Are you thinking of moving to Florida? One of the places you might be considering is West Palm Beach. But the city also has a reputation for being unsafe. So, why is West Palm Beach so dangerous?
West Palm Beach has a crime rate of 78% above the US level, and the possibility of being a crime victim is 1 in 24. Factors responsible for making the city unsafe include the poor economy, high rate of inequality, drug use, and high rate of tourism. But that doesn’t mean every area in the city is unsafe.
But you need to be selective about where you stay in the city. This can make a great deal of difference in your experience. Here, we discuss why West Palm Beach is so dangerous.
Crime Rate in West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach’s crime rate is very high and one of the highest in the city. The total crime rate here is 78% above the national average. This results from property crime that’s 74% higher than the national level and violent crime rates that are even higher at 96%. Even so, it’s not the most dangerous city in America. It’s safer than 6% of American cities, and the odds of being a crime victim are 1 in 24.
A breakdown of the crime rate here shows that all violent crimes are more prevalent in the city than in Florida. Rape, assault, robbery, and murder are all very high here. Its murder rate is more than double the state and national average. Robbery rates are triple the state average. Property crimes are equally high, but only the vehicle theft rate here is more than double the state average. This high crime rate in the city makes it a fairly dangerous place to live. On average, a crime happens every 57 minutes here.
Factors That Make the City Unsafe
Several reasons make the city unsafe. They include:
1. High Rate of Tourism
One of the major contributors to the crime rate here is tourism. West palm beach has several tourist spots with lots of people, and this is where most of the crimes in the city happen. The central part of the city, which contains most of its retail establishments, also has the highest crime concentration. The same applies to the city’s parks and designated recreation centers. The city had 72 such areas, and they all experienced higher crime rates than other parts of the city. According to Crimegrade, this isn’t surprising because crime usually happens where people are.
2. Economic Factors
The role of the economy in safety can’t be overemphasized. Most surveys of the safest cities in America have discovered that the safest areas usually have a median household income above the national average. This shows that income can have a telling effect on how safe a city will be. In the case of west palm beach, the high poverty rate of 17% is a precursor to the high crime rate. Per capita income here is $34,131, while the median household income is $54,603. Both are quite low and might affect the city’s safety. The poverty rate means that many people here are desperate and desperate people are more likely to commit crimes.
3. High Inequality
There’s a significant difference between living in palm beach and west palm beach. While palm beach is home to some of the wealthiest, the standard of living in west palm beach is very different. Many transient people do anything to get by, especially during the peak tourist season, and they sometimes resort to crime. The disparity between the rich and poor is very evident here.
4. Drug Use
There’s also the prevalence of drug abuse in the city, and that also contributes to the high crime rate. Drug-induced crimes include carjacking, murders, drive-by shootings, and gang-related activities.
Should You Live in West Palm Beach?
AreaVibes give west palm beach a rating of 67% for livability. But that’s most likely due to the amenities and ratings of users. The city ranks low for almost every other thing. Scoring D for cost of living, D for employment, D+ for housing, and C- for schools. This leaves much to be desired about the city especially given that it scores an F for crime.
However, the fact that the city is unsafe doesn’t mean every part of it is unsafe. Most residents believe the safest parts of the city are the northwest areas. But the south neighborhoods can be very bad with the chance of being a crime victim there being 1 in 18. In the northwest part, it drops to 1 in 46.
There are good reasons to live here, such as the proximity to major cities in Florida. It also has several highly rated tertiary institutions such as South University, Atlantic Beach University, Palm Beach state college, etc. those who want to retire will also enjoy this place for the weather.
Where to Stay in the West Palm Beach?
The safest neighborhoods in the city include:
- Tangerine Blvd / Coconut Blvd
- The Acreage North
- The Acreage East
- The Acreage Southeast
- The Acreage South
- Breakers West
- Palm Beach Farms
- Lyons Rd / Dillman Rd
- Ibis Golf and Country Club
Unsurprisingly, the best-rated public schools in the city are also in most of these areas. Some of these neighborhoods also have the most expensive real estate in the city. Only Lyons Rd / Dillman Rd, Breakers West, and Ibis Golf and Country Club are in the top ten most expensive neighborhoods in West Palm Beach. So, it’s still possible to find affordable homes even in the safest parts of the city.
If you decide to live here, opt for the northeast area. Even then, you still have to be very careful. Your safety will depend on the neighborhood you choose to live in. Picking the right neighborhood can make a lot of difference.
Safety Tips for Visiting West Palm Beach
If you’re here as a tourist, here are some of the tips to stay safe and have a great time:
- Only choose trustworthy hotels, motels, or any establishments
- Check your car and ensure there’s enough gas before going anywhere in the city
- Stay alert while walking and do away with headphones
- When visiting in the summer, don’t go out during peak sunny hours and stay hydrated
- Check the elevator well to ensure it’s safe before entering
- Take note of weather reports while you’re here
Several reasons contribute to making West Palm Beach unsafe. But that doesn’t mean it’s a no-go area. On the contrary, there are very safe areas in the city for residents and tourists to have a good time.