Safest Cities in Florida – 2020

Last Updated on January 19, 2020

Florida isn’t exactly at the bottom of the list of the safest states in the country, but it certainly isn’t at the top, either. The Sunshine State logged violent and property crime rates just a notch above national levels in both categories.

0
Crime rate per 1,000
0
Law enforcement per 1,000

Elevated levels of crime in Florida’s many large cities, including Jacksonville, Miami, and Tampa, no doubt raise statewide crime rates, though the state is home to many smaller communities with impressive safety records.

Satellite Beach is the safest city in Florida. The coastal city of 11K experienced a remarkably low amount of crime in 2018, including a violent crime rate less than 10% of the national rate, and a property crime rate six times less than statewide levels.

Florida’s 2nd safest community is Key Biscayne, a small island town east of Miami in Miami-Dade County. While Key Biscayne is often one of the first areas to be evacuated in the case of a hurricane, due to its exposed location, residents need not add crime to their list of potential threats: the city recorded just 5 violent crimes in 2018 for a low rate of 0.38 offenses per 1,000 people.

#3 Marco Island has a lot in common with Key Biscayne: both are tourist-frequented island communities where crime is scarce. Marco Island’s violent and property crime rates are even lower than those of the prior entry’s, yet the city falls slightly due its lower law enforcement-to-residents ratio.

North Palm Beach, the 4th safest municipality in Florida, is another sun-soaked community known for its beaches and golf courses, rather than a high level of crime. Like the preceding entries on the list, North Palm Beach earned a violent crime rate below 1 offense per 1,000 and a property crime rate below 10 per 1,000 in 2018.

#5 Parkland is the only non-oceanside community in Florida’s top 5 safest cities, though it’s just a short drive from the coast. While the city gained national attention for the tragedy occurring in the city in February, 2018, Parkland is generally exceedingly safe, boasting violent and property crime rates several times below statewide levels.

Florida’s Safest Cities

FLCityPopulationViolent
crime
Property
crime
Law enforcement
employees
Total crimesCrime rate per 1,000Violent crimes per 1,000Property crimes per 1,000Law enforcement per 1,000
1Satellite Beach1119734132443.930.273.662.86
2Key Biscayne1329959047957.140.386.773.53
3Marco Island18122698381045.740.335.412.10
4North Palm Beach1321412105381178.850.917.952.88
5Parkland3376038240442788.231.137.111.30
6Naples2230893209332914.750.4014.344.17
7Lynn Haven21285282024323010.811.329.492.02
8Oviedo41937663747544010.491.578.921.79
9Sebastian25672312795931012.081.2110.872.30
10Groveland14342241904621414.921.6713.253.21
11Port St. Lucie1931372181851299206910.711.139.581.55
12Cooper City36896364337746912.710.9811.742.09
13Lighthouse Point11372121733918516.271.0615.213.43
14Niceville15621231873521013.441.4711.972.24
15Sunny Isles Beach22563343026233614.891.5113.382.75
16St. Cloud535607666612374213.851.4212.432.30
17Maitland17846373036034019.052.0716.983.36
18Punta Gorda20170113305334116.910.5516.362.63
19Lake Mary16896362705030618.112.1315.982.96
20Rockledge27852614086746916.842.1914.652.41
21Coral Springs1346402092027307223616.611.5515.052.28
22Jupiter66457132959145109116.421.9914.432.18
23Coral Gables51716681225255129325.001.3123.694.93
24Lady Lake15517162272924315.661.0314.631.87
25Margate5918698997146109518.501.6616.852.47
26Tampa392945159865761206817420.804.0716.743.07
27Atlantic Beach13750302463927620.072.1817.892.84
28Miramar1431033372128290246517.232.3514.872.03
29Cape Coral1878692672701311296815.801.4214.381.66
30Coconut Creek62237891027129111617.931.4316.502.07
31Vero Beach17172344157544926.151.9824.174.37
32Tavares17318482503129817.212.7714.441.79
33Fernandina Beach12411192804229924.091.5322.563.38
34North Port676821171186140130319.251.7317.522.07
35Village of Pinecrest19854264736649925.131.3123.823.32
36Milton10158181952321320.971.7719.202.26
37Hialeah Gardens24510305176154722.321.2221.092.49
38Clermont36233587238278121.551.6019.952.26
39Haines City24887365286256422.661.4521.222.49
40Pembroke Pines1730533143333361364721.071.8119.262.09
41Doral63680771464172154124.201.2122.992.70
42Boca Raton1001622052361302256625.622.0523.573.02
43Lake Wales16349573694842626.063.4922.572.94
44Palm Beach Gardens55999831409170149226.641.4825.163.04
45Temple Terrace26777675716063823.832.5021.322.24
46Edgewater22643254103243519.211.1018.111.41
47Palm Bay1129024042109209251322.263.5818.681.85
48Key West2528610080812290835.913.9531.954.82
49West Melbourne22665275505357725.461.1924.272.34
50Port Orange64208251397109142222.150.3921.761.70
51Sunrise958121862350230253626.471.9424.532.40
52Stuart16689504936054332.543.0029.543.60
53Kissimmee728942881839209212729.183.9525.232.87
54South Daytona13038563193537528.764.3024.472.68
55Eustis21182395224856126.481.8424.642.27
56Miami Springs14508484465449434.053.3130.743.72
57Tamarac664542061239100144521.743.1018.641.50
58Plantation952042392706277294530.932.5128.422.91
59Davie1071202702763258303328.312.5225.792.41
60Longwood15273464414648731.893.0128.873.01
61Fort Pierce461092831184137146731.826.1425.682.97
62Clearwater1165045103087321359730.874.3826.502.76
63Fort Myers828055822285285286734.627.0327.593.44
64Hollywood1555033634343394470630.262.3327.932.53
65Lakeland1096163613417351377834.473.2931.173.20
66Gulfport12424153983641333.241.2132.032.90
67South Miami12365414875852842.703.3239.394.69
68Palmetto13807724394851137.015.2131.803.48
69New Smyrna Beach26937966845778028.963.5625.392.12
70Apopka531062181508139172632.504.1028.402.62
71Fort Walton Beach22263696555672432.523.1029.422.52
72North Lauderdale4465024680559105123.545.5118.031.32
73Hialeah2417785335355335588824.352.2022.151.39
74Mount Dora14179675486061543.374.7338.654.23
75Bradenton576473881564146195233.866.7327.132.53
76Jacksonville90321353813011230323549339.305.9633.343.36
77Crestview24293867025578832.443.5428.902.26
78Miami47304729781683717411981541.896.3035.593.68
79Titusville466502891397127168636.146.2029.952.72
80Altamonte Springs446641361446115158235.423.0432.382.57
81Pensacola526722852012197229743.615.4138.203.74
82Auburndale16358365784461437.542.2035.332.69
83St. Petersburg265942166087847811044439.276.2433.032.94
84Largo855683222593186291534.073.7630.302.17
85Delray Beach699704092522229293141.895.8536.043.27
86West Park152971094904359939.167.1332.032.81
87Riviera Beach349914131333157174649.9011.8038.104.49
88Jacksonville Beach2384214391584105844.386.0038.383.52
89Plant City39305186119886138435.214.7330.482.19
90New Port Richey164591605996175946.119.7236.393.71
91Ocoee48128162143090159233.083.3729.711.87
92Ormond Beach43315131136785149834.583.0231.561.96
93Sebring10741804313951147.577.4540.133.63
94Miami Shores10673345234655752.193.1949.004.31
95North Miami Beach444853231683140200645.097.2637.833.15
96West Palm Beach11165910264249377527547.249.1938.053.38
97Bartow199541147565687043.605.7137.892.81
98Casselberry2874415294660109838.205.2932.912.09
99Ocala595054052871253327655.056.8148.254.25
100Deerfield Beach813713292490137281934.644.0430.601.68
101Sanford601544212133149255442.467.0035.462.48
102Melbourne828446012941208354242.767.2535.502.51
103Dania Beach32376209121084141943.836.4637.372.59
104Boynton Beach791424772964196344143.486.0337.452.48
105DeLand33384182125681143843.075.4537.622.43
106Cocoa18739141102193116262.017.5254.494.96
107Palm Springs2514612698160110744.025.0139.012.39
108Fort Lauderdale182150100690506791005655.215.5249.683.73
109Oakland Park45564277160695188341.336.0835.252.08
110Lauderhill726945512313137286439.407.5831.821.88
111Homestead713147142282150299642.0110.0132.002.10
112Daytona Beach690307643358292412259.7111.0748.654.23
113Gainesville1334009895229330621846.617.4139.202.47
114Aventura38544821963122204553.062.1350.933.17
115Holly Hill12302634952855845.365.1240.242.28
116Pompano Beach1120458764307258518346.267.8238.442.30
117Miami Gardens1146708164530264534646.627.1239.502.30
118Leesburg23029175121488138960.327.6052.723.82
119Orlando2866792282138039441608556.117.9648.153.29
120Pinellas Park533832242423123264749.594.2045.392.30
121Panama City373182342150142238463.886.2757.613.81
122Panama City Beach1293511096082107082.728.5074.226.34
123Lantana12006916123770358.557.5850.973.08
124Tallahassee192443140486954471009952.487.3045.182.32
125Miami Beach929288716947508781884.139.3774.765.47
126Palatka103651106303974071.3910.6160.783.76
127Lauderdale Lakes36575312120946152141.598.5333.061.26
128Lake City1218214885853100682.5812.1570.434.35
129Orange City11805457823082770.063.8166.242.54

Methodology

To identify the safest cities, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and cities with populations under 10,000. This left 3,381 cities (out of a total of 9,251). 

There are two broad classifications of crimes: violent crimes and non-violent crimes. According to the FBI, “Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. ”

We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and normalized.

Data from 2,831 law enforcement agencies was then collected to determine police adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees).  We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. This variable was also transformed and normalized.

Finally, the two variables were combined to create a safety score for each city.