30 Safest Places to Live in Florida – 2016
About the State of Florida
Florida ranked at #45 on our list of Safest Places to Live in the U.S. Which begs the question: Are people really willing to sacrifice safety for sunshine? Are there more property crimes in Florida because there are so many vacation homes vacant for long stretches during the year? And are the number of violent crimes higher at beachside locales because people tend to lose their cool more easily when sun and alcohol are involved?
We decided to dig deeper into the numbers and look at the cities and towns individual crime statistics to get a better understanding. Based on our analysis, we compiled a list of the 30 Safest Places to Live in the sunshine state.
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Florida’s Safest Cities
Indian River Shores, Florida’s Safest City
Ranking as the safest place to live in the state of Florida and with the town council’s mission to make Indian River Shores “the most livable and best-managed town” it looks like they’re making good on their promise so far – with no reported violent crimes and only 12 property crimes for the entire year. Located along the A1A just north of Vero Beach between the Indian River Lagoon and the Ocean , Indian River Shores is one of the highest per capita locations in Florida with a median household income over $110,729 – more than double that of the national median.
Family-oriented and one of South Florida’s most desirable communities, Weston boasts immaculate residential communities, A-rated public schools and fourteen well maintained parks and recreational facilities. Located on the east coast of south Florida in Broward County, Weston is noted for having the lowest crime rate in Broward County.
Another affluent community in Broward County, Parkland’s zoning laws were designed to maintain a bucolic community in fact until the early 2000s the town didn’t allow for stores or traffic lights. One noticeable aspect of the community is the vast size of some of the properties and the multitude of horse farms which stand in stark contrast to the more city-like and industrial neighboring towns of Pompano, Coral Springs and Fort Lauderdale in general.
Founded on May 5th, 1915 and located in Orange County, Windemere is located 14 miles southwest of Orlando and only a few minutes away from the Walt Disney World Resort. Windemere offers some of the most affluent waterfront real estate in central Florida. Known as the “Town Among the Lakes” it is surrounded by beautiful sand bottom lakes and offers many on-water sport and leisure activities for residents and visitors.
The largest of Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands in the Gulf of Mexico, Marco Island is known for its white sand beaches and laid-back lifestyle. An ideal setting for anyone looking to enjoy sun, dolphins and all the water and outdoor activities that come with living in the sunshine state. The history of this island can be traced as far back as 500 A.D. when it was inhabited by the Calusa people.
This beachfront community is located in Pinellas County on a barrier island west of Seminole Florida in the Gulf of Mexico and like many of the Gulf islands is known for it’s white sand beaches and sunny weather lifestyle. The town is considered a special flood hazard area, so flood warnings and other weather advisories are not to be taken lightly by residents or visitors.
Located in the Palm Beach County, the town of Highland Beach is situated between Delray Beach to the North and Boca Raton to the South and bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the East and the Intracoastal Waterway to the west. A tree-lined stretch of Florida’s A1A serves as the town’s main road.
Bay Harbor Islands
Part of Miami-Dade Country, the town is separated from the mainland by Biscayne Bay and is connected via the Broad Causeway. The small town is located among several larger metropolitan areas like Miami, Aventura and Miami Beach and is approximately a 20 minute drive from Miami International Airport.
Originally uninhabited forest land owned by the Federal Government, Valparaiso was opened for homesteading in the early 1900s and is located on the Florida Panhandle in Okaloosa Country on the Gulf Coast and is near the towns of Destin and Pensacola. Known for its scenic beauty, this bayou country town offers plenty of outdoor and boating activities for residents and visitors alike.
Described as a residential haven for those looking for an environment filled with nature, quiet and privacy, Ponce Inlet offers a small town lifestyle. The town was first discovered by famed Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon in 1513 and is located south of Daytona Beach in Volusia County.
Incorporated on December 31st, 1931 and later officially renamed the Village of Biscayne Park, this small hamlet located in Miami-Dade county may be best known for the log cabin built by the Works Progress Administration in reference to the great Depression and the frontier spirit of early America. Today, it remains the center for operations for the park and is a prized symbol of the community.
Another affluent small town in Florida, Tequesta is located in Palm Beach Country and is a suburb of West Palm Beach. Founded in the 1950s and incorporated in 1957 the village was a planned community designed around the Tequesta Country Club.
Situated in central Florida on the east coast, Melbourne Beach is part of Brevard Country. While somewhat contested, a historian in the 1990s believes Ponce de Leon landed in Florida near Melbourne Beach in 1513 as he became the first European to step foot in Florida.
Located along the central west coast of Florida the town is part of both Manatee and Sarasota counties and is located on the Longboat Key barrier Island. The town was incorporated in 1955 and was first settled by Thomas Mann and his sons in the late 1800s.
Situated in Seminole County in central Florida, Winter Springs is part of the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan area. In 2011, the city earned the distinction of being one of the top 100 places to live in the United States according to Money Magazine and is located just north of Orlando.
Originally known as Boggy, Niceville is located on the Florida Panhandle near the Gulf Coast in Okaloosa County and close to the Eglin Air Force Base on Boggy Bayou. The name Niceville was chosen by the postmaster’s daughter and is best known for hosting the annual Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival which begins the third Friday in October and last for three days. Founded in 1976, the festival has been an annual Niceville tradition for forty years.
Named after founder Morris Cooper, Cooper City is located in Southeast Florida in Broward County and has earned a reputation as “someplace special” according to the town’s web site. A vibrant community with a strong commitment to maintaining safety and peacefulness for residents and guests, the town has been listed as one of the top 10 places for families to live according to Family Circle magazine.
Part of Seminole County in central Florida, Oviedo was named after the city of Oviedo in northern Spain by early settler and shop-owner Andrew Aulin while filing paperwork for a post office. The town has been recognized multiple times as a top place to live in the country; voted #100 in CNN Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live (2009), one of the Top Ten Towns for Families by Family Circle magazine (August, 2011) and was included in Businessweek’s Best Places to Raise Kids in Florida (2013).
Located on the northern edge of the Florida Panhandle in Gadsen County, Midway shares its name with three other communities in various parts of the state. With the slogan “A City of Progress and Possibilities” the city was incorporated in 1987 and is roughly ten miles from Tallahassee. While primarily a rural community Midway also features two large commercial areas for local business and industry.
Located in Central Florida and part of Brevard County, Satellite Beach is a barrier island bordered by the Indian River to the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east and is considered part of the South Beaches. Offering both ocean and river frontage, the town boasts the largest beach side in the county with over 7.7 miles of shoreline.
One of the more picturesque towns to be found in Florida, Lady Lake is known for its tree-lined streets of aged oaks draped by country moss and views of orange groves and glistening lakes among the countryside. The community and government take great pride in their town and go to lengths to preserve the natural beauty and idyllic setting while supporting its growth with new residents and businesses.
Located on the east coast of south Florida in Palm Beach County, Hypoluxo’s name is a combination of the Greek root “hypo” (under) and the Latin “lux” (light) and rumored to come from a loose translation of the Seminole word for Lake Worth. The town is also listed as having the 12th highest percentage of Canadian residents with over 5% of their population made up of our neighbors to the north.
Part of Calhoun County in the Florida Panhandle, Blountstown was named after the Creek Indian Chief John Blount who helped guide General Andrew Jackson during his invasion of Florida in 1818. This invasion was instrumental in the eventual agreement by America to purchase the land from Spain, making the territory part of the U.S. in 1821.
The slogan for Chattahoochee on the town’s website is “a great place to live and retire” and the town council makes every effort to meet that goal. Located in Gadsen County in the Florida Panhandle, the town sits on the banks of the Apalachicola River and has its own police force with ten officers and a chief. The town name comes from the Creek language and means “marked rocks.”
Port St. Lucie
Part of St. Lucie County on the east coast of south Florida, the town was a sparsely inhabited tract of land south of White City through the 1950s when the General Development Corporation purchased a significant portion of land and built the first bridge over the St. Lucie River which allowed for direct access to the Port. The town grew quickly from that point and today stands as one of the most populated and safest cities on our list.
Located on Sanibel Island off the Gulf Coast of Florida, Sanibel is part of Lee County and is a barrier island. The island bore significant damage in 2004 during Hurricane Charley, suffering the greatest amount of storm damage in over forty years and forcing mandatory evacuation of all residents. Along with Captiva Island, Sanibel was listed as one of the 10 Best Places for Second Homes by the Wall Street Journal in 2010.
Indian Harbour Beach
Located on the east coast of Florida in Brevard County, Indian Harbour Beach has the rare distinction of being the first – and only – community along the country’s East Coast to be listed as an NOAA Tsunami Ready community.
An island town located in Miami-Dade County, Key Biscayne lies south of Miami Beach and east of Miami and is connected to the city by the Rickenbacker Causeway. The town borders nearly 30 acres of beach along the Atlantic Ocean and features five public parks and a village green over 9 acres in size.
Located in southern Sarasota County on the west coast of Florida, North Port was originally developed by General Development Corporation as part of its Port Charlotte development plan.
Incorporated in 1959, the city is one of the largest in Florida in terms of land size but only 10% of it is populated; however, it is considered one of the state’s fastest growing cities and still boasts an unspoiled natural environment with over 95 miles of freshwater canals.
Lake Clarke Shores
Established in 1940 and Incorporated in 1957, Lake Clarke shores is located next to West Palm Beach and Lake Worth and is part of Palm Beach County. The town has a long and storied history detailed on the town’s web site. Despite many tumultuous years of change, the town is now a popular place for those looking for a friendly, laidback atmosphere far away from the frenzied pace and lifestyle of the big City.
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Don’t See Your City?
If you live in Florida, you may not find your community included in our list of safest places to live, which could be due to several factors. We only reviewed towns that with complete data in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report with a population minimum of 2,500 residents. If your community did not meet these criteria, we were unable to include it in this year’s ranking.
5. Marco Island
6. Indian Shores
7. Highland Beach
8. Bay Harbor Islands
10. Ponce Inlet
11. Biscayne Park
13. Melbourne Beach
14. Longboat Key
15. Winter Springs
17. Cooper City
20. Satellite Beach
21. Lady Lake
25. Port St. Lucie
27. Indian Harbour Beach
28. Key Biscayne
29. North Port
30. Lake Clarke Shores
31. Punta Gorda
32. Southwest Ranches
34. Palm Beach
37. Safety Harbor
40. Port Orange
42. Sunny Isles Beach
43. Lighthouse Point
44. Port St. Joe
46. Cape Coral
47. Coral Springs
50. Lake Mary
53. South Pasadena
55. Miami Lakes
57. St. Augustine Beach
58. Gulf Breeze
59. West Miami
60. Coconut Creek
61. North Bay Village
62. St. Cloud
63. High Springs
65. Lake Alfred
69. Pembroke Pines
71. Boca Raton
72. North Palm Beach
74. Juno Beach
75. Indian Rocks Beach
76. Fernandina Beach
80. Belle Isle
81. Royal Palm Beach
84. Palm Bay
86. Lynn Haven
88. Atlantic Beach
89. Neptune Beach
91. Palm Beach Gardens
92. Orange Park
93. North Lauderdale
96. Deerfield Beach