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 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)
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.
The 10 Best Places To Live In Florida For 2019
Let’s just put this to rest right now. No matter how passionate you are about where you live in Florida, Key Biscayne is by far the best place to live. At least according to science.
The residents of Key Biscayne are some of the wealthiest, most employed, and just about safest of anyone in the state. Plus, their kids go to some of the best-funded schools.
You know what they say: Money doesn’t buy happiness. But, in this case, it buys safety and peace of mind.
If you live here, you probably won’t brag about this ranking because you want to keep Key Biscayne a secret.
Palm Beach is just about as close to a perfect area as you can get. Residents here are gainfully employed, and the schools are some of the best in the state. It’s safe, and residents get to enjoy the benefits of quality at home living.
It’s quite a gem tucked away in Florida.
Lighthouse Point 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 48th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 18th highest median income of any place in our analysis.
However, it only has the 107th shortest average commute time of any place in Florida.
North Palm Beach makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Florida mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.
And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 3.9% of folks are jobless, you can bet North Palm Beach residents are glad to live where they do.
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 Naples.
The median home costs a cool $770,000 and households make $84,830 which is good for 14th in Florida.
Add that all up and Naples places 5th in our ranking of the best places to live in Florida for 2019.
Taking its place as the 6th best place in Florida is Gulf Breeze. 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 5.3% helps thing too.
Well, I guess technically 4.4% of Marco Island residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 17th closest of any city in Florida.
You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.
In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Marco Island also ranked well for crime (2nd) and median income ($73,559).
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where there’s low crime and everyone is rich? That’s the case with Coral Gables.
Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 8th lowest in Florida and the median income comes in at $91,452.
This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.
Tequesta 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 Tequesta 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 Tequesta residents to work is significantly higher than average.
In Parkland, everyone loves to call Parkland home! The median home value is the 11th highest in Florida.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 52nd lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Sunshine State.
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