Let’s be honest: who doesn’t love Florida? The beaches for the college kids, the theme parks for the little ones, golf for… well everyone, and some nature that you won’t find anywhere else in the nation. It’s true, this state has a lot to offer, but could it also offer safety to the many people who want to move there?
As we’ve found during our research in the past at the Movoto Real Estate Blog, there are some great places for security here. But times change, and the FBI has a new set of crime data to look over. So we’ve updated our results, for all those who are itching to make their home in Florida.
Those safest places were:
1. City of Marco Island
2. City of Parkland
3. City of Niceville
4. Village of North Palm Beach
5. City of Winter Springs
6. Town of Key Biscayne
7. City of Punta Gorda
8. City of Oviedo
9. City of Lake Mary
10. Cooper City
You might see some new names on this list compared to last year, and there are definitely some familiar faces appearing in the top. To see the top 50 safest places in the state, just scroll to the bottom of this article where there will be a nifty table waiting for you. Or, you can just read on to the next section to find out how we got this ranking in the first place.
When creating this Big Deal List, we did not rely on personal opinion or experience. Instead we turned to the newly released 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report to get our data. In our analysis, we looked at all places in Florida with populations of over 10,000 people in terms of the following criteria:
- Vehicle Thefts
Then we divided these crimes into four categories:
- Violent Crimes
- Property Crimes
- Total Crimes
Once we omitted places that didn’t report data to the bureau that year, we were left with 156 places. In order to fairly compare spots with both large and small populations, we calculated all of these crime rates based on crimes per capita (per person). We ranked each place with a score from one to 156 in every criteria, with scores closer to one being safer.
Then, we weighted these rankings so that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes each made up 30 percent of the overall score, whereas the total number of crimes accounted for a smaller portion of the final score—10 percent. Lastly, we averaged these weighted rankings together into one overall Big Deal Score, and the place with the lowest number for that score was our safest spot.
1. Marco Island
While the name of this small place may sound exotic, this is actually a pretty homey spot to call your own. Whether it’s the close community, the pretty setting, or just the Florida weather, it’s hard to go wrong with Marco Island. Of course, it’s also a safe haven too.
The numbers for this place really spoke for themselves. Marco Island had the lowest violent crime on our entire list, with no murders, rapes, or robberies reported in 2013. It also had one of the lowest vehicle theft rates, with one reported crime of that type that year.
The property crime and total crime both ranked No. 3, just one more reason this place is a safe bet in your home search. It’s also worth mentioning that locals had only a 1 in 94 chance of being the victim of any sort of crime.
Like our No. 1 place, and like all spots in our top 10, this Florida locale had no murders reported the year of our survey. Of course, that wasn’t the only standout score here. The violent crime was the fifth lowest, with only 0.00083 crimes per person, so it’s easy to feel safe in these parts.
Your possessions are pretty safe here too, considering Parkland had the second lowest crime of that type in the state. There were especially few vehicle thefts reported during the year of our survey.
What all this meant was that this city had the second lowest total crime, and offered residents a very tiny 1 in 100 chance of being the victim of a crime. Not bad for one of the bigger cities in our top 10, at 26,264 people.
As we may have mentioned last time Niceville showed up on our safety list, this is indeed a nice place to be. Though times have changed, Niceville still easily made our top 10, due to some very strong scores, which included zero murders reported in 2013.
We’ll admit, there was a little bit of violent crime here, but seeing as this place ranked 14th out of over 150 cities, that’s still pretty darned good. This place also offered locals a very comforting 1 in 72 chance of being the victim of a crime.
To top all that off, Niceville had the fifth lowest property crime as well as the fifth lowest total crime. So residents of this very nice city, rest easy tonight, you’re in a seriously safe spot.
4. North Palm Beach
Okay, come on, who doesn’t want to live here? This little 12,352 person village is close enough to the big fun to be exciting and secluded enough to get away from it all. Besides, how could you go wrong with a place that had absolutely no murders or rapes reported in 2013?
Rather than having any one real standout score, this place was great across the board. With the 10th lowest violent crime, the 11th lowest property crime, and the 10th lowest total crime, it’s easy to see why this is a great place to live.
It’s also worth mentioning that locals here had a 1 in 60 chance of being the victim of a crime here, which is pretty impressive and definitely something to cheer about.
5. Winter Springs
Worried about your property or personal safety? There’s no need in Winter Springs, considering there were no murders reported here in the year of our study. It also doesn’t hurt that this spot had the fourth lowest property crime per capita, with notably few thefts per capita.
This place did have slightly higher violent crime, due to a relatively high number of assaults and burglaries. But it still easily beat out over 80 percent of the state in that category, so there’s really not much to worry about, especially since the chance of being the victim of a crime here was only 1 in 80.
All in all, Winter Springs had the fourth lowest total crime per capita on our list and was easily one of the safest spots in Florida during 2013.
6. Key Biscayne
This little locale of only 12,891 residents was simply perfect for anyone worried about the physical safety of their family. Along with the zero murders reported here in 2013, Key Biscayne also experienced no rapes or robberies, and very few assaults.
This spot had slightly higher property crime, due to quite a few thefts, but considering there were still merely 0.02 property crimes per person for that year, it’s still not a major issue. Besides, this place still had the 15th lowest total crime on our list.
So what, besides not worrying about being attacked or bumped off, did this mean for all those friendly locals? It meant that they had only a 1 in 49 chance of being the victim of a crime, with the chances being almost nonexistent that it would be of the violent sort.
7. Punta Gorda
Sure, this place may very loosely translate to “Point Fat,” but that doesn’t mean this is at all a bad place to live. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Locals here were lucky enough to enjoy the 13th lowest violent crime on our list, which included, as you may have guessed, no murders for the year.
More than that, this place had the 14th lowest property crime, with shockingly few vehicle thefts for the year. That left the 16,942 locals with a low 1 in 53 chance of being the victim of a crime, as well as a lot less to worry about.
When everything was added up, this spot had the 14th lowest total crime, and easily secured a place on our top 10, as well as its residents.
This spot is also not too new to our top 10 lists, and it lands on this safety list again for some pretty solid reasons. By the numbers, this 35,899 person city was the largest in our top 10, but still managed to have no murder reported in 2013.
In fact, this place had pretty low violent crime in every area except for assaults, and even then, there were only 0.0011 crimes of that type per person, which was way better than most of the rest of the state.
Beyond that, the scores here were hard to beat. Locals had a 1 in 67 chance of being the victim of a crime, thanks to the sixth lowest property crime as well as the sixth lowest total crime per capita.
9. Lake Mary
You might want to call it quaint, and you might even call it sleepy, but one thing you should definitely call this little 14,836 population locale is safe. By numbers alone, Lake Mary boasted no murders in 2013, as well as very few rapes and robberies. It’s no wonder, then, that this place had the 11th lowest violent crime on our list.
There was more to this place, though, than physical safety. The 19th lowest property crime also assured that your possessions would be safe, especially since there were very few thefts reported in the year of our study.
In the end, locals of Lake Mary had a mere 1 in 48 chance of being the victim of any sort of crime, backed up by a No. 16 ranking for total crimes per capita.
This place may have barely made our top 10, but it certainly had the numbers to earn that spot. This was a slightly bigger place, with 33,706 residents, but it still managed to have impressively few rapes and no murders reported in 2013.
The violent crime here was the 19th lowest on our list, which may sound a little high, but it still beat out the majority of bigger and smaller spots here. It also had the 13th lowest property crime, which all added up to this locale having the 11th lowest total crime per capita on our list.
Locals will probably say they feel pretty safe here, and the 1 in 55 chance of being the victim of a crime here definitely backs that up. Rest easy tonight, folks, you’re living in a very safe spot.
Fun, And Safety, In The Sun
Who says you can’t enjoy beaches, sun, and relaxation without being safe? Certainly not the people who live in these 10 fantastic spots, that’s for sure. In fact, these top 50 spots would all make fine homes for anyone looking to relocate to Florida, so if you’re in the market, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll gladly help you on that journey, even if it’s just to point you towards someplace safe (hint: see above).