If you’re looking for information on the most dangerous cities in Florida, it’s important to note that Lake City, Riviera Beach, and Cocoa are among the top areas with the highest rates of violent crime. In fact, they are consistently ranked as some of the most dangerous cities in Florida. If you’re planning to move to the Sunshine State and safety is a top concern, you may want to avoid these cities and others on the list of worst places to live in Florida. Keep reading for a detailed breakdown of the most unsafe areas in the state.
9 Most Dangerous Cities in Florida in 2023
- Lake City
- Riviera Beach
- Florida City
- Lake Worth
- Daytona Beach
1. Lake City
Lake City, a smaller city in Florida with a population of about 12,500, has the dubious distinction of being the most dangerous city in the state. The violent crime rate in Lake City is a staggering 1,547 per 100,000 residents, making it one of the most dangerous cities not only in Florida but also in the entire country. Despite its lower cost of living compared to many other areas in Florida, the city’s high poverty and crime rates are major concerns.
Unfortunately, the chances of being a victim of a violent crime in Lake City are almost four times higher than the state average, making it one of the least safe cities in Florida. If safety is a priority for you, it’s best to avoid Lake City and consider other options in the Sunshine State.
2. Riviera Beach
Riviera Beach is the second most dangerous city in Florida, with a population of approximately 35,000 people and an exceptionally high violent crime rate. Of particular concern is the city’s murder rate, which is seven times higher than the national average, making it the worst city in Florida in terms of homicides.
Located on the outskirts of the Miami metropolitan area, most parts of Riviera Beach should be avoided if safety is a concern. While Singer Island is considered the least dangerous area of the city, the rest of the city is still considered one of the worst areas in Florida in terms of safety. Interestingly, Riviera Beach is situated less than a 10-minute drive from North Palm Beach, which is one of the safest cities in Florida.
Cocoa is another dangerous town in Florida with a very high rate of violent crime, despite having a smaller population of around 19,000 residents. The violent crime rate in Cocoa is an alarming 1,108 per 100,000 residents, which is 2.8 times higher than the national average and three times higher than the state average. The most common types of violent crimes committed in Cocoa include burglaries and assaults.
Cocoa is located on the Space Coast near Cape Canaveral, but it should be avoided if you’re searching for a safe and peaceful place to live in the Sunshine State. The high incidence of violent crime in Cocoa is a major concern for residents and visitors alike.
4. Florida City
Florida City is another highly dangerous city in the Sunshine State. With a population of approximately 12,000 people, this city is located in South Florida, near the Everglades and the Florida Keys. It is notorious for being one of the top cities in the US for car-jacking incidents. Additionally, the rates of other violent crimes in Florida City are also alarmingly high, with residents facing a roughly 1 in 38 chance of becoming a victim.
In contrast to some cities on this list that have taken steps to address their crime problems, Florida City has unfortunately seen crime rates increase over the past decade. As a result, it is highly recommended that those who value safety and security should avoid Florida City and explore other options within Florida.
5. Lake Worth
Lake Worth, situated just a short drive south of Riviera Beach, is yet another city in Florida that ranks among the worst for violent crime. With a violent crime rate of 996 incidents per 100,000 residents, Lake Worth is over 2.5 times higher than the state and national averages. However, it is worth noting that crime rates have been on a downward trend in Lake Worth over recent years.
It is advisable to steer clear of the northern neighborhoods in Lake Worth as they are considered more dangerous than the rest of the city. By avoiding these areas, you can help reduce your risk of becoming a victim of violent crime in this city.
6. Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach is renowned for its racetrack and spring break festivities, luring hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. However, it is also among the most perilous places to reside in Florida.
Daytona Beach has a violent crime rate of 1,006 incidents per 100,000 residents, which is almost three times higher than the state average. Property crime rates are also considerably high in this city, with figures almost 2.5 times higher than the state average.
Lauderhill is a Florida city that has experienced an upsurge in crime rates over the past few years. In 2022, there were 632 incidents of violent crime in this municipality of 72,000 residents, reflecting a more than 20% increase from 2018. As a whole, the violent crime rate in Lauderhill stands at 878 per 100,000 people, indicating that residents of this city are 2.3 times more likely to be victimized by violent crime than the average Floridian.
Orlando is considered the most violent major city in Florida, with a violent crime rate that is 2.2 times higher than the state average. While Orlando’s crime rate had been decreasing for many years, it has slightly increased since 2020. Nevertheless, the city has taken significant measures to combat violent crime and improve safety for its citizens.
Tallahassee, the capital city of Florida, is known for its tough stance on criminal activity. However, it is also considered as one of the most dangerous areas in the state for violent crime. In 2021, Tallahassee recorded 1,516 incidents of violent crime, resulting in a violent crime rate of 774 per 100,000 residents, which is more than twice the state and national averages. Additionally, the chances of falling victim to property crime in Tallahassee are approximately 1 in 30, reflecting the high rates of such crimes in the area.
Most Dangerous Cities in Florida Methodology
We conducted an analysis to determine the most hazardous cities in Florida, taking into account crime and violent crime rates across the state. Our research relied on data from the FBI crime data explorer for 2020 and 2021 crime rates and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement annual report from 2022.
As a result, we found that crime rates in Florida’s most violent cities are 2.6 times greater than the national average.