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With its perfect weather and beautiful beaches, many could argue that Florida is one of the best states in the U.S.
It may be known as the retirement state, but let the name fool you into thinking that Florida is just one massive golf course.
From manatees in Crystal River to large alligators in the Everglades, Florida is teeming with life for any adventure. The Florida Keys are for the tropical type and Miami for the city-dwellers. And, Florida is also home to it's most famous attraction: Disney. Perhaps that's why Florida is a top retirement location: it is perfect for anyone who wants to have a moment (or two) of childhood nostalgia and Peter Pan syndrome.
The only real negative of Florida is that the state is like a hurricane bullseye, but hey, you gotta spice up life a bit sometimes.
Florida is cheap, close to other amazing destinations (yeah, we're talking about you, Bahamas), and is incredibly diverse. You probably won't get tired of eating the same type of food every night for dinner if you lived here.
So we've convinced you that Florida is pretty epic, but the truth is, the state is pretty large. Where are the best places to live in the Sunshine State?
Lucky for you, HomeSnacks is at it again, creating the best ranking of Florida cities yet.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Florida for 2019:
- 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)
Where is the best place to live in Florida for 2019? After analyzing 205 places in Florida, Key Biscayne came out as #1 on our list as the best place to live in Florida based on Census and FBI data.
Surprised? We're not.
Who wouldn't want to live on a beautiful mini-island surrounded by the ocean? And, it's close to Miami.
Read on to learn more about who made our top 10 list, see how we crunched the numbers, or really just learn more about how epic Key Biscayne is.
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
The 10 Best Places To Live In Florida For 2019
When you're looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Key Biscayne is by far, the best place in the state of Florida.
We're not saying that places where people are broke is a bad thing, inherently. But it's certainly not desirable, right? Key Biscayne is the opposite of broke. The residents here earn way above the state average in household income, and the homes are among the most expensive in the state ($1,034,800). Plus, the unemployment rate is as close to zero as you can get.
Key Biscayne has it made.
Palm Beach isn't just the nicest place to live in Florida - it's also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.
It's got the 1st lowest unemployment rate, the 4th highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.
When you're looking at science and data, Palm Beach definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2019.
Lighthouse Point had the 48th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (5.7%) and the 29th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.
Lighthouse Point is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it's like to live there.
If you don't have a job in North Palm Beach, you're most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get -- 3.9%. 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 $61,217.
That's actually not a bad idea...
If you want to live in Florida, you can't go wrong if you decide to make the Naples area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.
Can you blame them? It's a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $84,830 median income will do that).
Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Naples as great as possible. You can't get it much better than in Naples.
Gulf Breeze comes in 6th in our best places to live in Florida analysis.
Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (34th overall) and crime rate (25th overall), Gulf Breeze is the exact kind of place you'd want to live with a family.
Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Gulf Breeze in our lists for years to come.
Marco Island has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Florida. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Marco Island is a real gem.
With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Marco Island residents to work is significantly higher than average.
Coral Gables is known for having a great education system and has the 82nd shortest commute time.
Additionally, the unemployment rate in Coral Gables is the 8th lowest in Florida and the median income is the 10th highest in the state.
Tequesta is feeling the love as it ranks as the 9th best city to live in Florida for 2019.
It ranked highly because of its high incomes (67th overall) and low crime (8th overall and one of the best in the top ten).
We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like "The Place To Be In Florida".
The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Florida, as there were only 18 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 52nd lowest in Florida (5.8%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.
Additionally, homes are the 11th most expensive in Parkland ($490,100), meaning a lot of people want to live there.
Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $128,292 a year.
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 Cities 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
After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Florida? That would be Key Biscayne.
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.
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 the best place to live in Florida for 2019.
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 Best Places To Retire In Florida
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Florida
- 10 Safest Places In Florida
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Florida