Florida ranked scariest state in the country

Published On: Jul 23 2014 04:41:47 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 23 2014 04:46:14 PM EDT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Floridians are living in the scariest state in the country, according to a national real estate poll, and it wasn't crime that did the state in -- it was the weather.

South Dakota was ranked the least scary state in the country. But if you’re afraid of clowns, don’t go to North Dakota -- the state topped the list with the most clowns per capita.

However, if you live in Florida, you should be scared; that’s because you live in the scariest state in the country, according to a national real estate study.

Florida ranked first in three common "fear" categories. We should be on the lookout for hurricanes, tornadoes and sharks, according to the poll.

Sam Miller, with the Florida Insurance Council, said that’s at least partially valid. The state just finished paying off claims from the last hurricane that hit nearly a decade ago.

"It took us nine years to retire the debts from Hurricane Wilma in 2005; it’ll take another decade next time, if not longer," Miller said.

Severe weather and other coastal factors are part of the deal for living in Florida. But experts say don't let what goes on in the movies skew your perspective on the state.

The poll states that Florida is most likely to get hit by a "sharknado." While that’s clearly tongue-in-cheek, the state consistently leads the country in shark attacks. Biologist Tom Harren said that gets in people's heads.

"You’ve got a one in 1.3 million chance of getting struck by lightning in the United States, and you’ve got a one in 16 million chance of getting bit by a shark -- not even seriously injured," Harren said.

But as far as being the scariest state -- the National Weather Service says the fears are overblown. 

"I’m not sure that I’d say it’s the scariest; I think anywhere you live there are going to be certain dangers," said Katie Moore, NWS meteorologist.

According to the study, Florida was ranked in the middle of the pack for fear of murder, but top 10 for fear of incarceration.

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