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7 Florida Towns People Are Fleeing as Soon as Possible

Florida is well-known for its retirement communities, theme parks, and sunny beaches. However, not every town in it is as charming as it first appears. A number of them are dealing with severe issues like poverty, crime, pollution, and natural disasters. These are the seven communities in Florida that residents are escaping as quickly as can.

1. Opa-locka

The little Miami-Dade County city of Opa-locka has long been beset by financial difficulties, violence, and corruption. In 2019, 1,967 violent crimes occurred per 100,000 residents in the city, making it the most violently crime-ridden area in Florida. Political scandals have also plagued the city in the past; in 2016, for example, the mayor was detained on suspicion of bribery. After announcing a financial emergency in 2015, the city has been governed by the state ever since.

2. Belle Glade

The production of sugar cane is the main industry in Belle Glade, a small rural hamlet in Palm Beach County. But the community also has high rates of illness, unemployment, and poverty. Less than half of the state average, or $28,699, is the typical household income in Belle Glade. With a rate of 14.6%, it is over three times higher than the state average. The town was dubbed the “AIDS capital of the United States” in the 1980s due to its high rates of HIV/AIDS, TB, and hepatitis C.

3. Homestead

The Everglades and Biscayne national parks are both close to the Miami-Dade County city of Homestead. But the city is also susceptible to wildfires, floods, and hurricanes. Hurricane Andrew in 1992 destroyed 90% of the city’s buildings and left 250,000 people without a place to live. The city has been frequently flooded as a result of storm surges and rising sea levels. Because of its close proximity to the dry and combustible flora of the Everglades, the city is also susceptible to wildfires.

4. Pahokee

Situated on the banks of Lake Okeechobee, Pahokee is another small town in Palm Beach County. Anquan Boldin and Janoris Jenkins are just two of the NFL stars that the town is renowned for producing. The community does, however, also have to deal with a number of issues, including environmental degradation, crime, and poverty. Less than half of the state average, or $26,731, is the typical household income in Pahokee. With 1,031 violent crimes committed per 100,000 people, it is more than twice as high as the state average. Due to runoff from adjacent sugar cane fields and Lake Okeechobee outflow, the town also experiences water pollution and algal blooms.

5. Panama City

Bay County’s Panama City is a seaside city that draws many of tourists because of its nightlife, beaches, and fishing. But the city is also vulnerable to flooding, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Hurricane Michael in 2018 left the city severely damaged and without power for a long time. There is a high chance of tornadoes in the city as well; 36 have been reported since 1950. In addition, because of its low elevation and problems with rainwater drainage, the city frequently floods.

6. Lehigh Acres

One of the neighborhoods in Lee County with the quickest rate of growth is Lehigh Acres. The neighborhood is among the state’s most deserted and foreclosed upon, nevertheless. Originally planned as a retirement community in the 1950s, the community was later advertised to young families and real estate speculators during the housing bubble. Nevertheless, a large number of homeowners fell behind on their mortgage payments following the 2008 housing market meltdown, leaving their homes abandoned and in poor condition. The community now has high rates of poverty, low rates of homeownership, and high vacancy rates.

7. Lake City

A small city in Columbia County, Lake City is situated near the intersection of Interstates 10 and 75. The city is well-known for its yearly Olustee fight Festival, which honors the biggest Florida Civil War fight. But the city is also well-known for having high rates of drug use, violence, and suicide. In 2019, 2,007 violent crimes occurred per 100,000 residents in the city, making it the most violently crime-ridden area in Florida. In 2017, the city had 49 drug-related deaths per 100,000 population, indicating a high rate of overdoses. In 2018, there were 25 suicide fatalities in the city for per 100,000 citizens, which is a high rate.


Both locals and tourists will find plenty of chances and attractions in the diverse and alluring state of Florida. Not all of its communities, though, are as appealing as they seem. A few of them are dealing with severe problems that are turning people away. People are escaping these seven Florida towns as quickly as they can.

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