Belle Glade is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida on the southeastern shore of Lake Okeechobee. The population was 14,906 at the 2000 census. According to the U. S Census estimates of 2007, the city had a population of 16,739. Belle Glade (and the surrounding area) is sometimes referred to as "Muck City" due to the large quantity of muck, in which sugarcane grows, found in the area. About half the sugarcane in the nation is grown in the plains around Belle Glade and nearby Clewiston. Culturally, Belle Glade is more associated with the Florida Heartland than South Florida. For a time during the early to mid-1980s, the city had the highest rate of AIDS infection in the United States. According to the FBI in 2003 the city had the second highest violent crime rate in the country at 298 per 10,000 residents.