When deciding where you want to live one factor that almost everyone is cognizant of is safety. We all like living in places that we perceive are safe, secure, and free of excessive crime and danger. As the team at ValuePenguin broke out their spreadsheets we wanted to help our readers understand which cities in Florida were actually the safest to live in! We’ll take a look at the safest cities in FL overall, in addition to breaking down which towns scored the best in three different categories: large, midsize, and small cities. Keep reading below to see where your town stacks up:
Three of our Top 5 safest cities in Florida were located on beachfront sections of the state while the other two were only a few miles from the sandy shores. Weston was the largest town to make the list with almost 70,000 residents while Highland Beach was the smallest with just under 4,000 citizens.
1. Indian River Shores, FL
Located on the Atlantic side of the state in Central Florida and known for its pristine beaches, Indian River Shores is primarily a gated redsidential community that is home to almost 4,000 people. Like many beach towns in Florida, this number is smaller during the summer months but ramps up as the snowbirds migrate south for the winter. When it comes to living in comfort, the Indian RIver Shores community will be happy to know that their town is statistically the safest in the entire state of Florida.
- Population: 3,978
- Crime Score: 73
2. Highland Beach, FL
Highland Beach is situated in Palm Beach County only minutes from downtown Boca Raton. Like Indian River Shores, Highland Beach sits directly adjacent to the ocean on a parcel of land measuring 1.1 square miles. Of its 4,150 residents, 80% are retirees while the other 20% are employed locally. In terms of safety, Highland Beach is a great place to live. It ranked as the 2nd safest city in FL during our analysis with no violent crime throughout the 2012 calender year.
- Population: 3,629
- Crime Score: 121
3. Parkland, FL
Another town that isn’t far from Boca Raton, Parkland is 13 miles southeast of the city by car and ranks number three on our list of the ‘Safest Cities in Florida’. Not long ago, the city was primarily a rural farming town despite its close proximity to Boca Raton and the Atlantic Ocean. However, in the last 20 years, much of the real estate in Parkland has been built out with homes, condos, and communities much like the surrounding areas. So while some farms still exist, it’s a significantly smaller number than were around in the 90’s and earlier.
- Population: 24,737
- Crime Score: 168
4. Weston, FL
The largest city on our Top 5 list with nearly 70,000 residents in town, Weston is located in Broward County with the Everglades bordering to its north and west, and Fort Lauderdale a half an hour’s drive to its east. The city is no stranger to awards as it’s been listed as one of the “best affordable suburbs”, “best places to live”, and town with the “biggest earners” throughout the years. Weston is also considered a highly desirable place to live in Florida becaues of the top notch outdoor facilities, highly-rated schools, and its family-friendly vibe. Knowing all of that, it’s no surprise that Weston also ranked as one of the safest place to live in the ‘Sunshine State’, 4th overall.
- Population: 67,452
- Crime Score: 181
5. Marco Island, FL
Rounding out the five safest cities in the state of Florida is Marco Island. Our only Top 5 finalist located in the western half of the state, Marco Island was originally home to the Calusa Indian tribe for 1,000’s of years prior to the Spaniards showing up to inhabit the area. The Island is also the largest by land area of Florida’s ‘10,000 Islands’ and has been described as “magical, mystical and alluring” but those who know the area well. While Marco Island is only 6 by 4 miles in size its reputation for safety stands much taller as it ranks the 5th safest place in the Sunshine State.
- Population: 16,985
- Crime Score: 191
Our study takes a look at crime statistics by population in the chart below by breaking the cities out into three distinct population buckets. Inside of each of those categories we determined the safest cities and towns in Florida. The average crime score for the “big” cities in FL was the highest followed by “small” and then “midsize” cities.
Featured Large City (over 45,000) – Port Orange
Located on the banks of the Halifax River, Port Orange covers 28 square miles of land and is composed of 150 distinct “neighborhoods”. With over 57,000 residents and year-round sun, the community is not only a great place to live but ranks as one of the safest large cities to live in Florida.
- Population: 57,300
- Crime Score: 347
- Average Large City Crime Score: 1,063
Featured Midsized City (20,000-45,000) – Winter Springs
Just 15 miles northeast of Orlando, Winter Springs is the largest city in Seminole County based on land area. The town has been acknowledged as one of America’s Top 100 Best Places to Live by Money magazine so it should come as little surprise that it’s also one of the safest places to live in FL based on our 2014 study.
- Population: 33,925
- Crime Score: 228
- Average Large City Crime Score: 879
Featured Small City (under 20,000) – Ponce Inlet
The town takes its name from the great explorer Ponce De Leon who explored the Ponce Inlet area way back in 1513. Today Ponce Inlet has 3,000+ residents living in town.
- Population: 3,075
- Crime Score: 195
- Average Large City Crime Score: 901
Below is a map looking at the 224 cities we analyzed in our study and how they performed when it came to community safety. If you want to zoom in and see in more detail just double click the map!
Here is the entire list of cities we included in our “Safest Cities in Florida” study. You’ll see that the cities are listed from safest (lowest crime score) to least safe (highest crime score). If you’re curious on how we calculated our “Crime Score” feel free to read about it in our methodology.
We sourced our data from 2013 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent data available. The raw data report included violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) and property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson) from all law enforcement agencies that participate in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program. We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100k, to account for population. We then aggregated a “crime score”. In order to calculate this, we weighted violent crime at 90% and property crime at 10%; though property crime is far more prevalent, we figured that the violent crime data points are more relevant when calculating the relative safety of these cities. We then ranked the cities relative to each other based on their crime scores.
If you’re looking for an alphatbetical list of the cities in Florida and where they stack up in terms of safety here is a table you can look at that makes finding your town easier:
|Rank||City||Population||Violent Crimes per 100k||Property Crimes per 100k||Crime Score|
|11||Bay Harbor Islands||5,841||120||1,096||217|
|135||Daytona Beach Shores||4,311||464||4,338||851|
|200||De Funiak Springs||5,320||996||5,338||1,865|
|86||Fort Walton Beach||20,063||239||3,853||601|
|177||Green Cove Springs||7,053||1,021||3,176||1,452|
|20||Indian Harbour Beach||8,340||120||1,942||302|
|1||Indian River Shores||3,978||25||503||73|
|118||Indian Rocks Beach||4,173||455||3,211||731|
|98||Lake Clarke Shores||3,462||347||3,177||630|
|164||New Port Richey||15,165||778||4,220||1,122|
|139||New Smyrna Beach||22,788||483||4,586||893|
|75||North Bay Village||7,405||338||2,674||571|
|158||North Miami Beach||43,084||648||4,619||1,045|
|25||North Palm Beach||12,319||154||1,948||334|
|51||Palm Beach Gardens||49,679||151||3,195||455|
|218||Panama City Beach||12,257||832||10,549||2,776|
|82||Port St. Joe||3,487||516||1,233||588|
|36||Port St. Lucie||168,416||235||1,803||391|
|80||Royal Palm Beach||35,004||337||2,768||580|
|59||St. Augustine Beach||6,453||217||2,929||488|
|116||St. Pete Beach||9,483||401||3,617||722|
|24||Sunny Isles Beach||21,618||120||2,188||327|
|64||Village of Pinecrest||18,912||137||3,929||517|
|189||West Palm Beach||102,422||802||5,297||1,701|