in recent years. You have a 1 in 13.4 chance of having items forcibly taken from you by thieves. Even though there were murders within the city limits, Miami Beach still is primarily a danger to your property rather than your body.

There are so many reasons for Miami Beach’s high crime rate. Gang activity, disenfranchised people, and more all seem to have ties to this location. That alone can make this place feel like an eerie war zone of urban strife.

4. Palatka

  • Violent Crime: 1061
  • Property Crime: 6,078
  • Murder: 15.5
  • Rape: 154.6
  • Robbery: 162.4
  • Assault: 518
  • Burglary: 695.8
  • Theft: 6,695
  • Vehicle Theft: 30.9

This town really just doesn’t have much going for it. At all. It’s both the eight most dangerous city for violent crime and the seventh most dangerous for property crime. And yet, it’s only 10,000-strong in terms of population.

Schools are terrible. Employment is terrible. Even though the price of real estate here is dirt cheap, it doesn’t make up for the fact that you get a 1 in 15 chance of being a crime victim here. Worse still, the rate of crime increased by 21 percent in the last year alone. The trend is expected to increase, much to police officers’ chagrin.

Half of all residents claim that crime is rampant in the area and that they would never walk alone at night here. It’s best to follow their lead.

3. Opa-Locka

  • Violent Crime: 2,347
  • Property Crime: 5,281
  • Murder: 48
  • Rape: 42
  • Robbery: 528.1
  • Assault: 1,728
  • Burglary: 1014.2
  • Theft: 3,444.8
  • Vehicle Theft: 822.2

Opa-Locka has been struggling to keep its grip on crime of all types. In terms of violent crime, it’s considered to be the second most dangerous city in Florida. Assaults, murders, rape, and even domestic violence calls are now par for the course. As one of the most dangerous Miami suburbs, this is one place where you shouldn’t drive alone at night.

Violent crime is five times the national average within Opa-Locka’s boundaries, making it one of the worst places to go if you want to stay safe. Property crime rates aren’t much better. Terrible schools, a lax police force, and poor quality homes just make Opa-Locka even worse.

2. Lake City

  • Violent Crime: 1,215
  • Property Crime: 7,043
  • Murder: 8.2
  • Rape: 123.1
  • Robbery: 180.6
  • Assault: 903
  • Burglary: 1091.8
  • Theft: 5,721.6
  • Vehicle Theft: 229.8

Do you want to live ina home that gives you a 1 in 82 chance of being attacked, raped, or killed every year? Do you want your kids to grow up in a school system that will practically eat them alive? If those are your lofty aspirations, then come on down to Lake City.

This place is a cesspool of quasi-organized crime chaos. The overall crime rate is 210 percent higher than Florida’s typical rates, making it a complete nightmare for people who want to live a nice, quiet life.

An unusually high assault rate could be blamed on the issues this area having a high rate of addiction. Of course, underfunded schools have something to do with it, too. Just…don’t live here. You won’t like it.

1. Florida City

  • Violent Crime: 3,053
  • Property Crime: 7,123
  • Murder: 81.4
  • Rape: 65.1
  • Robbery: 805.9
  • Assault: 2100.3
  • Burglary: 765.2
  • Theft: 5,918.3
  • Vehicle Theft: 439.6

At first glance, you’d expect Florida City to be cute as a button. Unfortunately, this place is anything but cute. It’s a place where you need to lock your doors and hide your valuables. Violet crime is 702 percent higher than normal here, and property crime is a whopping 224 percent higher, too.

What really strikes us about this area is the skyrocketing assault rates, which are the highest in Florida, bar none. One might get the feeling that it could be a matter of gang issues, or it could be the fact that this area is an economically rough area to be in. It’s hard to tell.

Should you find yourself in Florida City, lock your doors and avoid running into Florida Man at all costs.

The Most Dangerous Cities In Florida At A Glance

RankNameProperty Crime (Per 100,000)Violent Crime (Per 100,000)
9Belle Glade3,9591,036
8Daytona Beach4,8641,106
7Panama City Beach7,421850
6Lake Park9,465860
5Miami Beach7,475937
3Opa Locka5,2812,347
2Lake City7,0431,214
1Florida City7,1233,053

Related Questions

What can kill you in Florida?

Along with high crime rates and foul weather, Florida has many dangerous animals that call it home. Snakes, American alligators, Florida black bears, panthers, and poisonous spiders all live here. On the coastline, you also need to watch out for sharks.

What is the most beautiful town in Florida?

According to land critics and tourism guides, Cedar Key is considered to be the prettiest area in Florida. Its old school charm and elegant housing has made it a must-see for anyone who has a keen eye for looks.

What is the safest beach town in Florida?

According to the most recent statistics, the safest beach town in Florida is Satellite Beach. This area had three instances of violent crime and only 41 occurrences of property crime reported in the most recent year. A close second was Key Biscayne, which still remains a popular tourist spot to this very day.

What are the most common gangs in Florida?

Almost every gang has some level of presence in Florida. Major names include the Bloods, Crips, the Latin Kings, MS-13, the Mexican Mafia, the Outlaw Biker Gang, Folk Nation, and the Gangster Disciples. Many Florida cities also have region-specific gangs that are located only within the town’s regions.

Is Orlando a good place to live?

While Disney might have a theme park there, many locals nicknamed it the “most unfriendly place on Earth.” Bad traffic, difficulty finding stable employment, poor schools, and a high cost of living mean that it’s hard to find a way to get ahead while here. If you can, try to go to one of the nicer suburbs instead.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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