Many Floridians worry about becoming victims of a crime, 56% of Floridians in 2020, compared with 46% of people across the country. 40% of Floridians believe that aggravated assault is the most likely crime to happen to them; undoubtedly, the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the city of Parkland back in February of 2017 contributed to the fear of crime. Nevertheless, Florida’s crime rate is about the same as the rest of the country, with 22.8 incidents out of every 1000 people, as compared to a similar proportion of 22 per 1000 people on a national level. Parkland has a meager crime rate and is in the top 10 safest cities in Florida, with only 1.1 incidents of violent crime per 1000 people in 2020. Extremely violent crimes, such as school shootings, tend to be outliers that do not reflect the overall crime rate; they take people by surprise because they often happen in very safe, close-knit communities.
In 2019, 15% of Floridians reported having personal experience with a violent crime, putting Florida over the national average of 12%. Two-thirds of Floridians are concerned that someone might break into their homes while they are away, and 43% are worried about falling victim to larceny. Property crime in Florida is the same as the national average – 26% – and 36% of Floridians use a home security system to prevent a burglary.
The safest city in Florida in 2020 is Marco Island, a barrier island in Southwest Florida that had a violent crime rate of only 0.3 out of every 1000 residents. In 2018, only six violent crimes were reported in Marco Island. The second-safest city in Florida is Weston, located on the border of the Everglades. In 2020, it had a violent crime rate of only 0.6 per 1000 residents and a similarly low property crime rate. The third-safest city is Key Biscayne, an island off the coast of Miami. It had a violent crime rate of only 0.4 per 1000 people, combined with a low property crime rate.
After these top three safest cities, the places in Florida with the lowest crime rates are Parkland (where the high school shooting occurred in 2017), North Palm Beach, Winter Springs, Port St. Lucie, Lynn Haven, Oviedo, and Sebastian. Major cities – such as Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami – have higher-than-average crime rates. However, there are plenty of communities across Florida that are very safe places to live, work, and play.