These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Florida

We used science to help determine which cities in Florida are the real pits.

Florida takes some abuse. Not just from its own residents, but from the general public, the media, and on social media.

We’re not here to debate Florida’s merits. As far as we’re concerned, it’s a warm place that’s quite beautiful almost all year long.

But, for those who are considering a relocation within Florida, or who are thinking of moving to the Sunshine State, this list should provide some value.

The following are the worst, avoid-at-all-costs cities in Florida:

  1. Fort Pierce
  2. Palatka
  3. Four Corners
  4. Florida City
  5. Haines City
  6. Daytona Beach
  7. New Smyrna Beach
  8. New Port Richey
  9. Poinciana
  10. Palm Coast

How did we come up with such an insulting and despicable list? Read on below.


How we determined the worst places to live in Florida

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things. We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Great weather
  • High incomes
  • Low population density
  • Short work commutes
  • Lots of things to do

Then, we ranked the list based on places that are the worst in all of these categories, crunched the numbers and – like magic – got the list from worst to best.

Read on below to learn more about these terrible places in Florida to live.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

About Nick Johnson

Nick has been working and writing about real estate for almost ten years. He's written about everything from the best places to live to the most boring places to live.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 140,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

56 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Florida

  1. This is the most false, ignorant list I have ever seen in my 22 years of life. Drive by shooting in NPR ? No, try Port Richey, which still is just some dumb kids with guns. Crime is nonexistent unless you mean property crime, in which it’s still towards the very bottom. I lived there for 15 years, I would know. 99% of the cities on the list have nothing wrong with them except what every other american city has. Ignorance and more ignorance. The only city that deserves to be here is Florida City.

  2. It would be nice if the journalistic world would stop downing everybody and instead use their creative abilities to help others to improve the world in which we live.

  3. I’ve lived in several of the top cities (top 100) Eustis, Tavares, Mt. Dora, Holiday, Clearwater, Kissimmee, Poincianna, (and Panama City and Jacksonville which i didnt see)

    Holiday/ New Port Richey and Kissimmee were by far the worst places that I have ever lived and thats saying alot because I grew up in Eustis which is a pretty backwards place. I would defintely say that Kissimmmee is worse than Poincianna so I am not sure how a sleep little suburb like Poincianna got so high up the list. Clearwater is pretty strange too because of the Church of Scientology, it should defenitiely be higher up the list.

  4. these statistics are not accurate. Many unincorporated sections of the state of Florida are not listed here. There is no way the Newport Richie is ranked as number seven has the worst. Not possible. There are more than 15,000 residents in Newport Richie because they’re not included
    In the data. Even the FBI crime statistics is also incorrect because it does not take into account unincorporated sections in the counties. Pasco sheriffs office response to most of the work Richie and half of Newport Richie as well as many other Florida Pasco city area.
    The only possible way to have accurate data in Florida with to be used by County not by city.

    1. I live in NPR and I’m not sure if it belongs on a list like this or not. But I can tell you the drug problem here is out of control. People will steal anything that’s not tied down also. And not trying to be a dick but if you’re going to defend some place at least spell the name right.

  5. Thank you very much for listing Ft. Pierce as #1 Worst city in Florida to live! That ,hopefully, will help support efforts to preserve what still remains of its fragile environment and decrease the destruction of more of the spectacularly beautiful areas ! Thanks to you maybe, just maybe, people will stop moving into St. Lucie County by the droves and removing all things indigenous, driving wild life from their natural habitats, and blatantly disregarding the natural order of another gorgeous area of Florida!

  6. I just had to read this when I saw the title and can not believe that this “scientific ranking” listed Homestead 73 and Ft. Pierce 1. Besides the present administration, that is the most absurd denial if truth I have heard in months. I grew up in Ft. Pierce and yes it has changed, but by no means is it the worst city in Fl. I lived in Homestead for almost 2 years and that abys of darkness ran me out of the state!

    1. I whole heartily agree with Becky, Ft.Pierce was a great place to live growing up, and yes it has changed a lot, but I don’t believe it’s that bad. Every night listening to the news, I hear people being shot,stabbed, kidnapped,car jackings, in places like Orlando, Kississimi. There are places of Ft. Pierce that are great to live in, but I am sure so not to good, however I am sure that is pretty much in all cities of Florida, Yes I still have family living there as well. So I don’t agree with your finding at all….

    2. Ft. Pierce is a great place to live compare to be living in some of the northern cities. Rochester has a shooting everyday and individual’s are dying uncertain; because of drugs and surf wars. I still have family in Ft. Pierce and I feel that it livable for now.

  7. Having lived in Florida for pretty much my whole life I will say–Orlando, Kissimmee and Miami should be at number 1, 2 and 3. I’ve never seen more accidents and wreckless driving than I have in Miami. And the crime there is the WORST! Did you even research these stats? Because Volusia county has some of the lowest crime in the State and yet you named some of those in the top 10. And not enough to do in Daytona? Where did you stay? Were you here for like an hour? New Smyrna is a great beach with lots to do and low crime. HIALIEAH? SERIOUSLY not one of the worst? I’m thinking you were just looking for attention now.

    1. I agree with you Nathan! I am from Volusia County, lived there from 1967 up till a year ago. Most of my family is still there, I was raised in Daytona Beach/Port Orange area. My children were born there and raised there also, as well as half of my grandchildren. They have Holly Hill listed pretty far down the list from Daytona and Port Orange, posing Daytona and PO as worse than Holly Hill??? Seriously? Holly Hill is so crime ridden, drugs, prostitution, gangs! OMG! I could go on and on! Daytona, yeah, it has its share of crime, drugs and prostitution, Holly Hill is worse. But if you are from the area, you know Holly Hill and Daytona are just because of an invisible city line that divides them. New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater are also great places to live. I have lived in all of those cities. The worst was Holly Hill. They also list Ormond Beach as low crime?? seriously? That is one of he most drug ridden cities here too! although, Volusia County is the lowest paid county in the state, Florida is also the lowest paid state in the US. So, Fla isn’t really the place to go if u are looking for a great high paying job, unless u can work for Nasa, it’s mostly a tourist and retirement state. Mostly restaurant, covenience store clerk, grocery stores, motel work, or if u are lucky, u may be able to get on with either the city or county. It’s not all bad. Like I said, I was raised there, it’s home to me. But just know, South Daytona, Port Orange, New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater are great places too live. yes, they all have some sort of crime in these cities, but every city does, u just need to live on the other side of the city. =0) , But, on the flip side of the coin, I have also lived in Hollywood, Ft. Lauderdale, and those areas, and yes, Hialeah is a sad place to live. Ft. Lauderdale and Hollywood aren’t too bad, depending on the area u chose to live. When I was a teen, I lived in Cooper City, in FT Lauderdale, went to Cooper City high for a bit. It wasn’t bad back in the ’70’s, But I don’t know how it is now. =0)

  8. Wow you totally got this wrong! NSB has next to NO crime. Lived here 10 years and love it! It is waaaaaayyyy safer than Jacksonville where I grew up and the reason the median income is so low is because most people here are retired and/or snow birds! There is tons to do here and it’s probably one of the cleanest cities I’ve ever been in. Science shmience… ya might wanna redo your research!

  9. Did they not even look at the Panhandle? High unemployment, low wages and lots of poverty. Crime isn’t awful but petty crimes are pretty frequent.

    1. So full of crap; first off Lakewood Park is part of Ft Pierce and I have lived in Ft Pierce/Lakewood Park for 16 years. I lived in Palm Bay for 5 before that and hated all the crime up there worst than in Ft Pierce/Lakewood Park area. I work in the Ft Pierce area and I believe it is better living here than Orlando, Miami or the Keys! There is only a very small part of Ft Pierce that has crime so
      do not make it out that it is all bad.

    2. Nick, good job with your writing. Ft pierce is like a polished turd. The mayor and everyone who thinks otherwise is in denial. I encourage everyone who thinks otherwise to visit famous avenue D / N. 13th at night. There is a small park there to sit and bring your kids you can purchase crack, and molle, get shot, stabbed, raped, or just old fashioned have your car stolen.

  10. Science schmience! We live in Palm Coast and love it! We have lived in many Florida cities, as well as other cities in the country. Your “science” is out-dated. Our population has increased to just shy of 100,000. Have you actually ever been to Florida? Go ahead and make fun of us. Some people love to live in a vacation land all year long. Sorry that you live through your computer and write stupid stuff.

  11. With all the auctions going on on the west side of Florida, and the high unemployment rates over there as well with people leaving in droves over the past 5 years, I have to disagree with your so-called ‘scientific’ data regarding Volusia and Flagler Counties. I lived for a few years in Ormond Beach and loved it, and now live in Palm Coast and enjoy the peacefulness, the community atmosphere and the clean air. Plus jobs are opening up all throughout Florida. I just interviewed for one yesterday in Palm Coast. I know you are wrong.

  12. The comment about Poinciana being ‘under the radar’ is correct. Poinciana sits in a great location and it is a community made up of many talented and hard working people. The problem that Poinciana has been forced to live with over the past 42 years is that is not a Florida City but an unincorporated community split between Polk and Osceola Counties that is forced to live under a master homeowners association totally controlled by developers who’s primary interest is padding the pockets of themselves.

    Poinciana has tried to allow itself to have a referendum to become its own city and each time it has been turned down by the Polk and Osceola Legislative delegations. Poinciana could very easily get off this list and become one of the best places in central Florida to live if our legislative delegations would just allow the people of Poinciana to vote.

    1. If you want to live in an area where traffic is hell (at all times), violent crime, rape, and home robberies at peak, a hospital that’s mediocre at best, and leaders are the most rude, racists individuals in Florida, come on down to Poinciana. Ask for Keith Laytham, he’ll steer you right into the ground along with his lover’s, Wendy, public chest cracks. You foist rudeness and violence against residents, Keith, and this is what you get. I’m looking forward to attending your funeral.

  13. i have lived in new port richey for 12years and by moon lake were we told that it a very bad area. A lot of homeless people but nice me and husband help out In soup kitchen and almost everybody know us. and love it here. Quiet, peaceful. If you don’t like it here just move.

  14. I personally feel that ALL these atributes exist in every city in America. There’s good and bad everywhere you go. Having said that I’ll address the New Port Richey issue. I moved to NPR in the mid 80’s at age 18 due to that fact I had grown up in upstate New York and Really hated it as well as the fact my childhood friend (from N.Y.) had lived in NPR with his father (Which had been there for many years prior as a business owner and resident) for a time. I loved the area!!! It was so unlike N.Y. the residents of NPR were very friendly, This I say because walking sown the street people that I didn’t even know would say hello. The people that I did meet would welcome me into their homes. The properties were well taken care of and on and on. I floated back and forth a couple of years and settled there for a 10 year period from 1992-2002 and was very happy there. was there (some) difficulty finding employment (Right in NPR) maybe. But most people would get in their car and go to work in a city nearby. Clearwater, St Pete and Tampa are right there. Was there crime ??? Everywhere’s got crime BUT you didn’t get up every morning hearing about who it was that got murdered the night before. For the most part they’d list the people that were stupid enough to drink and drive. LOL Were the income levels low??? At the time income levels were low everywhere in Florida as a whole. This I can say because my parents one with an education and the other experienced in construction and mechanics had a hard time making the income they had up north. Ended up go back north till they retired and moved right back !!! I moved back north in 2002 due to illness and the fact Florida won’t give a single person medical insurance and now the I’m well I’m going right back to NEW PORT RICHEY !!! Loved it then and I’m going to LOVE IT AGAIN !!!

  15. Low student to teacher ratios are good. That means less students to teacher ratio. Low student to teacher ratio would be 10:1, 10 students to 1 teacher. High student to teacher ratio is bad. High student to teacher ratio is 20:1, 20 students to 1 teacher. This was misused through the whole article.

  16. Holly Hill ranks better than NSB or Mt. Dora as a place to live!? Seriously!!! Have you been to Holly Hill. That alone made me disregard all of the findings.

  17. Whoever the author is, apparently doesn’t know Florida too well. His reference is not true to the facts. Where is Orlando all in this mix? You better take a drive by and see what poverty, low income and unemployed looks like. You are taking your statistics from another source? That’s great journalism.

  18. As a former resident of the Sunshine State, can only say that within the listed criteria, this article hits the nail squarely on the head. There are some fine places to live here year around, but to ignore or mock this list just makes one worthy of the ‘Floriduh Resident’ label.

  19. Nick…that’s a photo of me giving the thumbs down in the hyperlink to this article…we should chat.

  20. The State of Florida has horrible education for the kids. The types of jobs are mostly service industry related so the income of residents that are working age suck. There isn’t any trickle down economics with the wealthy retired people. I’ve lived here half of my life & I’m not impressed at the quality of life. The weather is great, beautiful beaches are beautiful. I have wanted to move to where there is better jobs, better people and younger thinkers…

  21. Have lived in Central FL and the West Coast, ,Palm Harbor, Countryside area and they are far better than Central Florida ANY DAY, hands down! Had a business, did well; St Cloud, went broke with a GREAT Deli!

  22. As a native Floridan for most of my 71 years and having traveled this state from end to end and side to side I can honestly say that this survey is woefully out of touch with the real Florida. I currently divide my time between Daytona Beach (my birthplace) and Palm Coast and can attest to the quality of life in both and it’s no where near as bad as described. However, statistical analysis can be bent to say pretty much anything you want so the argument is not with the survey’s statistics but how they are presented to draw conclusions. Certainly there are places and areas of the state that no one in their right mind would want to call home but statistically they are just fine and the reverse is also true; supposedly fine places that you wouldn’t catch me in any time of the day or especially night.

    This gets a BIG thumbs down from this old Florida cracker.

  23. Warrington? Warrington is a SUBURB NEIGHBORHOOD in Pensacola. You people are idiots and your list is made of the stuff that comes out the hind end of a bull.

  24. Fort Pierce resident here. Any writer that cites Wikipedia as a reliable source to back up an argument needs to go back to high school.

  25. Fort Pierce is a congenial small town. Some shops, the Courts, lawyers offices and restaurants are in the quaint area of its downtown. The rest of Fort Pierce is dangerous and ugly. West of US 1, leaves a lot to be desired.

  26. The education formulas must not be taking into account charter schools. For instance, Four Corners and Poinciana have some of the best charter schools in the state, consistently scoring high grades year after year.

  27. The fact that Jacksonville is so far down on the list as far as crime is proof positive that this “survey” is a complete joke. Also, do ya think that maybe the unemployment rate that you tout for Palm Coast might have something to do with the fact that the vast majority of residents are retired? If you want a good laugh then read this list. If you want facts I’m afraid you will have to look elsewhere.

  28. Bet this kid isn’t even from Florida. This list is totally inaccurate an uninformative. How is Daytona, NPR, and New Symerna worse off than Riviera Beach??

  29. I’m from New York and now live in Kissimmee. I can safely say they should be number 1on this list! There are nice areas, but most of the residents live in hotels due to the fact that tourism is first and foremost here. Most people are working in the restaurant or hospitality industries and get less hours when tourism slows down. The lack of affordable housing has everyone flocking to the “projects”. The hotels and motels along US 192 which are drug and crime infested. Poiciana is a step up for Kissimmee residents that come into Tax money or have one of those bs invasive programs help them out of their misery. The education system inn Osceola county is really not that, there’s too many pedophiles. Osceola county sheriff’s office always in and out of the hotels and arrest for everything!!!!!

  30. While I respect the opinions of all contributors, it appears to this observer, that most of the negative conclusions drawn, seem to be crime and unemployment driven, with some city/state bureaucracy issues tossed in for good measure. (And rightfully so…) However, are not these problems, at least to some degree, existent in most of our cities? What about the positive aspects of our cities? My feeling is, that to take the negative data generated from the so called “fact finding” discovery group, no doubt authoring this piece, and essentially relegating these 10 cities to little more than the “arm pit” of Florida, is a mis-characterization of gargantuan proportions. Furthermore, to use these dubious findings to be the determining basis for the launching or dissolving of a school, church or business is not to be considered responsible, in my judgment. Since we all deserve an opinion, mine is that this report, blatantly portraying these ten cities as the “worst places to live in Florida,” should be reexamined, factually, and until such a credible report can be offered, this article we are referring too, should remain suspect.

  31. There is no “worst place” in Florida to live. It’s Florida, a bug infested hotbox of crap.The entire state is the worst place to live.

  32. We love Fort Pierce! The crime is localized in certain parts of town like any other American city. You have great beaches, folksy people and great culture. The sunrise theatre is a real gem. The Saturday markets are great! The Friday night festivals.

    You have a small town feel without all the stress and traffic of bigger cities.

    We also love the parish community of St. Anastasia.

  33. Meanwhile, other more credible sources are ranking New Smyrna Beach on their lists of “Florida’s Hidden Gems.”

  34. People are seriously defending Palatka??? It is a wonder that this joke of a town is not number 1 by a landslide. My daughter was born here and this is where I will remain for the next 13 years. That is ALL that could ever keep me here in this dump. The first thing we do when I get her every weekend is LEAVE this town…

    I really don’t even know where to start. Drugs, meth labs, unemployment, crime, poverty, nothing here for the kids, babies making babies, so and so on…

    Let’s not forget this lovely county is also home of the number 1 Aids per capita rate in the NATION…

    P.S. I was called into work xmas day then robbed that night by a man with a submachine gun w/banana clip… and forever that is what I will think of during holidays…

    Great Place for a family!!! right….

  35. With Belle Glade at 96 and Interlachen not even on the list, I place no validity on this… two worst places in FL hands down and I have lived here my whole life

  36. New Port Richey, north into Hudson, Spring Hill (referred to as Sink Hill) and Hernando County are referred to as the 3rd World Coast. It is a Mecca for physicians from the mid-east, India and DO’s educated in other non-US countries. They do not assimilate, they do not coordinate a patients care. Medicine at its worst. Poor, very poor. Religious extreamism and bigotry abound. Sink holes cover the area. Don’t move here.

  37. I have lived in Haines city all my life. If there is a murder in Haines city, that is the highlight of the month! Have you checked out Lakeland? They have the worst crime in Polk count, and it is nothing compared to other Florida cities like Miami or Tampa or Orlando! Outside of Disney world, most of Orlando is a ghetto! Did you know Haines city hosts one of the best fireworks show for the 4th in Central Florida?? And we host the ironman event every year?? I wouldn’t trade my old quiet hick town for the big city ever.

  38. There is no good place to live in that god awful state. There are 3 kinds of people living in FL: Those who are born there who will never leave, those who were remanded there or HAVE to live there (for legal reasons), and those who have emigrated from NY, NJ, and PA to, ultimately, die there (sorry Grandma).
    Whenever there is an F-ed up headline in the news, 95.4% of the time, it happened in FL…the other 4.6%, it happened in Ohio.
    The state should be floated away off of the mainland and made an island so that more of the Georgia coast gets opened up for beach line; same with Alabama.
    If you live in FL and you lay claim that it is not as awful as people say, just check out the web site ‘Florida Man’…you too will eventually realize that your state does indeed suck and offers no redeeming qualities.

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