10 Best Places To Live In Florida For 2019

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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth 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 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.

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 2019

Key Biscayne, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,935
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $1,034,800 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (22nd best)
More on Key Biscayne: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,501
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $955,600 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.3% (1st best)
More on Palm Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,946
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $404,900 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (48th best)
More on Lighthouse Point: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

North Palm Beach, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,581
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $258,900 (50th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (8th best)
More on North Palm Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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...

Naples, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,980
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $770,000 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (24th best)
More on Naples: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Naples by HomeSnacks User

There is little crime and the beaches are beautiful!

Great beaches, good restaurants, nice neighborhoods

Gulf Breeze, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,205
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $387,300 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (34th best)
More on Gulf Breeze: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,361
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $492,000 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (17th best)
More on Marco Island: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 50,533
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $696,000 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (8th best)
More on Coral Gables: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Coral Gables by HomeSnacks User

Coral Gables is a world-class neighborhood. The school system is one of the best in the nation and crime is almost non-existent. Aside from high real estate prices, definitely the place to be.

Miracle mile is definitely the highlight of Coral Gables. A fun place to walk around, shop and dine to your heart's content.

Tequesta, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,873
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $319,900 (33rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (32nd best)
More on Tequesta: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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".

Parkland, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 28,354
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $490,100 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (52nd best)
More on Parkland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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'.

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 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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

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

  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. South Bay (Pop. 5,026)
  2. Belle Glade (Pop. 18,855)
  3. Pahokee (Pop. 6,022)

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 12,935 4.7% $1,034,800
2 Palm Beach 8,501 2.3% $955,600
3 Lighthouse Point 10,946 5.7% $404,900
4 North Palm Beach 12,581 3.9% $258,900
5 Naples 20,980 4.8% $770,000
6 Gulf Breeze 6,205 5.3% $387,300
7 Marco Island 17,361 4.4% $492,000
8 Coral Gables 50,533 3.9% $696,000
9 Tequesta 5,873 5.2% $319,900
10 Parkland 28,354 5.8% $490,100

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 “10 Best Places To Live In Florida For 2019

  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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