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 this Sunshine State?
Lucky for you, HomeSnacks is at is again, creating you the best city ranking for Florida yet.
Here are the top 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)
After analyzing 205 places in Florida, Key Biscayne came out as #1 on our list.
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
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.
There’s two types of people who live in Key Biscayne. 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 $1,034,800 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. Key Biscayne is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.
If you want to live in Florida, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Palm Beach 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 $115,050 median income will do that).
Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Palm Beach as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Palm Beach.
The Lighthouse Point has the 48th 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 Lighthouse Point is higher than the national average and households make $77,105 per year.
We’d move to Lighthouse Point if we could in a heart beat.
If you live in North Palm Beach, you probably know how great it is already.
North Palm Beach has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($61,217). And the crime is really, really low (14th lowest in Florida).
If we could afford to move here, we probably would.
Naples 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 24th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 14th highest median income of any place in our analysis.
However, it only has the 12th shortest average commute time of any place in Florida.
Gulf Breeze takes 6th place on our list of best places in Florida for 2019 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (34th overall) and things to do.
Gulf Breeze is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years. And that tends to happen when home prices hit $387,300 at the median.
Let’s take a look at why Marco Island is a great place to call home for 2019.
There’s low crime in Marco Island, and the residents here are gainfully employed (4.4% unemployment rate).
You can make Marco Island your home for only $492,000 which won’t be too hard on a $73,559 household salary.
In Coral Gables, everyone loves to call Coral Gables home! The median home value is the 5th highest in Florida.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 8th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Sunshine State.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call Tequesta 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 Tequesta.
Parkland is another gem in Sunshine State. The unemployment rate here is 52nd lowest in the entire state at 5.8%. Other factors that make Parkland so desirable is the solid education and home prices.
Homes are valued at $490,100, and parents earn a combined $128,292 a year
There’s nothing like the American dream.
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