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10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Miami

how dangerous is miami

According to the latest census, the coastal metropolis of Miami has a population of just under 440 thousand citizens. This makes it the second most populous city in the state of Florida and one of the greatest and most iconic cities in the U.S. 

Miami is a center for commerce, finance, arts, and culture, as well as international trade both across the seas and the airwaves. The metropolitan area is the most commercial in the state by a massive margin, delivering a gross domestic product of around 344.9 billion in 2017.

Safety comes first…

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

But what about safety?

Let’s face it no matter how many other draws there may be, if the area isn’t safe, you are not likely to move yourself and or your family there. Miami, like many other major cities, is relatively safe, but there are, of course, some areas that you may want to avoid. 

So, I decided to take a closer look at the 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Miami; let’s get started with…

How Dangerous Is Miami?

Most people, from experts to everyday residents, will tell you that Miami can be considered a safe place to live and travel in

The prime locations would be the downtown and tourist areas. Along with being a popular vacation spot, many celebrities call the city home. The city’s law enforcement is known for having a no-nonsense policy towards crime of any sort. The crackdown on drugs in the city has been especially hard since the days of Pablo Escobar (who used Miami as one of his major import spots). 

how dangerous is miami

 South vs. North

Generally, southern Miami is considered the safest area to live in. Northern Miami mostly consists of less desirable neighborhoods. That being said, it is possible to find nice areas in the north as well. Despite all of this, though, The City of Miami is not ranked amongst the most dangerous cities in America

So, let’s take stock of the areas you’ll want to avoid should you be considering a move or a visit. 

The 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Miami

1 Upper Eastside 

The Upper Eastside is located to the north of Edgewater and east of Little Haiti. The area is divided into Bay Point, Magnolia Park, Morningside, Bayside, Belle Meade, Palm Grove, and Shorecrest. 

It is noted for having art galleries, restaurants, and high-end shops spread along Biscayne Boulevard. It is home to around 7800 citizens. Mostly though, it is a residential area made up of homes from the 20s, 30s, and 40s, along with newer developments. 

Upper Eastside 

Heavy police presence is needed…

The area is noted for having a very heavy police presence due to the amount of crime that takes place. There is an especially high level of violent crime in the area. Compared to the national average in the U.S., it is two to three times higher. 

2 South Coconut Grove 

With a population of just under 8000 people, “The Grove” (as it’s known by locals) is a bit of a grey area when it comes to public opinion.

 Coconut Grove is often called safe, and there are numbers like 55% safer than the rest of Miami, getting thrown around (especially in the north end). For the most part, this could be considered true, but there is a dramatic increase in criminal and aberrant activity during the evenings. 

Delightful during the day!

Five percent above the national crime rate might not seem much, but it’s still five percent, and violent crime sits at twelve percent above the national average. Due to this, the area is known for having a denser-than-usual police presence, but despite this, lots of folks can be found hiking, biking, walking their dogs, or playing with their children during the day. 

3 Wynwood 

My number three marks quite an increase in size when compared to the first two. Wynwood sits in the north of Miami, a little to the south of the Design District in Little Haiti, and the neighborhood is home to just under 18,000 citizens. 

If you were to drive through the area during the day, you might think it is relatively safe, but the facts tell a different story. One of the biggest problems in Wynwood is property crime, which means that you will see a lot of graffiti, vandalism, vehicle theft, and break-ins. 

Wynwood

The severity in numbers is unknown!

The violent crime rate in Wynwood is two to three times higher than the national average. In 2021 the police department reported more than 710 violent crimes and more than 6500 property-related crimes. 

Along with this, there was also a very high number of thefts, ranging from small items to entire home “cleanouts.” Something else that is worrying is that the police believe many violent crimes in the area go unreported, which means the official numbers can be an underestimation of the severity of the crimes there.

4 West Flagler 

West Flagler was known as West Little Havana for a time. The 2010 census reported a population of around thirty thousand citizens. More recent studies have it closer to fifty thousand. This rapid population growth has been seen all over the state in the last decade. 

This is not an area where you want to visit alone. During the day, you should be able to take a walk or cycle, but at night you’d be looking for trouble. There are plenty of petty crimes, theft, and even some assaults. Some recent figures suggest that there are about 2400 crimes per 100 thousand residents and tourists. Around 2000 of the aforementioned crimes include theft, burglary, and car theft. 

5 Allapattah 

In 2003, Allapattah was officially given the nickname of Little Santo Domingo. This is an acknowledgment of the large Dominican population that lives in the area. In total, there are about 50 thousand citizens in this neighborhood just north of downtown Miami and about 8km from Miami International Airport.  

It was at one point known as the Dominican residential village, although the population has grown much more diverse in recent years. 

Blame it on the gangs…

The crime in this area is not so widespread as to make the entire area a no-no. There are some concentrated pockets that you can think of as “hot spots.” These areas are home to criminal elements who partake in drug and smuggling operations. While crime might not be regular, it is often violent; in fact, shootings are amongst the most common gang-related crimes in the area

Despite the concentrated police presence, the crime rate is still around one and a half the state average, with the majority of these crimes being violent in nature.

Never ever travel alone…

 During the day, most of the neighborhood should be relatively safe, but try to stay east of 9th Ave and north of 20th St. There is a dependable public transport system that has been rated safe to use for several years; again just avoid it at night, and travel with someone if you can. 

6 Little Havana 

Little Havana is home to almost 75 thousand citizens, and as the name suggests, it has a proud population of Cubans. Most are the descendants of the original wave of immigrants though many other immigrants from other southern American countries. 

The lovely Florida weather, combined with the proud Cuban heritage of the area, makes it a hub for culture, arts, and of course, festivals, most notably the Calle Ocho Festival and Viernes Culturales” Cultural Fridays.” This makes the area a popular spot for vacationers and tourists.  

Little Havana

A national treasure of culture…

There are also some historical monuments and other attractions like a Latin Walk of Fame. The area is home to some great restaurants, with people often coming from surrounding areas into the city just to have dinner at their favorite spot. The National Trust declared Little Havanna a national treasure in 2017. 

It is, therefore, sad that Little Havanna is still home to some gangs and other criminal elements. While the crime rate has gone down in recent years due to an increase in police presence, many of the residents feel that it has not been enough to properly deal with the problem. Shootings, theft, and drugs remain an ever-present reality.

7 Little Haiti

Originally, this neighborhood was settled mostly by Haitian immigrants, along with residents from other surrounding Caribbean countries. Due to this demographic, it was often referred to as Lemon City. A large part of the city also houses a Hispanic-speaking community. 

Little Haiti isn’t heavily policed, even though there is quite a lot of crime in the area. The violent crime rate is twice the national average, so visiting the area during the evening is not a good idea at all. There are some gangs in the area and so shootings, assaults, and robberies. Avoid being there alone and avoid it altogether during the evenings. 

8 Overtown 

Overtown has some historical importance, as it served as a hub for black commerce during the late 19th century, which helped it attain the name Colored Town. It sits north of Downtown Miami, and about 9,500 citizens call the area home. 

It is mostly residential, but there are some industrial areas as well. Although crime is mostly concentrated in residential areas. These consist mostly of drug trafficking and selling, assaults, and shootings, according to police reports. 

Best avoided…

The latest statistics show that the crime rate is about one and a half the national average. The nature of the crimes in Overtown makes it unsafe to travel in, even if you’re in a group. This would be an area to avoid at all times. 

Overtown

9 Downtown

Known as Downtown Maimi or Greater Downtown Miami, this area is home to just over 30 thousand people. The area is mostly residential, with Coconut Grove to the South and Overtown to the West. Downtown Miami itself is divided into the Central or Business district, the historic district, Arts & Entertainment District, Park West, and the Government Center. 

The figures in 2020 said that people living in the area have a 10% chance of being victims of any crime and an almost 2% chance of being victims or witnesses of a violent crime

Guard your belongings and be aware…

There are gangs in the area, and this means drugs, shootings, assaults, property crime, and all-around theft. The area is also home to a large homeless population, and there is a lot of panhandling and pickpocketing, which makes the public transport system a real risk. 

10 Model City 

Model City sits in the Northwest quadrant of the city of Miami. It’s home to one of the largest concentrations of African Americans in the United States, and there are several areas of historical significance.

 Unfortunately, though, it’s also home to one of the longest-running drug trading areas in the U.S. The area is home to a number of gangs, and therefore gang-related activity like theft, assault, and gang violence is rife. Model City’s real name is Liberty City, and it is often labeled as the most dangerous Miami neighborhood

A place you go to die?

From 2011 to 2013, the murder rate in the area increased by 40%, mostly due to gang-related shootings, drive-bys, and gun violence. There is a heavy police presence at all times, and in general, it is advised that the area be avoided during all hours of the day or night

Interested in How Miami Compares to Other Dangerous Cities?

It’s always good to know about the neighborhoods to avoid, regardless of where you are in America. So, let’s take a look at the Most Dangerous Cities In Florida, the 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Chicago, the Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Los Angeles, as well as the 10 Most Dangerous States In The US or the Most Dangerous Cities In Ohio.

Although if you’re relocating on a budget, it can get tricky! For that, we’ve put together informative guides to the Cheapest Beach Towns In Florida, the Cheapest Places To Live In Georgia, or the Cheapest Places To Live In Texas. Or, how about the Cheapest Places to Live in California and the Cheapest Beach Towns In California?

Lastly, let’s check out the most popular areas, such as the Best Neighborhoods In Long Island, the Best Neighborhoods In Brooklyn, and the Best Cities To Live In Connecticut in 2023.

Final Thoughts

The State of Florida ranks high on the list of safest and most amiable places to live and raise a family

Likewise, the city of Miami is considered generally safe to live in and travel through. That being said, there are still some bad areas that you will want to avoid. Many of these areas are plagued by gangs, and others have a high number of homeless people. These areas are likely to have a higher crime rate, whether it be violent or petty.

So, travel safely and always stay aware!

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