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As home to wild college towns, booming metropolises, and quiet retirement communities, it’s not surprising that there’s a lot of fluctuation in the crime rates of Florida’s cities, yet the Sunshine State’s safest cities are indeed among the safest in the nation, earning remarkable Safety Index scores for their combination of scant crime and effective policing.

Florida’s safest city is Sweetwater, a community of over 20,000 in Miami-Dade County often known as “Little Managua” for its high concentration of Nicaraguan Americans. Sweetwater earned its high Safety Index score due its low violent crime rate, which is well below the national average, and a very high law enforcement employees to residents ratio of 5.81 per 1K.

The #2 spot goes to Naples, a very affluent beach community of just over 22K. Naples logged just 23 violent crimes in 2017 for a rate of just over 1 incident per 1,000, and its property crime rate is similarly low. 

We head back to Miami-Dade County for #3 Key Biscayne, a peaceful island town which recorded a mere 2 violent crimes in all of 2017. However, the city is often at risk during hurricane season due to its position in the Atlantic Ocean and low elevation.

At number four, Coral Gables is the largest of the three Miami-Dade County cities in Florida’s top five safest, with a population topping 51K. Nevertheless, the city logged an impressively low violent crime rate for a community its size that is less than half of the national rate.

Filling out the list is #5 Satellite Beach, another idyllic South Florida beach community which accomplished the feat of logging under 10 violent crimes and 100 property crimes in 2017.

Safest Cities in Florida, 2019

RankCitySafety Index
1Sweetwater1.21
2Naples1.12
3Key Biscayne1.06
4Coral Gables1
5Satellite Beach0.83
6Lighthouse Point0.78
7Village of Pinecrest0.67
8North Palm Beach0.66
9Marco Island0.64
10Punta Gorda0.61
11Vero Beach0.57
12Venice0.54
13Cooper City0.52
14Maitland0.5
15Lake Mary0.5
16St. Cloud0.49
17Palm Beach Gardens0.47
18Key West0.45
19Weston0.45
20Niceville0.43
21Miami Springs0.42
22Winter Springs0.4
23Haines City0.39
24Parkland0.37
25Lady Lake0.36
26Boca Raton0.36
27Port St. Lucie0.36
28Hialeah Gardens0.35
29Coconut Creek0.34
30Margate0.34
31Jupiter0.33
32Sebastian0.33
33North Port0.31
34Coral Springs0.29
35Winter Park0.29
36Cape Coral0.28
37Oviedo0.27
38Port Orange0.26
39Milton0.24
40Miami Shores0.24
41Rockledge0.22
42Stuart0.21
43West Melbourne0.2
44Lake Wales0.19
45Auburndale0.17
46Pembroke Pines0.15
47Tampa0.14
48Davie0.14
49Miramar0.13
50Plantation0.13
51Tavares0.12
52Longwood0.1
53Edgewater0.1
54Lakeland0.09
55Aventura0.09
56Lynn Haven0.08
57Temple Terrace0.07
58Eustis0.06
59Tarpon Springs0.06
60Fort Walton Beach0.06
61Clermont0.04
62Hollywood0.03
63Atlantic Beach0.02
64South Daytona0.01
65Altamonte Springs-0.01
66Hialeah-0.01
67South Miami-0.03
68Winter Garden-0.04
69Tamarac-0.05
70St. Augustine-0.1
71Wilton Manors-0.1
72Zephyrhills-0.13
73Winter Haven-0.14
74Ocoee-0.14
75Sarasota-0.15
76Mount Dora-0.16
77Gulfport-0.17
78Kissimmee-0.19
79Bradenton-0.21
80New Smyrna Beach-0.22
81Clearwater-0.24
82Palmetto-0.24
83Bartow-0.24
84Apopka-0.25
85Hallandale Beach-0.26
86Palm Bay-0.3
87Holly Hill-0.3
88Jacksonville-0.32
89Largo-0.36
90Jacksonville Beach-0.37
91Delray Beach-0.37
92Deerfield Beach-0.4
93Titusville-0.45
94Fort Pierce-0.46
95Pinellas Park-0.5
96Miami-0.5
97Panama City Beach-0.51
98Plant City-0.51
99Ormond Beach-0.51
100New Port Richey-0.51
101Deland-0.51
102Fort Lauderdale-0.54
103Sebring-0.55
104North Lauderdale-0.56
105Casselberry-0.57
106Boynton Beach-0.59
107Palm Springs-0.6
108Gainesville-0.6
109North Miami Beach-0.62
110Ocala-0.68
111Lantana-0.7
112Palatka-0.73
113St. Petersburg-0.73
114Dania Beach-0.74
115Oakland Park-0.75
116Sanford-0.79
117Orange City-0.82
118Fort Myers-0.84
119Miami Gardens-0.87
120Orlando-0.87
121West Palm Beach-0.9
122North Miami-0.96
123Melbourne-0.98
124West Park-1.02
125Cocoa-1.07
126Tallahassee-1.11
127Leesburg-1.2
128Homestead-1.24
129Pompano Beach-1.28
130Daytona Beach-1.31
131Lauderdale Lakes-1.4
132Riviera Beach-1.41
133Opa Locka-2.93
134Florida City-3.66

Methodology

We used the most recent FBI crime statistics to create state rankings. There were initially 7,430 cities in the data set. After filtering out the cities with populations of less than 10,000, 2,929 cities remained. We then calculated violent crime rates and property crime rates by dividing the crime numbers by the population to get rates per 1,000. We also calculated the ratio of law enforcement workers to per 1,000. These were weighted with -50% for the violent crime rate, -25% for the property crime rate, and +25% for the law enforcement rate. The resulting metric gave us a the safety index score. The higher this number more safe the city is.

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