Niceville, Florida might just be the safest city in the Sunshine State—but it’s not the only one. From the Panhandle to the Florida Cape, these are the safest places to live in Florida.
If you picture
Florida as a lawless chaos dimension filled with offbeat criminals, monster alligators, and constant hurricanes, think again: it’s actually among the safest states in the country. Of course, some parts of the state are safer than others—and that’s why
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homeowners insurance, has created a comprehensive guide to all the safest places to live in Florida.
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Is Florida a safe place to live?
Good news for sunshine seekers: Florida is one of the safest places to live in the United States. In fact, in
U.S. News’s list of 25 Safest Places to Live in 2021-2022, six of the top 10 cities were in Florida!
You might be surprised by that—after all, isn’t Florida home to gators, hurricanes, and, of course,
Florida Man? Well, it turns out that Florida’s most infamous dangers might not be so dangerous after all. Let’s break it down.
The appearance of wild crime stories in Florida headlines is a function of loose journalism laws, not high crime rates. In fact, FBI statistics show that the state’s crime rate is right around the national average, with about 384 instances of violent crime per 100,000 residents. Overall, your chances of being the victim of a crime in Florida are:
1 in 258 chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime
1 in 56 chance of becoming the victim of a property crime
In other words, Florida doesn’t have more wacky criminals than other states—you just hear about them more.
Hurricane season is one undeniable threat to Floridians and their property. According to the
Insurance Information Institute (III), Florida has the highest risk of storm surge, with 2,851,642 single-family homes at risk of a Category 5 storm surge.
But hurricanes don’t pose a uniform danger across the state—some parts of Florida are much safer from hurricanes and the damage they carry in their wake. Southwest Florida is most prone to hurricanes, while the northern and central regions of the state are safest. To check the safety of specific cities and regions, you can use the
Storm Surge Map created by the National Hurricane Center.
If you’re worried about gators in Florida, don’t be. Although the state has a larger alligator population than any other state except
Louisiana, these intimidating reptiles don’t actually pose a significant danger to humans.
Researchers at the
University of Florida found that roughly one person dies from an alligator attack every year—and only 10 bites are reported each year. Compare that to your risk of being killed by a car accident, a family pet, or a simple slip and fall, and it’s clear that humans and gators can coexist peacefully in the Sunshine State.
Speaking of car accidents, how common are they in Florida?
Here’s where the bad news begins. Florida had the third-highest rate of fatal car accidents in 2019, ranking just behind
Texas for accident fatalities with 3,183 deaths resulting from 2,950 crashes. The state also ranks as the #1 state for pedestrian deaths between 2010 and 2019, with the following metro areas in the top 10 most dangerous cities for pedestrians:
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach
There’s one area where Florida’s road safety statistics look better, though:
drunk driving. While the US average for alcohol-related car accident fatalities is 28% of all traffic fatalities, Florida’s numbers have dropped in recent years to just 25%, with 790 of the 3,183 2019 fatalities involving alcohol or drug use.
Key Takeaway Hurricanes and car accidents are bigger concerns in Florida than gators or crime.
The seven safest places to live in Florida
Violent crimes per 1k residents: 0.6
Property crimes per 1k residents: 2.9
Median household income: $76,823
Safer than: 89% of US cities
Located on Boggy Bayou in the Florida Panhandle,
Niceville lives up to its name with just about the lowest crime rate in the entire state. Although alcohol-related car accidents are slightly higher than the state average at 30%, the city’s location makes it safer from hurricanes—good news for homeowners!
Excellent schools, low rental prices, and beautiful surroundings make Niceville a fantastic place to live. Until the COVID-19 pandemic, Niceville was home to the Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival for seafood and arts, and it’s still a great place to experience the best Florida has to offer.
Violent crimes per 1k residents: 0.5
Property crimes per 1k residents: 4.3
Median household income: $107,908
Safer than: 82% of US cities
Weston is technically part of the Miami metropolitan area, but it’s an oasis of calm outside one of Florida’s most dangerous cities. While your chances of being the victim of a violent crime in
Miami are 1 in 167, in Weston those odds shrink to just 1 in 1,892. It’s also a safe city for drivers and pedestrians, with low rates of pedestrian death and alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
The downside of living in Weston? It’s definitely a wealthy suburb, with country clubs and golf courses dotting the landscape. The cost of living in town is 39% higher than the Florida average, with sky-high real estate and rental prices driving the numbers up.
3. Satellite Beach
Violent crimes per 1k residents: 0.3
Property crimes per 1k residents: 4
Median household income: $79,082
Safer than: 81% of US cities
Satellite Beach isn’t just one of the safest places to live in Florida—it’s also one of the most interesting! Located on a barrier island on the Treasure Coast, this small city is a hotspot for aerospace development and environmental conservation.
Low crime rates make Satellite Beach a very safe place to live, but its vulnerable location on the coast makes it slightly more dangerous for homeowners. It’s also part of the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville metropolitan area, which ranked #2 in the state for pedestrian deaths.
Violent crimes per 1k residents: 0.2
Property crimes per 1k residents: 5.6
Median household income: 154,844
Safer than: 77% of US cities
If you’re not from the area, Parkland’s name might carry a dark connotation: in 2018, the city’s Stoneman Douglas High School was the site of the nation’s deadliest high school shooting.
But Parkland isn’t a dangerous place to live overall—in fact, it’s one of the safest places in Florida! Your chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime in Parkland are 1 in 4,334, far below the average for the greater Miami area. This affluent Miami suburb also has a lower-than-average rate of alcohol-related driving fatalities, with just 24% of fatalities recorded in 2019 involving alcohol use.
Violent crimes per 1k residents: 0.8
Property crimes per 1k residents: 5.8
Median household income: $53,707
Safer than: 72% of US cities
The town has a reputation for friendliness and affordability—and it’s surrounded by parks, conservation areas, and other sites of natural beauty!
Violent crimes per 1k residents: 1.2
Property crimes per 1k residents: 5.8
Median household income: $95,935
Safer than: 70% of US cities
Although it was a small rural town not so long ago,
Oviedo is quickly gathering up accolades as one of the safest and best places to live in Florida. In 2020 alone, Niche.com called it the best place to raise a family in the Orlando area, and it was the only Florida city to make Money Magazine’s national list of “Best Places to Live.”
What makes Oviedo so safe? Low crime rates, low hurricane risk, and a safe distance from the city. Compare
Orlando’s 1-in-121 risk of violent crime with Oviedo’s 1 in 770, and it’s clear why so many families are choosing this suburb as their Florida home. It’s also located inland, making it an ideal location for homeowners. One major risk? Road safety, which remains high in the Orlando area with a 27% rate of alcohol-related driving deaths and the highest rate of pedestrian deaths in the US.
7. North Palm Beach
Violent crimes per 1k residents: 0.9
Property crimes per 1k residents: 6.7
Median household income: $72,027
Safer than: 68% of US cities
If there’s one gap in North Palm Beach’s safety, it’s a slightly higher rate of property crime. Higher-than-average property values and cost of living combined with a comparatively low median income make property crime more common than violent crime in the area—but both rates are still markedly lower than the rest of the state, as well as most of the country!
The five most dangerous places to live in Florida
Now that we’ve covered the safest places to live in Florida, which are the cities to avoid? Taking into account crime rates, hurricane risks, and traffic statistics, these are the five most dangerous places to live in Florida:
Florida City: With an overall crime rate of 82.5 per 1,000 residents, Florida City has the highest crime rate of any city in Florida—your chances of being the victim of a violent crime here are 1 in 38.
Tampa: While its crime rates are lower than 25% of US cities,
Tampa’s location on the Gulf Coast makes it the most hurricane-prone city in Florida.
Marianna: This small town’s crime rates are almost as high as Florida City’s, and its 37% poverty rate makes it an unfortunate hotspot for property crime.
Gainesville: Okay, we already told you that gator attacks aren’t a major concern—but if you’re afraid of them, you’ll want to steer clear of
Gainesville, which has the state’s largest population.
Tallahassee: Leon County, of which
Tallahassee is the county seat, has the state’s highest rate of drunk driving fatalities. In recent years, approximately 34% of driving fatalities in the area involved alcohol use.
How to find affordable car and homeowners insurance in Florida
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