JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Earlier this week, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement released data about crime in 2018 in every jurisdiction in the state. The first thing we all wanted to know is is it getting better or worse, and the state touted that Florida's overall crime rate last year dropped by 9% over the previous year.
But that doesn't tell the whole story. In some counties -- including Alachua, Clay, Nassau and Putnam counties -- the rate went up.
There were also 50 more murders in the state last year than the previous year and more rapes reported in Florida in 2018 than in 2017.
But how rampant is crime in your community? Some counties have a crime rate six times higher than other counties. In general, larger counties tend to have a higher crime rate, but there are many other factors that contribute to crime than more people.
|Florida counties with highest crime rate|
Two of the counties in the top four in Florida for crime per capita contain mid-size cities that are home of two of the state's largest universities
With 3,948 crimes per 100,000 residents, Duval County's overall crime rate is second only to Leon County (Tallahassee) among Florida counties. Alachua County's crime rate (3,706 per 100,000) has the fourth-highest crime rate in the state, one spot ahead of Miami-Dade, which has 10 times more people.
To help you figure out how big a problem crime is where you live, point to the county on the map below, then check out the surrounding counties and counties of similar size around the state and see how it compares.
Crimes per 100,000 residents
The darker the shade of red, the higher the rate of overall crime
If you are wondering if Jacksonville retained its title of murder capital of Florida, technically no. Jefferson, Taylor and Calhoun counties all had a higher murder rate than Duval County in 2018. Those counties all have a fraction of the population of Jacksonville. In a small county, a handful of murders in one year can spike their murder rate.
Among Florida's metropolitan counties, Duval County clearly has the most murders per capita.