Fort Lauderdale Vice? Las Olas Paradise Lost?
When WalletHub crunched numbers for 182 municipalities to find the Safest Cities in America, the surprise wasn’t that Cape Coral at No. 22 was Florida’s highest-rated, or that Pembroke Pines at No. 30 ranked as South Florida’s highest.
What brought the “Say what?” was Fort Lauderdale finishing last — in South Florida, in Florida, in the entire nation.
Miami ranked 144th out of 182. Hialeah rolled in at No. 96, ranking 32nd in Home and Community Safety.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re more likely to get shot walking down Andrews Avenue than, say, anywhere in Detroit. WalletHub’s 35 categories cover a definition for “safety” broader than the beach — freedom from the perils of crimes big (terrorist attack) and personal (thefts), crashabout drivers, natural disasters (such as hurricanes) and personal financial calamities (getting fired or defrauded).
For example, the bottom of Percentage of Households with Emergency Savings shamed South Florida as the worst region in the nation (Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Pembroke Pines and Hialeah tied for last) and the Tampa Bay area as the almost-worst (Tampa and St. Petersburg tied for next-to-last). Also pushing Fort Lauderdale toward the bottom was having the fifth most traffic deaths per capita.
Of the 14 Home and Community Safety statistics, six Natural Disaster statistics and 15 Financial Safety statistics taken into account, WalletHub said, “Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest level of safety. We then determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its total score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.”