Is Fort Lauderdale Safe? Everything You Need To Know (Stats, Graphs And Maps)


is fort lauderdale safe

If you are thinking about visiting Fort Lauderdale and have some qualms about the safety of the city, we got you covered.

We are going to deep dive into the statistics, look at some maps, graphs and talk to the residents of the city to give you a better understanding of how safe Fort Lauderdale really is.

Is Fort Lauderdale Safe To Visit?

Statistically speaking, Fort Lauderdale is a safe place to visit. It’s crime rate is not indicative of an unsafe city. In 2020, Fort Lauderdale had a violent crime rate of 633.62 per 100,000 people and is on par with cities like Seattle, Jacksonville and Portland.

As a tourist, and assuming you will be going to the beach and doing normal touristy things, you should have absolutely no problem while visiting Fort Lauderdale.

Most of the crime in Fort Lauderdale occurs on west side and away from places a tourist would want to see or visit.

Fort Lauderdale Crime Stats

Here’s a breakdown of all the crimes in the city for 2020 compared to 2019:

2019

2020

Percent Change

Homicide

21

37

76%

Rape

93

91

-2%

Robbery

408

321

-21%

Aggravated Assault

576

709

23%

Burglary

1,275

1,074

-16%

Larceny/Theft

6,945

5,681

-18%

Motor Vehicle Theft

862

907

5%

Arson

10

26

160%

TOTALS

10,190

8,846

-13%

**All data is from the FBI Crime Data Explorer**

Fort Lauderdale’s Violent Crime Stats

In 2020 Fort Lauderdale reported 1,158 violent crimes and had a violent crime rate of 633.62 per 100,000 people.

  • The national average for violent crime is 398.5 per 100,000 residents. Fort Lauderdale ’s violent crime rate is 1.6x greater than the national average.
  • Year over year violent crime has increased by 5%.

Here’s a map showing you how violent crime has trended in Fort Lauderdale over a 30 year period.

  • Violent crime peaked in 1996 when there were 2,584 violent crimes reported and the city had a violent crime rate of roughly 1,615.00 per 100,000 people.
  • Violent crime has decreased over 55% from it’s 30-year high in 1996.

violent crimes in fort lauderdale graph

*Violent crimes include; homicides, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults and the violent crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population; the result is multiplied by 100,000.

Fort Lauderdale’s Property Crime Stats

In 2020 Fort Lauderdale reported 7,662 property crimes and had a property crime rate of 4,192.38 per 100,000 people.

  • The national average for property crime is 1958.2 per 100,000 residents. Fort Lauderdale’s property crime rate is 2.14x greater than the national average.
  • Year over year property crime in Fort Lauderdale has decreased by 19%.
  • Fort Lauderdale has a similar property crime rate to New Orleans, Houston and St. Petersburg.

Here’s a map showing you how property crime has trended in Fort Lauderdale over a 30 year period.

  • Property crime peaked in 1994 when there were 25,335 property crimes reported and the city had a property crime rate of roughly 16,345.16 per 100,000 people.
  • Property crime has decreased over 70% from it’s 30-year high in 1994.

property crimes in fort lauderdale graph

*Property crimes include; burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson and property crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population; the result is multiplied by 100,000.

Fort Lauderdale’s Murder Stats

In 2020, Fort Lauderdale reported 37 homicides, a 76% increase over 2019, where 21 homicides were reported.

  • In 2020 Fort Lauderdale had a homicide rate of 20.3 per 100,000 people.
  • Fort Lauderdale’s murder rate is 3.1x greater than the national average.
  • Fort Lauderdale has a similar homicide rate to cities like Daytona Beach, Toledo and Canton.

homicides in fort lauderdale graph

Fort Lauderdale vs The Rest Of Florida

Here’s a graph showing you the violent crime rates of the 11 most populous cities in Florida. Fort Lauderdale’s violent crime rate ranked 8th place among all the cities and is about 1.65x less than Daytona Beach, the city with the highest crime rate on the list.

violent crimes in florida cities

Is Fort Lauderdale Safer Than Miami?

Statistically speaking, Fort Lauderdale is slightly safer than Miami. Miami’s violent crime rate is 14% greater than Fort Lauderdale. However Fort Lauderdale does has a greater property crime rate and murder rate than Miami.

Fort Lauderdale vs The Most Dangerous Cities in the United States

Here’s a list of the top 17 most dangerous cities in the United States ranked by violent crime rates. Fort Lauderdale’s violent crime rate is 4x less than Memphis, the most dangerous city on the list.

fort lauderdale vs most dangerous cities in the us

City

Number of violent crimes in 2020

Violent Crime Rate

Memphis

15,310

2,418.24

Detroit

14,370

2,248.44

St. Louis

6,017

1,995.17

Little Rock

3,657

1,805.11

South Bend

1,765

1,706.09

Cleveland

6,294

1,689.10

Milwaukee

9,407

1,629.70

Birmingham

3,166

1,577.22

Kansas City

7,919

1,558.58

Lansing

1,699

1,508.29

Springfield

2,545

1,504.35

Baltimore

8,552

1,404.20

San Bernardino

3,033

1,365.59

New Orleans

5,215

1,358.08

Albuquerque

7,552

1,337.68

Oakland

5,653

1,282.89

Stockton

4,023

1,254.04

The Safest Neighborhoods In Fort Lauderdale

safest neighborhoods in fort lauderdale

  • Coral Ridge
  • Colee Hammock
  • Rio Vista
  • Idlewyld
  • Las Olas
  • Downtown
  • Sailboat Bend
  • Victoria Park
  • Flagler Village
  • Shady Banks
  • Lauderdale By The Sea
  • Imperial Point
  • Tarpon River
  • Coral Shores
  • Wilton Manors

Here’s a great color coordinated map that shows you good and bad neighborhoods of Fort Lauderdale. Green sections are the nicest, red are the worst, blue are average and yellow should be seen in person before making a decision.

The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Fort Lauderdale

most dangerous neighborhoods in fort lauderdale

  • Lauderhill
  • Lauderdale Lakes
  • Washington Park
  • Boulevard Gardens
  • Melrose Park
  • Franklin Park
  • Roosevelt Gardens
  • Dillard Park
  • Durrs
  • Sunland
  • Oakland Park
  • Dorsey Riverbend

Is Downtown Fort Lauderdale Safe?

is downtown fort lauderdale safe

Downtown Fort Lauderdale is a generally safe area to visit. However we recommend that you avoid walking alone at night and to stick to well populated areas.

What do residents of Fort Lauderdale say about it’s safety?

  1. "It’s definitely rough in some parts, just like any other city, but its nothing like Detroit or Los Angeles."
  2. "Downtown is nice. Anything east of US1 is nice. Anything near SE 17 street causeway is nice and Sailboat bend is a nice neighborhood.
  3. "The bad neighborhoods are West of US1 and East of Dixie."
  4. "Almost everything between west I-95 and 441 is pretty bad. Your best bet is to stay east of I-95 or west of 441."
  5. "Fort Lauderdale is way safer than any parts of Miami or Orlando. Just look at the stats."
  6. "Always stay east of US1."
  7. "If you want to avoid gangs areas, stay away from west Oakland park/Lauderdale Lakes, West Pompano Beach, and Sunrise."
  8. "A good general rule of thumb is to avoid anywhere west of 95 and the 441."
  9. "Avoid anything within a 2 mile radius of the Swap Shop. I lived in the area for a couple years and there were police helicopters hovering around the area frequently."

Is Fort Lauderdale Safe For Women?

Fort Lauderdale is safe for female solo travelers, as long as you learn the layout of the city, avoid problem areas, don’t walk alone at night and follow general precautionary measures.

Is Fort Lauderdale Safe From Hurricanes?

Fort Lauderdale is not safe from hurricanes and is actually very susceptible to them, because of its location on the south-eastern tip of Florida.

Since 1851, Broward County has been directly hit by 27 hurricanes and many more tropical storms.

In October of 2005, Fort Lauderdale was hit directly by Hurricane Wilma, a category 5 hurricane. The hurricane caused significant flooding and damage to the city and resulted in 52 deaths total.

When is hurricane season in Fort Lauderdale?

Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. The peak of hurricane season is mid-August to mid-October.

Is it safe to visit during hurricane season?

It is safe to visit during hurricane season, as long as you don’t visit when a hurricane is about to hit! Fortunately there is usually adequate warning when a hurricane is brewing in the area.

Check out https://www.nhc.noaa.gov before you visit. This is your best resource for tracking and monitoring storms. Another great website to check out is https://spaghettimodels.com.

Is Fort Lauderdale’s Water Safe To Drink?

Officially the water is safe to drink, but there is growing concern that the water is contaminated. In 2020, 211 million gallons of sewage spilled into Fort Lauderdale waterways and ranked as one of the biggest spills on record.

Residents were advised to boil water used for drinking, cooking and brushing their teeth for about nine days.

Many residents also complain that the water in Fort Lauderdale has a yellowish tint.

Here are what some residents think of Fort Lauderdale’s water:

  • "The tap water is yellow and smells and tastes bad to me."
  • "My water is yellow tinted"
  • "The water seem to have a yellow tint to it, they say it’s ‘OK’, but not for me."

Tips to stay safe while visiting Fort Lauderdale

  • Do your research before you visit. Educate yourself on which neighborhoods to avoid.
  • Check the weather forecast a few days before you arrive. Make sure you are not arriving during a hurricane.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings. This is especially true at night, when they’re aren’t many people around.
  • Don’t look like a tourist. The more you look lost and like an easy target, the more people will pick on you.
  • Map out your routes beforehand. Know exactly how to get to your destination and know exactly how to get back to your hotel.
  • Don’t walk through alleys, unlit areas, or places with little or no people.
  • Travel in groups at night, especially if you’ve been drinking.
  • Be smart about where you’re parking, especially if you’re going to be leaving late.

A Few Things You Should Do While Visiting Fort Lauderdale

  • Ride The Jungle Queen Riverboat. It may seem corny but it really is awesome!
  • LaSpadas Hoagies are phenomenal!
  • Visit Beach Place. A beach, restaurant and bars….it is the quintessential spot for people who come to visit.
  • Eat at The Fish Shack. Best fresh fish in town and great prices.
  • Take a tour of the everglade on an airboat. They are so ridiculous you have to do it once.

Quick Facts About Fort Lauderdale

Fact

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

United States

Population, Census, April 1, 2020

182,760

331,449,281

Population, Census, April 1, 2010

165,521

308,745,538

Black or African American alone, percent

32.2%

13.4%

American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent

0.3%

1.3%

Asian alone, percent

1.6%

5.9%

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent

0.1%

0.2%

Two or More Races, percent

2.1%

2.8%

Hispanic or Latino, percent

18.5%

18.5%

White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent

46.6%

60.1%

Foreign born persons, percent, 2015-2019

24.7%

13.6%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2015-2019

$334,000.00

$217,500.00

Median selected monthly owner costs -with a mortgage, 2015-2019

$2,084.00

$1,595.00

Median gross rent, 2015-2019

$1,293.00

$1,062.00

High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2015-2019

87.7%

88.0%

Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2015-2019

37.0%

32.1%

In civilian labor force, total, percent of population age 16 years+, 2015-2019

65.1%

63.0%

Median household income (in 2019 dollars), 2015-2019

$59,450.00

$62,843.00

Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2019 dollars), 2015-2019

$43,274.00

$34,103.00

Persons in poverty, percent

16.9%

11.4%

Other Cities You Might Be Interested In:

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Mariska Lee

Mariska is a recovering attorney who gave up her professional job to discover new perspectives of life while traveling in a 2009 Ford Transit. She has been living the van life for 3 years and has not looked back since.

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