These 5 Worst Neighborhoods in Polk County, Florida You Should Avoid in 2024


Polk County, Florida, is the tenth biggest county in the state, with about 725,000 citizens as of 2020. Legoland, Bok Tower Gardens, and Circle B Bar Reserve are the county’s most well-known attractions.

However, it is vital to recognize that not all locations of Polk County have the same level of safety and appeal. This article seeks to determine the five least desirable neighborhoods in Polk County, using the following criteria:

  • Crime rate per thousand inhabitants
  • Crime grade from
  • Median household income and poverty rate.
  • Unemployment Rate

Let’s explore these neighborhoods:

1. Florence Villa

According to our criteria, Florence Villa is the least desirable neighborhood in Polk County. This neighborhood, located in Winter Haven, has around 3,000 people. It has a high crime rate of 30.9 per 1,000 population and a crime rating of C-. Florence Villa has a low median household income of $20,833 and a high poverty rate of 45.8%. The unemployment rate is likewise significantly increased, to 10.5%.

Read more: Discover 5 Dangerous Neighborhoods in Pennsylvania With the Highest Rates of Violence and Poverty

2. Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake, located in Lakeland, Polk County’s largest city, is home to around 16,000 people. The neighborhood has a crime rate of 23.9 per 1,000 people and a crime rating of C-. This means that it is less safe than 58% of communities in the United States.

Crystal Lake’s typical family income is $36,674, which falls below the national average of $62,843. Furthermore, the poverty rate is significant, at 21.4%, which exceeds the national average of 10.5%. The unemployment rate in Crystal Lake is considerably higher than the national average, at 6.9% vs 6.0%.

3. Combee Settlement

Combee Settlement, another Lakeland suburb, with around 6,000 people. The region has a crime rate of 25.8 per 1,000 people and a crime rating of C-. The typical household income of Combee Settlement is $30,833, much less than the national average. The poverty rate is shockingly high at 28.7%, well above the national average, while the unemployment rate is 7.7%, again higher than the national average.

4. Wahneta

Wahneta is located near Winter Haven, Polk County’s second-biggest city, and has a population of roughly 5,000. The neighborhood has a crime rate of 26.4 per 1,000 people and a crime rating of C-.

The median household income of Wahneta is significantly lower than the national average, at $29,375. The poverty rate in this area is dangerously high, at 32.9%, while the unemployment rate exceeds the national average, at 8.3%.

Also read: These 5 Worst Neighborhoods in Volusia County, Florida

5. Inwood

Inwood, another Winter Haven suburb, is home to over 7,000 people. It has a crime rate of 27.9 per 1,000 people and a crime rating of C-. Inwood’s median household income is $28,750, which is lower than the national average, and the poverty rate in this neighborhood is alarmingly high at 34.3%, well over the national average. The unemployment rate is likewise rather high, at 8.9%.

Final Words

Polk County, Florida, contains both gorgeous attractions and tough areas. This article listed the five least attractive neighborhoods according to violence, income, poverty, and unemployment. Florence Villa, Crystal Lake, Combee Settlement, Wahneta, and Inwood are the communities that are most challenged. These places require additional attention and resources to enhance their safety and quality of life.

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