The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the ninth annual Safest Cities report.
Florida’s Safest Cities of 2023
Hurricane season is in full swing and we want everyone to stay safe. Here are some resources if you or a loved one are impacted by the coming storm.
- Track the storms to stay up-to-date on the latest developments, warnings, and advisories.
- Stay informed about local developments and find resources at DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Know about evacuation shelters through the free Red Cross Emergency app, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767) or go to redcross.org/shelter.
- Use our emergency resources for everything including generators, emergency kits, flooding, and how to prep kids for hurricanes.
SafeWise uses the most recent FBI crime data to determine the safest cities in each state. As of publication, the most recent FBI crime data available is for crimes reported in 2021.
In the most recent reporting year, only 2 of 757 Florida law enforcement agencies submitted complete reports to the FBI—that's fewer than 1% of agencies in the state. Due to the small number of agencies reporting on 2021 crime statistics, we could not rank the safest cities in Florida this year. In lieu of our traditional ranking, we are working on a look at crime trends in specific cities across the state. Those findings will be released later this year.
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.
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%).
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.
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.
Find security and safety resources in your area
How we determined the safest cities
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 ." 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.