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:
- Key Biscayne (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Palm Beach (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lighthouse Point (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- North Palm Beach (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Naples (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Gulf Breeze (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Marco Island (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Coral Gables (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Tequesta (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- 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.
For more Florida reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Florida
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Florida
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Florida
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’.
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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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 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 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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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…
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
- Highland Beach (Pop. 3,689)
- Hillsboro Beach (Pop. 1,467)
- Indian River Shores (Pop. 4,082)
- Pine Ridge CDP (Collier (Pop. 1,833)
- Vineyards (Pop. 3,925)
- Lake Clarke Shores (Pop. 3,517)
- South Beach (Pop. 3,325)
- Harbor Bluffs (Pop. 2,931)
- Melbourne Beach (Pop. 3,189)
- Windermere (Pop. 3,175)
Best Small Towns To Live In Florida
- Jupiter Inlet Colony (Pop. 508)
- Hillsboro Pines (Pop. 510)
- Lazy Lake (Pop. 34)
- Gulf Stream (Pop. 660)
- Sea Ranch Lakes (Pop. 663)
- Golf (Pop. 213)
- Manalapan (Pop. 270)
- Shalimar (Pop. 792)
- Belleair Shore (Pop. 81)
- St. George Island (Pop. 641)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Florida according to the data:
- South Bay (Pop. 5,026)
- Belle Glade (Pop. 18,855)
- Pahokee (Pop. 6,022)
For more Florida reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Florida
- 10 Safest Places In Florida
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Florida