These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Florida For 2018

We used science and data to determine which cities in FL are really ghetto.

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There are lots of people who throw the term ‘ghetto’ around. But which of Florida’s largest cities are the most ghetto of all?

How do you decide if a place is ghetto or not? You ask the internet. According to the Urban Dictionary, a ghetto is defined as:

“urban; of or relating to (inner) city life” and “poor; of or relating to the poor life.”

Using that criteria, it’s not hard to scrape the internet, run some scientific data on where ghettos might exist in a state and then put out a list.

After analyzing all cities with 50,000 people or more, we came up with this list as the most ghetto places in Florida:

  1. Daytona Beach (Photos)
  2. North Miami (Photos)
  3. Fort Myers (Photos)
  4. Lauderhill
  5. Miami (Photos)
  6. Pompano Beach (Photos)
  7. Miami Gardens
  8. Homestead (Photos)
  9. Kissimmee (Photos)
  10. Sanford (Photos)

Read on below to see where your home town ranked and why.

Note: We’re aware that there are more ‘ghetto’ cities that are smaller than 50,000. We wanted to rank only the largest cities here for a more clear indication of which major city centers are ghettos. Therefore, it’s assumed that the cities above (and their suburbs) are more ghetto than the smaller cities not listed here.

For more Florida reading, check out:


What ghetto criteria did we use?

In order to rank the most ghetto places in Florida, we had to determine what criteria defines a ghetto city or neighborhood.

Since a ghetto is defined as a poor area, we used income levels, crime and education levels as a guide to determine where the most broke citizens of a state live.

Additionally, the staples of inner city life include cheap and discounted retail outlets.

We started by making a list of Daytona Beach (Photos)

  • North Miami (Photos)
  • Fort Myers (Photos)
  • Lauderhill (Photos)
  • Miami (Photos)
  • Pompano Beach (Photos)
  • Miami Gardens (Photos)
  • Homestead (Photos)
  • Kissimmee (Photos)
  • Sanford (Photos)
  • ‘>every place in Florida with more than 50,000 people based on the 2013 American Community Survey. That left us with 50 places in the Sunshine State.

    We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using Yelp and Area Vibes, this is the criteria we used:

    • Household income levels
    • High school graduation rates
    • Number of convenience stores
    • Number of drug stores
    • Number of discount stores
    • Crime
    • Geo-located mentions of #ghetto on Twitter

    Note: For the sake of getting reliable numbers, we counted places within a city’s border, as well as within a short driving distance.

    All of these results are listed in a per capita basis. Meaning number of stores per person in a state. Additionally, high school graduation rates are determined by looking at the total number of people who live in a city, not the current graduation rate of an area’s high schools.


    1. Daytona Beach

    Source: wikipedia

    Income: $28,983
    Drop out rate: 20%
    Crime: 2nd highest

    We’ve had this discussion before with Daytona Beach when we ranked it as one of the most dangerous cities in Florida. Yes, we’re aware that much of the crime that occurs here is aimed at the tourists that pack the area in the warmer months.

    Still, if you spent a year in Daytona Beach, statistically, you’d have a 1 in 15 chance of being the victim of a property crime.

    Other factors that make Daytona Beach ghetto include a low median income (a lot of the population barely makes ends meet), and a lot of convenience and discount stores per capita.

    Sociologists have indicated that these types of stores are a staple of inner city life.

    2. North Miami

    Source: wikipedia

    Income: $37,000
    Drop out rate: 28.4%
    Crime: 12th highest

    Nearly 3 in 10 residents of North Miami don’t have a basic high school education, which is the 4th highest number of Florida’s largest cities. Partially due to that fact, income levels are the 9th lowest here, and the unemployment rate is 7.1%.

    If you spent a year here, you or 21 of your neighbors would be the victim of a property crime each year. That’s a lot of stolen laptops and cell phones.

    Like Daytona Beach, Twitter had lots to say about the matter. North Miami was one of the leading cities with mentions of the word ghetto. Example:

    “I feel weird blasting country music in my hood because north miami is literally the ghetto.”

    3. Fort Myers

    Source: wikipedia

    Income: $37,322
    Drop out rate: 24.2%
    Crime: 20th highest

    A lot of the advice on sites such as City Data indicated that as long as you stay out of the hood at night, and aren’t attempting to buy drugs or solicit a prostitute, you won’t be killed in Fort Myers. That’s saying a lot about how ghetto this place really is.

    The numbers back it up. It’s a poor place where 1 in 4 people doesn’t have a basic education. Additionally, Fort Myers has the 5th highest number of discount stores within its borders. These types of stores are notoriously connected to inner cities.

    4. Lauderhill

    Source: Public Domain

    Income: $37,149
    Drop out rate: 21%
    Crime: 22nd highest

    This Broward County city, just outside of the Miami-Fort-Lauderdale area, has the 7th lowest income levels of all major cities. Almost 1 in 4 people here lives below the poverty level. That’s a really bad sign of a ghetto city.

    Lauderhill has a large foreign-born population, and according to Wikipedia, a noticeable proportion of the city is from the West Indies. Lauderhill has the highest percentage of Jamaican ancestry in America, and one of the highest concentrations of Haitians as well.

    There were quite a few mentions on Twitter regarding Lauderhill: “Lauderhill is mad ghetto. I gotta move.”

    5. Miami

    Source: wikipedia

    Income: $29,762
    Drop out rate: 32.4%
    Crime: 5th highest

    Miami is the 2nd poorest city we measured. Only Daytona Beach has a lower income, per family.

    In Miami, the average family earns less than $30,000. And there are some really high incomes here, which means that there are tens of thousands of families living in Miami under the poverty line. In fact, 3 in 10 members of the Miami community earns less than what the government defines as a livable income: $25,000 for a family of 4.

    We don’t have to tell you how dangerous Miami is. And it probably wouldn’t surprise you to hear that 1 in 3 people living here never completed high school.

    6. Pompano Beach

    Source: wikipedia

    Income: $39,656
    Drop out rate: 22.8%
    Crime: 8th highest

    Pompano Beach is in this general area surrounding Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Therefore, it’s probably not a surprise to see it listed here along with Miami.

    There were seven murders in Pompano Beach in 2013, and every year, people face a 1 in 20 chance of being the victim of a property crime. The western part of the city is the worst area of Pompano Beach.

    Fort Lauderdale itself was 14th on this list.

    7. Miami Gardens

    Source: Public Domain

    Income: $42,742
    Drop out rate: 25.3%
    Crime: 18th highest

    Miami Gardens has the 2nd highest dropout rate in the state of Florida. And as a result, crime is bad, and the unemployment rate is one of the highest you’ll see for a large city in Florida.

    Lots of people online commented about how uncomfortable they felt going to watch the Miami Dolphins play in Sun Life Stadium, which is located here. That, and there were a lot of people calling the Walmart in Miami Gardens ghetto.

    In 2007, the mayor of Miami Gardens announced that the city wouldn’t allow low income housing developments, as many residents blamed them for the spreading crime and drug use. And in 2012, it was announced that a Community Redevelopment Agency would remove the ‘slum and blight’ from the city.

    8. Homestead

    Source: wikipedia

    Income: $39,279
    Drop out rate: 32.7%
    Crime: 4th highest

    By definition, Homestead is one of the most ghetto cities in Florida. A third of the population is uneducated, and it’s the 4th most dangerous large city in the Sunshine State.

    1 in 3 people who live here are below the poverty line, including 44% of kids below the age of 18. That’s just a shame.

    Here’s but one example of what a resident of Homestead had to say on City Data:

    “Homestead is hell. Do NOT move to Homestead. Not only will you have to commute about an hour and a half to FIU, but you live in a crime filled, rude, and depressing city.”

    9. Kissimmee

    Source: wikipedia

    Income: $35,764
    Drop out rate: 23%
    Crime: 14th highest

    In 2013, there were almost 3,000 property crimes, and three murders here. And twice a day, someone was attacked, robbed, or raped here. That’s not good.

    Kissimmee, Daytona Beach and Sanford (below) are the only cities on this list that aren’t in the greater Miami area.

    1 in 5 people in Kissimmee lives below the poverty level, and it was 5th in terms of ghetto Tweets. Here’s an example:

    “I’m in a ghetto part of Kissimmee & I’m most likely gonna die (:”

    10. Sanford

    Source: wikipedia

    Income: $43,514
    Drop out rate: 21.6%
    Crime: 11th highest

    This Orlando suburb just missed the top 10 in terms of crime levels. There were 5 murders here two years ago, and more than 3,500 reported property crimes.

    More than 1 in 5 residents never completed high school, and 1 in 5 lives below the poverty line. There is a far higher than average concentration of drug stores and discount stores in Sanford as well.

    There You Have It

    If you’re measuring the locations in Florida where there are a high number of poor and uneducated residents, and where there are a high number of discounted shopping stores, this is an accurate list.

    Additionally, here are the least ghetto places in Florida (big cities only):

    1. Weston (Pop. 65,233)
    2. Jupiter (Pop. 55,133)
    3. Boca Raton (Pop. 85,694)
    4. Wellington (Pop. 56,343)
    5. Cape Coral (Pop. 155,506)

    We also wrote about the 10 Snobbiest Cities in Florida if you didn’t happen to see it.

    Or, if you live in Florida, this will be the most gut-busting laugh you have all day. Guaranteed.

    Desktop users, below is a ghetto ranking chart of all large cities in Florida, along with their crime rates. Lowest is worse.

    City Crime Rank
    Daytona Beach 18 1
    North Miami 52.5 2
    Fort Myers 72 3
    Lauderhill 79 4
    Miami 30.5 5
    Pompano Beach 40 6
    Miami Gardens 65 7
    Homestead 27.5 8
    Kissimmee 54 9
    Sanford 45 10
    Ocala 64.5 11
    Orlando 24 12
    West Palm Beach 58 13
    Fort Lauderdale 32 14
    Tallahassee 65 14
    Boynton Beach 91 16
    Lakeland 78.5 17
    Bradenton 86.5 18
    Deerfield Beach 136 19
    Miami Beach 15.5 20
    St. Petersburg 34 21
    Gainesville 88 22
    Hialeah 152.5 23
    Tampa 133.5 24
    Pensacola 44 24
    Jacksonville 91 26
    Sarasota 41 26
    Delray Beach 53 26
    Largo 112.5 26
    Melbourne 58 30
    Sunrise 145 31
    Hollywood 87.5 32
    Margate 205.5 33
    Tamarac 186.5 34
    Palm Bay 166 35
    Clearwater 94 36
    Miramar 163.5 37
    Port St. Lucie 224 38
    Plantation 132.5 39
    Pembroke Pines 203.5 40
    Davie 135 41
    Port Orange 217 42
    Coconut Creek 196 43
    North Port 218 43
    Coral Springs 213.5 43
    Cape Coral 231.5 46
    Wellington 198.5 46
    Boca Raton 189 48
    Jupiter 211.5 48
    Weston 273.5 50

    18 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Florida For 2018

    1. Your infontaiment really is bad in taste and content because it has offended alot of hard working folks who really are trying to change the image of their city. The #10 on your list Sanford is one of those cities I’ve lived here all of my life except for my stint in the Army and it’s a beautiful city that has had a hard time with image since the treyvone incident. So please be careful with what you claim to be fun because your fun could lead to harm to others.

      1. Sanford is a drug infested sh*th*le. I’ve been robbed in Sanford, twice & I never lived here. Also, Mini pill mill doctors and illegitimate pharmacies. The infrastructure is bad. The education level is nonexistent. I currently live in Daytona Beach. I have resided here for over 20 years. This list is absolutely correct. Because being a resident of the state of Florida for over 35 years, I can tell you, almost every single place they stated near the Miami area, is correct as well. I merely worked in Sanford and I had a good job not in a ghetto but I got into racial altercations constantly from the majority of the African-American population that resides there.

    2. Apparently you don’t have a high school diploma…read the first sentence under the North Miami section. Nice grammar there slick.

    3. Whoever wrote this is full of shit….i have lived in Daytona area since 1978 and currently live in Holly Hill..i work all over state doing construction and if you want to see the real slums go to Jacksonville….Sanford…Orlando…North Miami just to name a few….real life experiences will tell you the truth

    4. Obviously, the writer and/or messenger of this article Nick James has never walked through the Daytona Beach 32114 zip code he has deemed as “ghetto.” I feel confident in stating that a person walking, biking or sitting in their yard will speak and greet you with a hello and acknowledge you with a courtesy of a smile quicker than any city I’ve ever traveled. Anyone of any race can walk the sidewalks of this area and not likely to get robbed or assaulted because the people residing have low incomes, discount stores and drug stores and tweet the word ghetto. Daytona is a high tourist area and people from all over the world frequent the zip code you reference and bring their habits with them, therefore crime is not primarily in the lower class neighborhood. Its apparent that you like many people of your caliber are of poor character and class to denigrate a specific group or race of people with this type of “infotainment” as you so call it. I prefer classifying it as “ignortainment.” Perhaps if you were BETTER EDUCATED you wouldn’t have written an article using what you call “science and data to determine which cities in FL are really ghetto” as you so aimlessly stated. Your article and/or the originator of it should look in the mirror and look deep into your core. Are you a part of the problem or the solution to what you are focusing on here? Have you once used your creativity or voice to speak up and/or volunteer in the less fortunate communities? Have you donated money? If you’re broke have you donated your time to implement a mentor program or after school programs to help and guide children? Have you provided a scholarship to a worthy student? It’s amazing that of all the hours in a day that our Father God gives you to utilize daily and you use it to denigrate a group of people he beautifully made. Your choice to negatively make reference using data points that include criteria of how many tweets were tagged as #ghetto is ludicrous and voids your entire theory and reference in this post. People, stop re-posting this ignorance. It’s not factual or worthy of posting or repeating. It’s just like some of the other opinionated garbage we see or hear on the news daily.

      1. ” Anyone of any race can walk the sidewalks of this area and not likely to get robbed or assaulted…”

        While I disagree on the getting robbed or assaulted part, I do like the fact that in Daytona, unlike most places I’ve lived, blacks and whites are more or less on par with one another in terms of income. In most Fla cities, I’ve seen mostly whites in the rich areas, and blacks in the bad parts of town. While the Orange Ave to Mason ave ghetto is predominantly black, Holly Hill is packed with the worst white trash you’ll ever see. I find it heartwarming that we can get along.

        But that’s about where we cease to agree. I can’t fathom how anyone could drive down 95% of the streets in this town and think “wow, I’d sure like to live there!”. You can’t go in a store in this town without getting hit up by some crackhead asking for money. The buildings look like crap. Half the lots on the beach are vacant for crying out loud!

        “Ghetto” doesn’t necessarily mean violent. The author was forthright about what factors they used in determining what constitutes ‘ghetto’ for the purposes of this study. Does the author have to volunteer his time or money to have an opinion on something? What a canard.

      2. @Kim Mount, I realize this was posted a long time ago but I had to respond. You and a few of the other people who responded were right to speak up. It is sad that some people feel the need to tear others down to build themselves up. We need more people in the world like you. I pray that you are blessed 100 fold for the good you put out in the world!

    5. Sanford is poised for a revival with its third microbrewery breaking ground as of yesterday and a “Coming Soon” sign on every corner for a new restaurant, bar, or shop downtown. My favorite barista and her husband bought their house two years ago for $76,000 and it’s already worth $117,000 and they haven’t even started renovating it. Sanford covers a large area and there are definitely some not-so-great parts, but the downtown and adjacent Historic District are one of the few places in Metro Orlando where I was interested in living.

    6. So any city with a large number of discounted stores like dollar stores and 7-Elevens are considered ghetto? I guess then you would have to include the entire State of Florida on the list as Florida like many other states, have a large amount of dollar stores and convenience stores. And Kissimmee being ghetto? Ha! This guy hasn’t obviously visited some areas in larger cities like Miami, Tampa, or Orlando. Sure, there are some ghetto areas in Kissimmee, especially along some parts of 192, but really, this guy is making it sound like driving around Kissimmee is like driving through one of the most dangerous cities with graffiti-covered walls on every corner and piles of trash on every intersection; which is, clearly, if you live here, not the case AT ALL. And someone getting attacked or raped twice a day is utterly laughable as most of the crime here is petty theft and insignificant property damage along 192, and wait for it! A few piles of trash along major roadways that usually gets picked up shortly after being reported. Also, I’ve lived here for almost 20 years and not once have I been a victim of a major crime like a mugging or rape. Sure, Kissimmee, by all means, is not a perfect city, but to label it as ghetto just because it has poor people living in it and discount stores that actually provide good products, is not only stupid, but wrong as you’re implying that poor people only live in ghetto areas. And like any city, it has its ghetto areas, but its decent areas surpass those ghetto areas any day, just come by and visit. Bottom line: change the factors that supposedly make up a “ghetto” city.

    7. Obviously the writer has never been to the Northside of Jacksonville. I’ve been to every one of these cities and would rather live in any one of them before living here in Jacksonville!

    8. Gainesville should be on this list. Yeah it is a college town but most of the neighborhoods are run down, houses are crappy, slumlords like Leilani Cook can get away with renting dangerous unsafe buildings without hot water or heat. If you want your kid to go to UF, be careful where they live. Large ghetto population and unsafe at night!!!

    9. I lived in kissimee for the last 4 years and never been robbed or hurt but they do have some people who may rob people, panhandle and leave their trash on 192 and hang around the stores and scare people how they look and act but that is not the city’s fault.kissimee is a tourist town and i love the stores and we have alot of restaurants to eat in. I am from a city in pa which is pretty boring compared to Kissimmee.

    10. Obviously nobody read how they determined it ghetto, because everyone is defending their cities. Also this article is based on a 5 year old community survey

    11. What a bunch of butt hurt people! It seems obvious to me that that poorly educated part of ghetto is “shining” through most of these comments. THEY USED STATISTICS they saw as related to poverty, pretty good ones, too… and they told you about them:

      “Since a ghetto is defined as a poor area, we used
      1. income levels,
      2. crime
      3. and education levels
      as a guide to determine where the most broke citizens of a state live.

      Additionally, the staples of inner city life include cheap and discounted retail outlets.”

      I didn’t see any argument against these statistics, only seemingly total ignorance of them while taking swipes at the author’s work. Does that say anything about the education levels of residents? Maybe. The author did a good job and used valid statistics, the kind of statistics I’d be interested in if I were looking to move somewhere. I would have liked to have seen the national test scores of the grade, middle, and high schools, too, but this was enough for me. There was no malice in the article, only in the responses from old and current residents.

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