Florida is a popular US destination for all kinds of travellers, but, like everywhere, there are areas you should steer clear of. There are many safe places in Florida, but we have compiled a list of the most dangerous.
There are many reasons to visit the United States’ most southerly state. Known as The Sunshine State due to its climate, Florida has an abundance of attractions such as Everglades National Park, the Florida Keys and, of course, Disney World Orlando.
However, while there are plenty of areas in which you can feel safe, a few parts of the state are best to avoid for various reasons, and we will share them here.
Let’s take a look at the ten most dangerous cities in Florida, the 17th most dangerous state in the US.
10. Orlando – a changing city
Orlando was once a city that was more dangerous than it is today, and since there was a massive crackdown on crime, the statistics have dropped dramatically. However, it is still considered a hazardous US city, with a crime rate twice the national average.
Address: Orlando, FL
9. Miami Beach – a popular place to stay vigilant
The violent crime rates of Miami Beach are 750 per 100k people, so while this is a popular destination for travellers to explore, it is best to be vigilant, especially at night.
You have a one in 133 chance of being a victim of violent crime in this area, so stay alert and take precautions.
Address: Miami Beach, FL
8. Starke – a place to be observant
Starke is one of the most dangerous cities in Florida, with a crime rate 96% above the national average. The property crime rate alone is 77% above the national average, while the violent crime rate is 195% above the national average.
Address: Starke, FL
7. Panama City – a dangerous hotspot
Panama City is a relatively dangerous hotspot and is a place that you should keep sharp-eyed. Its overall crime rate is 115% above the country’s national average.
While violent crimes have decreased over the years, property crime rates have risen and being a resident there involves taking extra security measures.
Address: Panama City, FL
6. Perry – where crime has increased
In the city of Perry, you may have a one in 99 chance of becoming a crime victim, while the chances of being a victim of property crime are one in 21.
Unfortunately, Perry’s crime rates have increased over the years, which is something to consider when visiting the area.
Address: Perry, FL
5. Lake Worth Beach – don’t let the name change fool you
A mid-2010s drop in crime rates preceded a surge in the latter part of the decade. Violent crimes are the most prevalent in this city that altered its name in 2019 in a bid to escape its reputation for high crime rates.
Drug misuse and overdoses have also become an issue, so it is worth remaining vigilant in Lake Worth Beach.
Address: Lake Worth, FL
4. Cocoa – a small population with high crime
One of the most dangerous cities in Florida is Cocoa, and while the name may sound sweet and inviting, it is best to be vigilant when passing through.
Despite its population of just 19,000, the violent crime rate is high – 2.8 times higher than the national average.
Address: Cocoa, FL
3. Riviera Beach – one of the worst areas of Florida
Riviera Beach is notorious for being a very dangerous city in Florida, especially concerning the murder rate, which is seven times as high as the country’s national average.
It has a small population, but the violent crime rate is exceptionally high here, so caution should be taken, especially after dark.
When visiting Riviera Beach, it might be best to stay in the city’s safest area, Singer Island.
Address: Riviera Beach, FL
2. Florida City – a city with climbing crime rates
Florida City may sound like a great place to visit, but it is worth thinking twice when it comes to one of the most dangerous cities in the Sunshine State.
Residents here have a one in 38 chance of falling victim to violent crime. While many other areas are fighting to lower the crime rates, the statistics here are consistently rising.
Address: Florida City, FL
1. Lake City – the top spot to avoid
Lake City is well-known for being one of the most dangerous in Florida. It has one of the highest crime rates in the state. Your chances of falling victim to a crime in Lake City are one in 15.
Address: Lake City, FL
For more on dangerous cities, check out our article on the most dangerous cities in California.
Daytona Beach: Violent crime is prevalent in this famous town, known for its racetrack and spring break destinations, so take care here.
Lauderhill: With rising crime rates and an increased likelihood of falling victim to crime, Lauderhill is a city that is best to skip out on.
Tallahassee: The state capital is a prime example of one of the worst areas, despite efforts to control safety and security.
FAQs about the most dangerous cities in Florida
Which Florida city is safest?
Niceville is known as the safest city in Florida, and if the name is anything to go by, it makes sense.
Is Jacksonville or Miami more dangerous?
Miami is more hazardous than Jacksonville, with a focus on violent crime and property crime.
What city has the highest crime rate?
Florida City’s highest crime rate is 650% above the national average.
So, if you are planning a move or a visit to Florida, it is best to consider these ten most dangerous Florida cities when making a decision.