Miami is considered a relatively safe city compared to other cities of similar size. However, just like any other city, some areas are unsafe and should be avoided. In this article, we will explore the most dangerous neighbourhoods in Miami to help you stay safe while visiting or living in the city.
How Safe Is Miami?
Miami is a relatively safe city, mainly if you stick to downtown and other tourist areas. It is a sought-after vacation destination and home to many celebrities, so local law enforcement takes security seriously. As a result, visitors can rest assured that they will be well-protected during their stay in Miami.
While Miami boasts numerous desirable locations, some areas are less than ideal. Downtown and Northern Miami tend to have the highest crime rates, while the southern parts of Miami are considered safer. Despite some unsafe neighbourhoods, Miami doesn’t rank among the most dangerous cities in the country. However, visitors to the city should exercise caution and avoid these areas to stay safe.
Keep reading if you’re curious about Miami’s most unsafe neighbourhoods. We’ve uncovered the top ten areas in Miami that you should approach cautiously.
10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Miami
1. Model City
Model City, located in the Northwest quadrant of Miami, is considered the city’s most dangerous neighbourhood. With a population of 25,023, it is infamous for having the highest violent crime rates. The drug trade in this area is often associated with the violent crimes that occur here, including gun violence, burglaries, robberies, and drive-by shootings.
Although crime rates have dropped in recent years due to the presence of more police, it is still not a safe neighbourhood, and it is recommended to avoid walking or biking in the area at night. The number of murders has steadily increased yearly, with a 40% increase from 2011 to 2013.
With a population of 9,640, Overtown is significant in Miami’s history. However, despite the active police presence, crime remains a concern in the residential area of the neighbourhood. The most commonly reported crimes in Overtown include drug trafficking, assaults, and shootings.
Shockingly, in 2020, the rate of violent crimes in Overtown was 124% higher than the national average. Given the prevalence of predatory crimes, it is highly recommended that individuals avoid walking or cycling alone, especially after dark. It’s best to stay in a group for added safety measures.
With a population of 30,500, Downtown Miami is considered one of the city’s most violent areas. Shockingly, the violent crime rate in this region is 186% higher than the national average. As per the latest statistics of 2022, residents have a 10% chance of being victims of any crime, with a 1.2% chance of being victims of a violent crime.
If you plan to explore Downtown Miami, doing so during the day while walking or biking is advisable. Gang activity is widespread in this part of the city, and walking alone outside of tourist areas can be risky. Additionally, panhandling is common, and you may encounter many homeless people. It is recommended to keep a watchful eye on thieves and pickpockets, even while using public transportation.
Allapattah, located north of downtown, has a population of around 48,221, with a history of being a Dominican residential village. Nowadays, it has a diverse population. Although Allapattah experiences some crime, it is not excessive.
However, certain pockets of crime throughout the neighbourhood, including shootings, have given it a bad reputation in Miami. Despite a significant police presence, crime rates are still 125% higher than the national average. During the day and evening, it is relatively safe to bike or walk around Allapattah, except for areas east of 9th Ave and north of 20th St., known for having criminal elements. Public transit is available and generally safe.
5. Little Haiti
Little Haiti is a city in the northern part of Downtown Miami that Haitian immigrants and other Caribbean residents initially established. With a population of around 29,760, it is also known as Lemon City. Although there is a significant Hispanic influence in Little Haiti, the community unfortunately has a high crime rate. Shootings, assaults, and other violent incidents are common in this area, with the violent crime rate being 200% higher than the national average. According to residents, the police are not active in this community. Therefore, visiting Little Haiti during daylight hours is advisable since it can be unsafe at night.
6. Little Havana
Little Havana, situated west of downtown Miami, has a population of approximately 76,163 people. It is renowned for its Cuban culture and diverse culinary offerings. However, gang-related violence continues to be a significant concern. Although crime rates have decreased recently, violent and property crimes persist.
Many locals feel that the police force’s presence is not adequate. On the other hand, areas such as West of 22 Ave and south of 8 St, the central part, are relatively safe and popular among tourists. Public transportation is available and provides a secure way to navigate the area.
Wynwood is a neighbourhood between Miami’s Design District of Little Haiti and the northern part of the city. Around 17,923 people reside in this area. Unfortunately, property crime is prevalent, and residents often experience car theft, vandalism, assault, and other forms of theft.
While Wynwood is safer than 23% of Miami’s neighbourhoods in Florida, the violent crime rate is much higher than the national average at 285%. In 2021, the police reported 726 cases of violent crimes and 6,542 property crimes, and it is believed that many violent incidents go unreported.
8. West Flagler
West Flagler is situated west of Miami and has a population of approximately 49,734. While walking around the neighbourhood during the day and night is possible, it is advisable not to go alone. Petty crimes are prevalent in this area, and burglary is common. Residents experience 2,427 crimes per 100,000, with theft, vehicle theft, and burglary accounting for 2,158 of these incidents.
9. Upper Eastside
Located east of Little Haiti, the Upper Eastside is one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in Miami. With a population of 7,725, this neighbourhood has a very high violent crime rate, 230% higher than the national average.
Living in a higher crime rate area can be pretty unsafe. Despite this, the good news is that the police presence is strong and prompt in responding to criminal activities.
10. South Coconut Grove
Locally known as The Grove, Coconut Grove has a population of 7,956 residents. The community has received mixed reviews, with varying opinions. On average, North Coconut Grove is 55% safer than the rest of Miami. However, South Coconut Grove can be relatively dangerous, particularly at night.
The total crime rate in Coconut Grove is 5% higher than the national average, with violent crime being 12% higher than the national average. Despite this, the area has a police presence, and walking or biking is generally considered safe.
Miami Crime and Safety: Bottom Line
Miami is generally considered a safe city; many neighbourhoods are popular tourist spots. However, it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions to avoid any potential danger. With this in mind, planning a vacation to Miami shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Just exercise common sense, and you’ll be able to enjoy all that this vibrant city has to offer fully.
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