Is Ocala, Florida a Safe Place to Live
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Known as the “horse capital of the world,” Ocala, Florida, is a vibrant, historic town in the heart of north-central Florida. The city is located approximately 75 miles west of Daytona Beach and has a population of 63,591 as of the 2020 United States census. Other nearby cities are Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa.

Ocala serves as the county seat of Marion County and has a lower cost of living than the national average. Unemployment is low at only 7.2%, the median home price is $168,850, and it offers a great place to live for entrepreneurs, young families, and retirees.

With almost thirty communities dedicated to the 55+ population, many retirement-age people are relocating to Florida and wonder if Ocala, Florida, is a safe place to live?

Let’s take a closer look at whether Ocala is a safe place to retire.

ocala florida downtown

What is it like living in Ocala?

Even though Ocala is part of a larger metropolitan area, it still provides its residents with a quaint, small-town charm.  

The downtown area offers many things to do, like shopping, dining, and entertainment. In addition, the town square hosts several festivals throughout the year and brings several visitors to the Light Up Ocala Christmas tradition.

While there are many great neighborhoods to live in Ocala, most communities cater to the retirement age population and the 55+ residents. Furthermore, communities like the Ocala Preserve and the On Top of the World offer their residents several amenities, good quality homes, and an overall safe place to live. 

Is Ocala a Safe Place to Live?

There have been many studies on the US cities’ best places to live, and Ocala is always one of the best and safest places on the list. We use several factors when considering which cities are the safest places to live.

The neighborhood home value and the quality of life are a few things to determine. The overall crime rate, including the property crime rate, the violent crimes rate, and the types of crimes, should be considered, also. However, even though the statistics may claim a city is safe to live in, one of the main factors to consider is the overall vibe of the town.

Here are a few questions you may ask.

  • Is the neighborhood gated, or do they provide security?
  • Does the neighborhood offer a community night watch?
  • Does your house have home security installed?
  • Does the city provide safe activities for the residents? 
  • Do you generally feel safe when you’re alone in town?

The Cost of Living in Ocala

In Ocala, Florida, the overall cost of living is lower than the national average at 83.9/100. Groceries, transportation, healthcare, and housing are also relatively low when compared to the population. In addition, the job market is booming with only a 5.7% unemployment rate and a median household income of $39,238.

Another cost of living factor is the tax rate. While there is no Florida state tax, Ocala’s sales tax rate is 7.0%, lower than the national average of more than seven percent. The fact that there is no state tax for cities in Florida is appealing to people who are considering moving to Florida.

Even though the cost of living is low in Ocala, it does not mean the city’s crime rate is higher or is not safer than other metropolitan areas in Florida. Ocala is still a great place to live, with lower crime compared to other cities.

ocala florida houses

What is the Crime Rate in Ocala?

With an increasing job market, Ocala’s population is quickly growing. Unfortunately, as the population increases, so does the crime rate. 

According to the US News and World Report, Ocala’s overall crime rate is 6.1 out of 10. However, Ocala ranked as one of the best places to live, the sixteenth best place to retire, and the tenth safest place to live. The cost of living, the job market, the crime rate, and the quality of life contributed to the city’s ranking.

Ocala, Florida, was also given a C+ for overall crime in the world report, which is about the same as the US city average and better than other cities with similar populations. Both property crime and the violent crime rate were lower than the national rate and about the same as other nearby cities.

When you compare Ocala to nearby cities, Bellview and Gainesville have a higher crime rate.

In 2021, the total crimes reported in Ocala, Fl, was 2,351. The total reported violent crimes was 414. Rape and murder are considered a violent crime. The FL crime data showed that 1,937 crimes were considered property crimes. According to the Ocala crime index, property crime rates are significantly lower than violent crime rates.

What are the Most Common Types of Crimes in Ocala?

Like other similarly sized metro areas, Ocala also suffers from various types of crimes, including property crimes and violent crimes. In fact, a property crime is committed 1 in every 34 minutes in Ocala.

Common types of crimes according to the Ocala crime map:

  • Theft and burglary (property crime)
  • Drug crimes (other crimes)
  • Vandalism (property crime)
  • Assault (violent crime)

Property crime in Ocala is significantly higher than violent crimes, and most crimes occur near recreational locations like retail areas, airports, and parks. The local law enforcement agency helps monitor these areas.

While the Ocala crime data shows that the city is a relatively safe place to live, the current resident considers the east part to have a lower crime rate than other parts of the city.

What is the Quality of Life in Ocala

Ocala is a medium-sized city in Florida that offers tons of activities, arts, and entertainment. Whether you’re looking to relocate to Ocala for the booming job market or the quiet serenity of the rolling green hills, Ocala provides a lower quality of life.

Many communities cater to the retirement age person and offer several amenities to help keep the resident active, healthy, and happy. Some provide community pools and parks; others are gated and surround pristine 18-hole golf courses.

Regardless of which community you choose to live in, Ocala provides top quality of life for everyone who resides there.

horse capital of the world, Ocala, Florida

Final Thoughts

Ocala is a popular city in central Florida that offers natural beauty, a growing community, and a safe place to live. Considered a metropolitan city, Ocala’s population increases every year. The job market is booming, the cost of living is low, and the crime rate is relatively stable. 

While crime does occur in Ocala generally, the crime rate is still lower than the national average, violent crimes are lower than property crimes, and the types of crimes are mostly theft and burglary. In addition, residents claim the east side of the city is safer.

Due to several factors like the low cost of living, low crime rate, and outstanding quality of life, the Ocala area continues to be one of the fastest-growing cities in Florida and is an overall safe place to live. 

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