The Sunshine State is home to more than just sandy beaches, vacation spots, and nightlife. In fact, Florida holds some highly dangerous cities that are also major hotspots for tourists.
Well known cities such as Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and Tallahassee are among the most dangerous Florida cities. Each of the most dangerous cities in Florida have poverty, violence, and property crime in common. Currently, Florida is ranked as the 3rd most dangerous state in America.
Despite the hazards that come with living in or visiting Florida, it is highly visited and densely populated. Texas and California are the only states with more people than the 21,993,000 Floridians.
Let’s dive into the most dangerous cities in Florida.
Table of Contents
- 1. Miami
- 2. Orlando
- 3. Jacksonville
- 4. Tampa
- 5. Palm Beach
- 6. St. Petersburg
- 7. Tallahassee
- 8. Fort Lauderdale
- 9. Gainesville
- 10. Homestead
- Dangerous Florida Cities
- Florida City
- Daytona Beach
- Is Florida Safe?
- Related Questions
- What Did We Learn?
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 6.37
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 35.96
- Reported Crimes: 19,936
- Population: 470,914
Miami is full of gorgeous views, delicious food, and vibrant nightlife. Sadly, the price to pay for all of that fun in one city is a high crime rate. Miami is more dangerous than 93% of the rest of American cities.
The beach-side city is confined within 55 square miles with a rate of 544 crimes per square mile. Miami boasts 35 property crimes for every 1,000 residents. Recently, there were 13,207 thefts and over 2,000 burglaries.
Violent crime is a fixture in Miami as well, and it touches 1 out of 157 Floridians in Miami. Some of the most dangerous areas in Miami include Brownsville and Westview.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 8.06
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 49.2
- Reported Crimes: 16,359
- Population: 285,713
Orlando has been a vacation destination for decades. The Disney World city is only safer than 3% of other U.S. cities.
You are most at risk for property crime than anything else in Orlando. There are 39 thefts for every 1,000 Orlando residents. Burglary is also common with over 1,600 recent reports and a rate of 5 out of 1,000.
The most common form of violence in Orlando is assault, and it affects roughly 5 per 1,000 residents. Robbery, rape, and murder make up 878 of the 2,032 recent violent crimes in Orlando. If you live in Orlando, you face a 1 out of 124 risk of an act of violence.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 5.99
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 33.93
- Reported Crimes: 36,082
- Population: 903,889
Jacksonville takes the honor of being the largest city in Florida. The current poverty rate is 16.4%, and it shows in the 25 thefts per 1,000 residents. Property crime is rampant in Jacksonville and affects 1 out of 24 people.
You should always lock your doors and windows in Jacksonville. There were over 5,000 recent burglaries and 5,414 violent crimes in Jacksonville. Assault and robbery are the most concerning violent crimes due to their frequency.
Jacksonville is a sprawling city, and it takes up 875 square miles. There are 43 crimes per square mile in Jacksonville. Avoid areas like Grand Crossing and Brentwood to stay safe.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 4.37
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 18.11
- Reported Crimes: 8,835
- Population: 392,890
Yet another vacation hotspot makes the list of most dangerous cities in Florida. Tampa is a major west Florida city, and it is home to sites like Busch Gardens. Sadly, Tampa is just as known for crime as it is for being a fun getaway.
Central Tampa and Lake Magdalene are some of the most dangerous spots in the city. Violent crime is more common in Tampa than the rest of Florida. There are 3 violent crimes per 1,000 people in Florida and 4 violent crimes per 1,000 people in Tampa.
Property crime is not as widespread in Tampa as some other cities on this list. However, recently, Tampa boasted 7,117 property crimes. You are almost 10% less likely to experience theft or burglary in Tampa than the rest of Florida.
5. Palm Beach
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 9.26
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 38.46
- Reported Crimes: 5,315
- Population: 111,398
Palm Beach is trickier than the other cities on this list because of its layout. For example, areas like Cloud Lakes and Cypress Lakes are safe, but just a few miles away are West Gate and Pinewood Blvd. which are dangerous.
The property crime rate in Palm Beach is 38 per 1,000 residents. Most of the property crimes that citizens report are theft and burglary. There are 29 thefts per 1,000 residents, and 5 burglaries per 1,000 Palm Beach residents.
Surprisingly, the poverty rate in Palm Beach is only 12.2%, which is low for a dangerous city. It was once the richest county in Florida, but now there are 94 crimes per square mile in Palm Beach.
6. St. Petersburg
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 6.27
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 33.26
- Reported Crimes: 10,480
- Population: 265,098
Whether you are in town to visit the Salvador Dali Museum or soak up some sunshine, exercise caution in St. Petersburg. Spread across 137 square miles, St. Petersburg is home to 161 crimes per square mile.
If you plan a move to St. Petersburg, beware of the widespread property crime. St. Petersburg residents risk 1 out of 30 chance for property crime. The least common property crime in the city is car theft, but theft and burglary are rampant.
Sadly, violence is also something that you need to worry about in St. Petersburg. There were 1,662 recent violent crimes, and 1,140 of them were assaults. Murder, rape, and robbery account for the other 522 violent acts in St. Petersburg.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 7.35
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 48.11
- Reported Crimes: 10,733
- Population: 193,551
Home to 55 crimes for every 1,000 residents, Tallahassee is a dangerous city. You may also know Tallahassee as Florida’s capital, and the location of Florida State University. If it weren’t so dangerous, those are the only things you’d know Tallahassee for.
However, Tallahassee has amassed a dangerous reputation, and 55 out of every 1,000 people suffer a crime. You are more likely to experience theft than any other type of crime in Tallahassee. The current rate of theft in Tallahassee is 36 for every 1,000 people.
You should still be wary of violent crimes, such as assault. There are 4 assaults and 1 robbery per 1,000 Tallahassee residents. Avoid West Tharpe Street and Paul Russell Road where there is a high crime rate.
8. Fort Lauderdale
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 5.65
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 50.37
- Reported Crimes: 182,595
- Population: 182,595
You can enjoy a ride on the canals or a stroll along the beach in Fort Lauderdale. However, you should watch your back while you’re doing it. For every 1,000 Fort Lauderdale residents, there are 56 crimes.
Broadview Park and Rio Vista Isles in particular are dangerous. In those neighborhoods, you are highly likely to face property crime. You are more than twice as likely to experience property crime in Fort Lauderdale than the rest of Florida.
There are 50 thefts and burglaries for every 1,000 people in Fort Lauderdale. Violent crime is significantly less common, at a rate of 5 per 1,000 residents. The leading violent crime is assault, but you can avoid it by walking in groups.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 7.55
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 42.31
- Reported Crimes: 6,674
- Population: 133,857
Gainesville is a college town, and many college towns are crime-ridden. The University of Florida is in Gainesville, and the area around it is dangerous. Areas like South Hawthorne Road and Daysville should be avoided at nighttime if you are alone.
Theft, car theft, and burglary are the most common crimes in Gainesville. For every 1,000 Gainesville homes, 4 are burglarized. There were 4,647 thefts out of 6,674 total recent crimes in Gainesville.
The high poverty rate in Gainesville fans the flames of the criminal activity. For more than 33% of Gainesville residents, poverty is a sad reality. Over 40,000 people live below the poverty line in Gainesville.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 10.19
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 32.59
- Reported Crimes: 3,015
- Population: 70,477
Many people flock to Homestead to visit the world-famous Everglades National Park. Homestead is confined within 15 square miles. There are a staggering 193 crimes per square mile in Homestead, and most of them are theft and burglary.
Murder does not occur often in Homestead, but rape, robbery, and assault happen commonly. You face a 1 out of 98 chance of a violent crime happening to you in Homestead. Assault and robbery are the most common violent crimes and recently affected 672 Homestead residents.
The poverty rate in Homestead is 27.1%. However, the average household income has increased by almost 7% in the last few years. Hopefully, that increase will be reflected in the poverty rate, and it will lower crime.
Crime Rates In Florida Cities for 2020
|5. Palm Beach||572||27||355||382||3,323||579|
|6. St. Petersburg||1,140||21||368||750||6,860||1,208|
|8. Fort Lauderdale||578||20||353||875||6,949||1,373|
Dangerous Florida Cities
Florida has a reputation for some pretty wild crimes over the years, and that makes many think that it is highly dangerous. However, Florida is unique because they have a law wherein journalists have access to all crime reports. Because of that, we hear more about crime in Florida than in other states, and it makes the state seem more dangerous.
With that said, there is still plenty of danger in Florida. Besides the above 10 states, there are a few honorary mentions with high crime rates.
- Population: 12,077
- Reported Violent Crimes: 381
- Reported Property Crimes: 1,136
- Crimes Per Square Mile: 252
The only thing big about Florida City is its volume of crime. In the last few years, property crime had dropped by 5%. However, there is still a 1 out of 11 chance you’ll have your property stolen or home burglarized.
There are 79 thefts for every 1,000 Florida City residents. Don’t skimp on home security if you move to Florida City as there were 115 burglaries recently. Vehicle theft is not as rampant as in, say, Miami, but there were 62 recent reports.
You can figure out why Florida City is so dangerous by looking at the poverty rate. Unfortunately, 41.2% of Florida City residents live in poverty.
- Population: 10,465
- Reported Violent Crimes: 110
- Reported Property Crimes: 630
- Crimes Per Square Mile: 81
There are 71 crimes for every 1,000 people in Palatka. Beware of personal theft and burglary in Palatka. There is a 1 out of 17 chance that you’ll have your house burglarized or your belongings stolen in Palatka.
Violence is a real part of life for Palatka residents. Recently, there were 3 murders, and 90 assaults in the city. Robbery and assault make up the other 104 violent crimes in Palatka. Violent crime more than double as likely in Palatka than the rest of Florida.
Pecan and City Center are the most dangerous areas in Palatka.
- Population: 68,866
- Reported Violent Crimes: 765
- Reported Property Crimes: 3,368
- Crimes Per Square Mile: 70
Daytona Beach sees 66 crimes for every 1,000 residents. There are no views that compare to some that Daytona offers, but it comes at a price. You risk a 1 out of 20 chance of property crime, and 1 out of 90 chance for violent crime.
The violent crime you should fear most in Daytona Beach is assault. With over 693 recent reports, it’s safe to say that assault is a common occurrence in Daytona. Sadly, there were also 8 recent murders, and 17 recent rapes in the beach town.
Areas like Ridgewood Avenue and Marion Street are known for their high crime rates.
- Population: 23,163
- Reported Violent Crimes: 178
- Reported Property Crimes: 1,214
- Crimes Per Square Mile: 34
You may know Leesburg as the Lakefront City, but others know it as a dangerous one. Perhaps things wouldn’t be so dangerous if Leesburg didn’t have such a high poverty rate. However, 22.5% of residents live in poverty.
Leesburg residents are no stranger to theft and burglary. There are 8 robberies and 40 thefts per 1,000 residents. You risk theft almost 3 times more than in the rest of the country when in Leesburg.
From Whitney to Flatwoods Road, there is a higher concentration of crimes. Once you get into Okahumpka and Harbor Shores, you are in the safe part of Leesburg.
Is Florida Safe?
Currently, Florida is the most the 3rd most dangerous state, but that does not mean it is all unsafe. The most common crime in Florida is theft. For every 1,000 Floridians, 17 are the victim of theft.
The poverty rate throughout the whole state is 15.5%. Sadly, that means that more than 3 million people live below the poverty line in Florida. No matter what the state is, a high poverty rate is often reflected by a high crime rate.
You risk a 1 out of 44 chance of having a property crime commit against you in Florida. Luckily, violence is less common, and your chances are 1 in 260. None of this means that Florida is a bad place to live, and you shouldn’t hesitate to visit, so long as you are safe.
What is the safest city in Florida?
Right now, Marco Island is the safest city in Florida. Marco Island residents see crime at a rate of 5 per 1,000 residents. There were only 206 recent crimes, and only 6 of them were violent crimes, 5 of which were assaults and 1 robbery.
What is the cheapest city in Florida to live in?
Kissimmee is the cheapest place that you can live in Florida, which makes it a great retirement destination. The median home cost in Kissimmee is just over $220,000, compared to the median $237,00 throughout Florida. There is a 1 out 247 chance of violent crime, and 1 out of 40 chance of property crime in Kissimmee.
What city is the safest from hurricanes in Florida?
Leesburg, one of the honorary mentions above, is the safest from hurricanes in Florida. In general, hurricanes strike every 3 years, but sometimes they can be unpredictable.
What Did We Learn?
We learned that some of the most dangerous cities in Florida are also the most well-known. Tourist destinations like Miami and Orlando may be highly dangerous, but they are still fun. Florida is a great place to live and visit, so long as you exercise caution.
Avoid walking alone at night and refer to crime maps when in particularly dangerous cities. Consider a visit or move to Marco Island as it is the safest city in Florida.
If you head on vacation or move to the Sunshine State, don’t fear the crime, simply avoid it using safety practices!