If safety concerns you, it’s essential to avoid the most dangerous cities in Florida, which include Lake City, Riviera Beach, and Cocoa. These areas and other Florida cities with high violent crime rates should be avoided if you’re planning to move to the state. Keep reading for our complete list of the worst places to live in Florida if your safety is your top priority.
Top 9 Most Dangerous Cities in Florida (2023)
1. Lake City
Lake City, located in Florida, has been identified as the most dangerous city in the state. Alarming statistics show that the incidence of violent crimes stands at 1,547 per 100,000 inhabitants, making it one of the worst in the country. These figures are a cause of concern and highlight the urgent need to address the safety concerns of the city’s residents.
Despite having a lower cost of living than many areas in Florida, Lake City, a municipality with a population of around 12,500, suffers from high poverty and crime rates. Unfortunately, the chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime in this city are almost four times higher than the state average. Therefore, Lake City is considered one of the most unsafe cities in Florida.
2. Riviera Beach
Riviera Beach is a small community in Florida with a population of 35,000, but unfortunately, it is also considered one of the most dangerous cities in the state. The violent crime rate in Riviera Beach is alarmingly high, making it a place that poses significant risks to its residents. To be precise, Riviera Beach has the highest murder rate in Florida, seven times more than the national average. Living in this city can be a daunting experience for anyone concerned about their safety.
Riviera Beach is situated on the outskirts of the Miami metropolitan area, and if safety is a concern, most parts of the city should be avoided. Despite this, Singer Island, located in the least dangerous area of Riviera Beach, is a relatively safer option. However, the rest of the city has earned the reputation of being one of the worst areas in Florida. It is intriguing to note that North Palm Beach, one of the safest cities in Florida, is less than a 10-minute drive from Riviera Beach.
Cocoa, a town in Florida, is infamous for its high violent crime rate. Despite having a small population of only 19,000, the city has a violent crime rate of 1,108 per 100,000 residents, which is 2.8 times higher than the national average and three times higher than the state average. Burglaries and assaults are the most prevalent violent crime in Cocoa. The alarming statistics show that Cocoa is not a safe town to reside in.
If you’re searching for a tranquil and secure place to settle down in the Sunshine State, Cocoa might not be your ideal choice. It’s situated on the Space Coast, close to Cape Canaveral, and can be chaotic and bustling.
4. Florida City
Florida City, nestled in South Florida near the Everglades and the Florida Keys, has earned a notorious reputation for being one of the most dangerous cities in the Sunshine State. With a population of around 12,000 people, this city is known for its high rate of car-jackings, making it one of the car-jacking capitals of the US. Unfortunately, the rates of other violent crimes are also relatively high in Florida City, and residents have approximately a 1 in 38 chance of falling victim to a violent crime.
Over the past decade, Florida City has experienced increased crime rates, which sets it apart from other cities on this list that have been trying to combat crime gradually.
5. Lake Worth
Lake Worth, situated a little south of Riviera Beach, is among the most dangerous cities in Florida in terms of violent crime. With a rate of 996 per 100,000 residents, the violent crime in Lake Worth is more than 2.5 times higher than the state and national average. Despite being labelled as one of the most dangerous places in Florida, the good news is that crime rates have declined in recent years.
It’s advisable to steer clear of the northern neighbourhoods of Lake Worth due to higher crime rates than the rest of the city.
6. Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach is a popular destination for visitors due to its famous race track and lively spring break celebrations, drawing in numerous tourists annually. However, living in this city can be pretty risky as it is considered one of the most challenging places in Florida.
According to statistics, the rate of violent crimes in Daytona Beach is 1,006 per 100,000 residents, which is nearly three times higher than the state average. This implies that residents of Daytona Beach are at a greater risk of becoming victims of violent crimes. The rate of property crimes is also on the rise, almost 2.5 times higher than the state average. This indicates that the residents of Daytona Beach need to be cautious and take necessary measures to ensure their safety and security.
Lauderhill, unfortunately, has become one of the most challenging cities in Florida. Crime rates in this city have been on the rise in recent years. Shockingly, in 2022, the number of violent crimes recorded was 632 in a population of 72,000 people. This marked a significant increase of over 20% from 2018. The overall violent crime rate in Lauderhill stands at 878 per 100,000 people. This means the chances of falling victim to violent crimes in Lauderhill are 2.3 times higher than the Florida state average.
Orlando, Florida, holds the title for the most violent major city in the state, with a violent crime rate that is 2.2 times higher than the state average.
While Orlando has been experiencing a steady decrease in crime rates for several decades, with a significant drop since 2002, there has been a slight increase since 2020. Nevertheless, the city has shown remarkable commitment to curbing violent crime and improving the safety of its inhabitants.
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