South Florida cities among the top 100 safest

by Kelly McCabe

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Florida has three of the 100 safest communities in the country, and two Miami-area cities have cracked the top 20, according to this year’s  NeighborhoodScout list of Top 100 Safest Cities report. 

To create its list, NeighborhoodScout compares cities across the country with a minimum population of 25,000. Crimes reported by the nation’s total 18,000 local law enforcement agencies are factored into the data. Each city’s population and reported number of crimes are divided by 1,000 to provide a crime rate per 1,000 residents.

Across the country, low annual crime rates in residential suburbs within metro areas and near major cities have made real estate in these places very appealing. Called “bedroom communities,” the cites that ranked on the Safest Cities list from states like Massachusetts, Connecticut and Illinois offer residents life in a more quiet neighborhood, while enjoying close access to the big cities of Boston, New York and Chicago.

Here is how Florida cities fared in the rankings:

  • Weston (No. 8) is safer than 87 percent of cities in the U.S., according to NeighborhoodScout’s data. The city’s crime rate is 5.78 percent per 1,000 residents.
  • Parkland (No. 15) is safer than 91 percent of cities in the U.S. The city’s crime rate is 6.35 percent per 1,000 residents.
  • Ouiedo (No. 97) is safer than 62 percent of cities in the U.S. The city’s crime rate is 11.16 percent per 1,000 residents.

Both Weston and Parkland moved up considerably in this year’s ranking, as Weston was ranked 24 last year and Parkland came in at 20. The safest neighborhood in Weston is Andytown, the safest neighborhood in Parkland is City Center and the safest area of Ouiedo is Geneva, according to the neighborhood statistics website. 

Each Florida city that made the list is a suburb of a major urban area, which is the case for most cities on the list, according to NeighborhoodScout. (The list was published before the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.) 

“We continue to see bedroom communities, which are within large metro areas and near major urban centers like Boston, Chicago and New York, make the top of our list,” said Dr. Andrew Schiller, CEO and founder of Location, Inc. and NeighborhoodScout. “These safe communities within the urban/suburban fabric of America’s largest metropolitan areas often combine access to high-paying jobs in the urban center, decent schools and a high quality of life. This access to opportunity increases home values, with the result often being lower crime.”

NeighborhoodScout is a website and online database of U.S. neighborhood analytics that serves as a resource for for nationwide crime data, school ratings, demographics and more. The Top 100 Safest U.S. cities list began in 2012.

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