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:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Florida
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Florida
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live 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 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 22nd lowest unemployment rate, the 3rd highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.
When you’re looking at science and data, Key Biscayne definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2018.
There’s two types of people who live in Palm Beach. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $955,600 home there.
Either way, you’re set. Your kids go to great schools, there’s a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Palm Beach is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.
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 Lighthouse Point.
The median home costs a cool $404,900 and households make $77,105 which is good for 18th in Florida.
Add that all up and Lighthouse Point places 3rd in our ranking of the best places to live in Florida for 2018.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call North Palm Beach one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there’s essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.
They can’t build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of North Palm Beach.
Taking its place as the 5th best place in Florida is Naples. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of Florida.
It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.
An unemployment rate of only 4.8% helps thing too.
If you don’t have a job in Gulf Breeze, you’re most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get — 5.3%. 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 $98,308.
That’s actually not a bad idea…
Marco Island ranks 7th on our list of best places to live in Florida thanks to its low unemployment and high adjusted median income.
Additionally, its crime rate ranks in the lowest 10% of all places in Florida that we examined.
People have been flocking to Marco Island over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.
Coral Gables is another great city in Florida with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.
Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: ” We feel incredibly safe in Coral Gables. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it’s wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things.”
Good things do come in small packages; it’s true for Tequesta, which with a population of 5,873 makes it one of the smallest on this list.
Relatively low unemployment and relatively high adjusted income are just two blessings Tequesta residents enjoy.
The 8th lowest crime rate in all of Florida makes Tequesta one of the safest place on this list.
Parkland had the 52nd lowest unemployment of any place in our research (5.8%) and the 3rd lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.
Parkland is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it’s like to live there.
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:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Florida
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Florida For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Florida
- 10 Safest Places In Florida
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Florida