These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Florida For 2018


These are the cream of the crop when it comes to living in The Sunshine State.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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Where are the best places in the state of Florida?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Sunshine State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Florida.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 205 places in Florida, we came up with this list of the best places:

  1. Key Biscayne (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Palm Beach (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Lighthouse Point (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. North Palm Beach (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Naples (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Gulf Breeze (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Marco Island (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Coral Gables (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Tequesta (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Parkland (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Well, it looks like you should check out Key Biscayne if you’re thinking of moving to Florida — it’s the best the Sunshine State has to offer according to the data.

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Florida.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Florida reading, check out:

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Florida

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Tallahassee with a population of 188,466 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 205 cities, 279 towns, and 126 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Florida

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Florida across a number of criteria from one to 205, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Florida”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Florida.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Key Biscayne at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Key Biscayne, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 12,935
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $1,034,800 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (22nd best)
More on Key Biscayne: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Key Biscayne broke into the top ten best places to live in Florida on the back of a low unemployment and a quality schools system.

It placed 22nd overall for its low unemployment rate and the 3rd highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 88th shortest average commute time of any place in Florida.

Palm Beach, FL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 8,501
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $955,600 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.3% (1st best)
More on Palm Beach: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Palm Beach makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Florida mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 2.3% of folks are jobless, you can bet Palm Beach residents are glad to live where they do.

Lighthouse Point, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 10,946
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $404,900 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (48th best)
More on Lighthouse Point: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Lighthouse Point is just about as close to a perfect area as you can get. Residents here are gainfully employed, and the schools are some of the best in the state. It’s safe, and residents get to enjoy the benefits of quality at home living.

It’s quite a gem tucked away in Florida.

North Palm Beach, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 12,581
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $258,900 (50th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (8th best)
More on North Palm Beach: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where there’s low crime and everyone is rich? That’s the case with North Palm Beach.

Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 8th lowest in Florida and the median income comes in at $61,217.

This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

Naples, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 20,980
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $770,000 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (24th best)
More on Naples: Real Estate| Data| Photos

The Naples has the 24th lowest unemployment rate in Florida. The population growth here has been 8% over the last 15 years, meaning a lot of people want to live here. If they can afford it; the cost of living in Naples is higher than the national average and households make $84,830 per year.

We’d move to Naples if we could in a heart beat.

Gulf Breeze, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 6,205
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $387,300 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (34th best)
More on Gulf Breeze: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Gulf Breeze had the 34th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (5.3%) and the 25th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.

Gulf Breeze is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it’s like to live there.

Marco Island, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 17,361
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $492,000 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (17th best)
More on Marco Island: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Marco Island has a long and illustrious history and its ranking in the top ten of our best places to live is just another notch in its belt.\n\Marco Island had the 23rd highest household median income adjusted for cost of living at $73,559.

Not to mention that its residents have plenty to do on the weekends.

Coral Gables, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 50,533
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $696,000 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (8th best)
More on Coral Gables: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Say what you want about expensive houses. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s A LOT of demand to live in Coral Gables.

The median home costs a cool $696,000 and households make $91,452 which is good for 10th in Florida.

Add that all up and Coral Gables places 8th in our ranking of the best places to live in Florida for 2018.

Tequesta, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 5,873
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $319,900 (33rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (32nd best)
More on Tequesta: Real Estate| Data| Photos

If you don’t have a job in Tequesta, you’re most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get — 5.2%. In fact, there are probably enough butler and landscaping jobs available here to put every single unemployed resident to work, what with a median income of $54,730.

That’s actually not a bad idea…

Parkland, FL

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 28,354
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $490,100 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (52nd best)
More on Parkland: Real Estate| Data| Photos

At an unemployment rate of 5.8%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Parkland. And the residents command high salaries ($128,292 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($490,100 each).

We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in Florida. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Florida

If you’re looking at areas in Florida with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Key Biscayne made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.

Best Towns To Live In Florida

  1. Highland Beach (Pop. 3,689)
  2. Hillsboro Beach (Pop. 1,467)
  3. Indian River Shores (Pop. 4,082)
  4. Pine Ridge CDP (Collier (Pop. 1,833)
  5. Vineyards (Pop. 3,925)
  6. Lake Clarke Shores (Pop. 3,517)
  7. South Beach (Pop. 3,325)
  8. Harbor Bluffs (Pop. 2,931)
  9. Melbourne Beach (Pop. 3,189)
  10. Windermere (Pop. 3,175)

Best Small Towns To Live In Florida

  1. Jupiter Inlet Colony (Pop. 508)
  2. Hillsboro Pines (Pop. 510)
  3. Lazy Lake (Pop. 34)
  4. Gulf Stream (Pop. 660)
  5. Sea Ranch Lakes (Pop. 663)
  6. Golf (Pop. 213)
  7. Manalapan (Pop. 270)
  8. Shalimar (Pop. 792)
  9. Belleair Shore (Pop. 81)
  10. St. George Island (Pop. 641)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Florida according to the data:

  1. South Bay (Pop. 5,026)
  2. Belle Glade (Pop. 18,855)
  3. Pahokee (Pop. 6,022)

For more Florida reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Florida

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Key Biscayne 12,935 4.7% $1,034,800
2 Palm Beach 8,501 2.3% $955,600
3 Lighthouse Point 10,946 5.7% $404,900
4 North Palm Beach 12,581 3.9% $258,900
5 Naples 20,980 4.8% $770,000
6 Gulf Breeze 6,205 5.3% $387,300
7 Marco Island 17,361 4.4% $492,000
8 Coral Gables 50,533 3.9% $696,000
9 Tequesta 5,873 5.2% $319,900
10 Parkland 28,354 5.8% $490,100
11 Sanibel 7,044 7.2% $693,000
12 St. Augustine Beach 6,710 4.9% $322,400
13 Longboat Key 7,158 5.3% $660,300
14 Satellite Beach 10,495 5.4% $233,800
15 Belle Isle 6,542 3.5% $252,000
16 Surfside 5,810 3.7% $561,900
17 Weston 68,893 7.3% $414,100
18 Maitland 16,911 4.5% $303,900
19 Neptune Beach 6,817 5.9% $338,800
20 Palm Beach Gardens 51,865 5.0% $318,500
21 Boca Raton 91,702 6.6% $381,600
22 Jupiter 60,597 4.3% $305,600
23 Lake Mary 15,478 5.4% $268,800
24 Safety Harbor 17,268 6.7% $216,500
25 Oviedo 37,545 5.9% $241,100
26 Venice 21,722 5.6% $208,900
27 Winter Park 29,543 5.6% $340,400
28 Miami Lakes 30,833 3.9% $326,500
29 St. Pete Beach 9,528 6.9% $351,800
30 Bay Harbor Islands 5,885 7.0% $312,800
31 Wellington 61,371 6.6% $327,700
32 Sunny Isles Beach 21,937 4.0% $316,100
33 Atlantic Beach 13,089 5.2% $330,400
34 Treasure Island 6,827 6.8% $347,800
35 Jacksonville Beach 22,519 4.1% $287,200
36 Niceville 14,325 4.1% $204,600
37 West Melbourne 20,207 7.3% $173,900
38 Palmetto Bay 24,522 6.8% $467,400
39 Royal Palm Beach 36,829 4.5% $210,000
40 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea 6,375 8.3% $417,300
41 Lynn Haven 19,799 6.5% $184,400
42 Miami Shores 10,772 5.7% $442,000
43 Winter Springs 34,439 7.9% $214,800
44 Valparaiso 5,084 8.3% $195,800
45 Punta Gorda 17,721 11.4% $299,900
46 Destin 13,312 4.5% $279,400
47 Doral 53,426 5.5% $328,600
48 Pembroke Pines 164,753 7.3% $225,400
49 Indian Harbour Beach 8,381 14.7% $221,200
50 Aventura 37,515 5.9% $310,300
51 Fort Myers Beach 6,801 4.0% $367,800
52 Coral Springs 127,673 8.8% $294,300
53 Seminole 17,906 5.1% $154,400
54 Pinecrest 19,272 4.7% $840,900
55 Southwest Ranches 7,745 8.6% $585,900
56 Key West 26,039 5.5% $474,100
57 Coconut Creek 57,731 8.7% $150,100
58 Dunedin 35,882 6.3% $157,200
59 South Pasadena 5,040 12.8% $169,900
60 Port Orange 58,780 4.8% $145,600
61 West Miami 6,652 4.9% $243,700
62 Rockledge 26,144 9.7% $150,100
63 Temple Terrace 25,654 6.1% $174,900
64 Minneola 10,371 5.5% $145,300
65 Oldsmar 14,023 7.2% $162,900
66 Miami Springs 14,430 5.4% $297,200
67 Lady Lake 14,501 7.9% $129,100
68 Mount Dora 13,204 5.6% $208,500
69 Clermont 31,171 7.3% $186,800
70 Winter Garden 39,219 5.8% $236,700
71 Wilton Manors 12,270 5.3% $279,900
72 Davie 98,717 7.3% $225,500
73 Fernandina Beach 12,156 8.8% $275,100
74 Miramar 133,741 8.4% $228,400
75 Orange Park 8,603 8.5% $157,200
76 Cocoa Beach 11,466 6.3% $270,200
77 Cutler Bay 44,002 5.7% $216,500
78 Edgewater 21,306 5.8% $129,700
79 Ormond Beach 40,686 7.4% $169,900
80 Gulfport 12,222 6.7% $144,300
81 New Smyrna Beach 24,574 6.1% $215,800
82 Tamarac 63,747 7.0% $127,700
83 Fort Walton Beach 21,238 7.7% $164,100
84 Alachua 9,553 4.8% $161,800
85 Altamonte Springs 42,557 7.2% $136,300
86 North Port 60,871 8.1% $147,100
87 Cape Coral 170,063 9.4% $173,400
88 Marathon 8,701 4.1% $340,800
89 Ocoee 41,393 6.5% $181,800
90 South Miami 12,207 12.1% $398,100
91 Clearwater 111,747 7.3% $163,500
92 Sunrise 91,177 8.2% $150,800
93 Newberry 5,410 2.5% $146,100
94 Macclenny 6,451 3.8% $115,300
95 St. Cloud 44,198 7.7% $132,900
96 Milton 9,462 12.7% $107,100
97 Bonita Springs 49,807 6.9% $248,200
98 Tampa 361,477 9.6% $172,100
99 High Springs 5,678 8.6% $144,800
100 St. Petersburg 253,585 7.5% $154,800

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9 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Florida For 2018

  1. Where do Sanibel and Captive rank? They sure seem like they would be one of the best only because they are such great vacation destinations.

  2. Hollywood is the worst place next to hallandale,FL.Broward county. Has to be the Pitts.If you don’t have a job or money don’t move here.of course,this is the Rick Scott state ugh!

  3. Where is okeechobee ranked? Its not even on the list… And we live by the giagantic lake in the center of florida so you can’t exactly skim over us. ..

  4. Where is the city of Live Oak ranked? Its not on your list…
    It is located near the I-75 and I-10 intersection in north central Florida and is about half way between Jacksonville and Tallahassee. For a small country town I believe it deserves to be rated. Do you know why it was not?

  5. Where does Williston FL rank it’s quite and in the middle of lots of things to do where you have a short drive to get to many places and you can come home to a quiet small town.

  6. This list is horse. Good luck trying to live any where near Coral Gables or Key Biscayne unless you are a millionaire. The cheapest home will run you $900k and the property taxes are astronomical. Corrupt politicians and sky high crime rates have made South Florida unlivable.

  7. You need to update your firehouse picture. The one you show is not ours. That is one for Martin County. Ours is an ultra modern beautiful structure on Tequesta Drive.

  8. Hi! I am now living in Iran, Shiraz, would like to find one of the best place for living in Florida, near the beach, having 50 years old, PhD in Meteorology with 27 years working period. please guide me anyone who is true.

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