THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Florida For 2020


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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to live in Florida.

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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.

Where is the best place to live in Florida for 2020? After analyzing 207 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 ten list, see how we crunched the numbers, or really just learn more about how epic Key Biscayne is.

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:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Florida For 2020

Key Biscayne, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 13,054
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $1,218,200 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (53rd best)
More on Key Biscayne: Real Estate | Data | Photos

When you look at it from a scientific perspective, Key Biscayne is the best place you can live in Florida. Here's why:

It's really safe in this city with the 5th lowest crime rate. Plus, the median household income sits at $133,958 (Good for 3rd best).

There are plenty of jobs nearby, as evident by the 4.4% unemployment rate.

Add that all up and Key Biscayne places 1st in our ranking of the best places to live in Florida for 2020.

Palm Beach, FL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 8,667
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $1,149,500 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.3% (5th best)
More on Palm Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Palm Beach might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Palm Beach isn't amazing, but it's far below the state average. The homes are valued at $1,149,500 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Florida.

If Palm Beach can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (2.3%) is the 5th highest in the state.

North Palm Beach, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 12,899
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $296,600 (51st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (12th best)
More on North Palm Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

North Palm Beach 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 North Palm Beach. 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."

Enough said.

Tequesta, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 6,011
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $359,200 (33rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (18th best)
More on Tequesta: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Tequesta 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 18th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 53rd highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 37th shortest average commute time of any place in Florida.

Lighthouse Point, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 11,109
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $528,300 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (25th best)
More on Lighthouse Point: Real Estate | Data | Photos

We think the motto in Lighthouse Point should be "Everything is greater in Lighthouse Point," and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.

Lighthouse Point has some of the highest home values in Florida, and they're going up fast. Additionally, Lighthouse Point only has 6.2% of its residents living in poverty.

Crime is also well below the state average, making Lighthouse Point a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.

Sanibel, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 7,224
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $720,500 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (38th best)
More on Sanibel: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Sanibel consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren't any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?

Let's see why Sanibel ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Sanibel are the 7th most expensive in the state of Florida, with the average home worth a whopping $720,500. We're not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Sanibel if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Sanibel residents have the 10th highest income in the state, and the 10th lowest crime numbers in Florida.

Naples, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 21,564
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $941,700 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (44th best)
More on Naples: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Naples 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 44th lowest unemployment rate, the 13th highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you're looking at science and data, Naples definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2020.

Belle Isle, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 6,865
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $312,900 (48th best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.8% (1st best)
More on Belle Isle: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Things can't get much better than in the town of Belle Isle. The crime is the 19th lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Belle Isle make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.

The median home costs a cool $312,900 and households make $85,873 which is good for 20th in Florida.

Satellite Beach, FL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 10,721
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $272,500 (59th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (43rd best)
More on Satellite Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

It's obvious why Satellite Beach ranks 9th in the state for best places to live: they have the 43rd lowest unemployment rate and the 59th highest home values.

Plus, they're known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Satellite Beach a great place to live.

Longboat Key, FL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 7,233
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $720,700 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (7th best)
More on Longboat Key: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you want to live in Florida, you can't go wrong if you decide to make the Longboat Key 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 $104,825 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Longboat Key as great as possible. You can't get it much better than in Longboat Key.

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 190,180 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 207 cities, 279 towns, and 126 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Florida 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 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 207, 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. You can download the data here.

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 2020.

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. Belle Glade (Pop. 19,358)
  2. Opa-locka (Pop. 16,420)
  3. Pahokee (Pop. 6,167)

For more Florida reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Florida?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Key Biscayne 13,054 440.2% $1,218,200
2 Palm Beach 8,667 229.6% $1,149,500
3 North Palm Beach 12,899 288.2% $296,600
4 Tequesta 6,011 314.3% $359,200
5 Lighthouse Point 11,109 357.1% $528,300
6 Sanibel 7,224 403.8% $720,500
7 Naples 21,564 417.0% $941,700
8 Belle Isle 6,865 77.3% $312,900
9 Satellite Beach 10,721 415.7% $272,500
10 Longboat Key 7,233 262.1% $720,700

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

13 thoughts on “THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Florida For 2020

  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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