Florida’s Safest Cities of 2023

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The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the ninth annual Safest Cities report.

Florida is among the most concerned states in the country, but its most recent (2020) crime rates came in below nationwide rates for both violent and property crime. Despite lower-than-average crime rates, just 4 in 10 Floridians tell us they feel safe in The Sunshine State, and 6 in 10 say they're worried about their safety on a daily basis.

In this report

2023 concern vs. experience with crime in Florida

Daily levels of concern in Florida have remained high each survey year since 2019. Currently, 61% of Floridians worry about their safety every day, making Florida the eighth most concerned state in the US.

Year over year, general daily concern in Florida fell 3%, but specific worry about violent crime, gun violence, and property crime all increased. Nearly three in four respondents told us they think crime is increasing overall, which matches rising rates of concern.

One reason general concern may be waning is fewer reports of personal experience with both property crime and gun violence. Gun violence experience fell 29%—from 17% in 2020 to 12% in our most recent survey. Those who reported a run-in with property crime dropped from 21% of respondents to 19% in 2021.

On the flip side, 16% reported a personal experience with violent crime—a 33% spike between 2020 and 2021, landing Florida just above the national average of 15%.

Surprisingly, Florida went from the most-concerned state for package theft to ninth, with worry dipping from 62% to 61% year over year. Florida is also home to 3 of the 10 safest cities for package theft. Porch pirates seem to skip Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. Survey respondents reported no change in experience with package theft, holding steady at 28% for the second consecutive year—the ninth lowest in the country and 17% below the national average of 34%.

Top crime concerns in Florida

We asked Florida residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Floridians are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.

Image: SafeWise

Violent crime in Florida: Fear vs. reality

Bucking last year's nationwide rise in violent crime, Florida’s violent crime rate held steady for the three years from 2018 through 2020. The US held course year over year, remaining at 4.0 violent crime incidents per 1,000 people. Despite stable violent crime rates, this was the only area where Floridians reported an increase in personal experience in 2021.

  • After 2 years hovering just above the national violent crime rate, in 2020, Florida came in under the national rate with 3.8 incidents per 1,000, compared to 4.0 across the US.
  • Aggravated assault was the most common violent crime recorded in Florida with over 1,500 cases in the safest cities and over 60,000 statewide.
  • Proportionately, Florida reported fewer rapes and robberies than the US averages. In Florida, rape accounts for 9% of all violent crimes (US 10%) and robberies make up 16% (US 19%).
  • 33% of Florida residents use some form of personal protection, with pocket knives named by 48% of respondents—making it the most popular form of personal protection in The Sunshine State.
  • 50% of Floridians say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic (US 44%)—a 44% drop year over year.

Attitudes about gun violence in Florida

  • 51% of Floridians said that gun violence is their top daily safety concern (US 47%), and 12% reported a personal experience with gun violence in the past 12 months, matching the US average.
  • Mass shooting incidents were steady with 31 incidents reported in both 2021 and 2022.
  • Florida reported the eighth-highest total number of mass shooting incidents in the country. Per capita, it had the fifteenth-lowest number of incidents per 100,000 people. 
  • Concealed carry firearms are the third-most popular form of personal protection, carried by 33% of survey respondents that use personal safety devices.
  • Firearms are the fourth choice for property protection in Florida, with 24% of respondents using them, trailing behind security cameras (49%), security systems (37%), and guard dogs (34%).
Line graph of violent and property crime rates over the past three years in the state compared to national crime rates per 1,000 residents for violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise

Property crime in Florida: Fear vs. reality

Property crime is less of a concern for Floridians than other issues, but it doesn’t keep them from taking action to protect their property. Florida shows a higher number of residents who use proactive measures like security cameras and security systems.

  • Property crime is a top concern for 51% of the Floridians we talked to.
  • 19% of respondents experienced property crime in the year prior to the survey—29% below the national average.
  • Florida reported fewer property crimes per capita than both the South Atlantic region and the US (in 2020).
  • Package theft is the most worrisome crime issue in Florida, with 61% concerned about it every day.
  • 28% of Florida residents in our survey said they experienced package theft in the last year—6 points lower than the national average.
  • Nearly 8 in 10 Floridians use some kind of property protection. Security cameras and security systems are the most popular in The Sunshine State.
  • 24% of Florida residents say their property’s security has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic—44% lower than reported last year.

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2022 Florida crime rates

Florida didn't provide enough data to the FBI this year so we're unable to update state crime rates. Here's the latest data available, from the 2022 reporting year:

Violent crime held steady year over year at 3.8 incidents per 1,000 people, putting Florida below the national violent crime rate of 4.0 per 1,000. But the Sunshine State did one better when it comes to property crime—reporting 17.7 incidents per 1,000 versus 19.6 nationwide.

Florida’s lower crime rates don’t line up with the state’s high level of anxiety about crime and safety. Despite nearly one in two survey respondents reporting high concern about property crime happening to them, incidence of property crime actually dropped by 17% year over year.

For better crime reporting in Florida in the future, we recommend telling local lawmakers and law enforcement agencies that this information matters to you.

Bar chart of violent and property crime rates per 1,000 people where the national average is 4.0 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 19.6 property crimes per 1,000 people.

Image: SafeWise

View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.

How to make a safe home anywhere

Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.

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Find the safest cities in each state

Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.

How we determined the safest cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

Related articles on SafeWise

Endnotes and sources

FBI Crime Data Explorer, "Documents & Downloads." Accessed February 6, 2023.

  • 2021 and 2020 Crime in the United States Annual Reports
    • Offenses Known to Law Enforcement
  • 2021 NIBRS Estimation Tables

FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, "Offenses Known to Law Enforcement [2019]." Accessed February 6, 2023.

Bureau of Justice Statistics, "National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)." Accessed February 6, 2023.

US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Subject Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.

US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Detailed Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.

SafeWise, "2022 State of Safety survey." Accessed February 6, 2023.

Gun Violence Archive, "General Methodology." Accessed February 6, 2023.

Gun Violence Archive, "Past Summary Ledgers." Accessed January 3, 2023.

Gun Violence Archive, "Congress."

  • 2022 totals: Accessed January 3, 2023.
  • 2021 and 2020 totals: Accessed December 19, 2022.
Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past decade. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime and safety reports and spotting trends. Her expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like NPR, TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of podcast, radio and TV clips in the US and abroad.

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