Florida, the Sunshine State. Its nickname certainly rings true as this is one of the sunniest states in the country, making it a popular place to live, but Florida is not without its bad weather too! Known around the globe as the home of Walt Disney World, the Kennedy Space Center, the Everglades, and bustling cities like Miami, Jacksonville, and Orlando, Florida is a great place to visit, but how is it for living? We’ve ranked the top 10 largest cities in Florida according to their livability, using ratings for crime, cost of living, amenities, education, employment, weather, and housing. Here’s how they rank:
Miami has the largest metropolitan area in Florida, but as a city it is second largest in the state. Known for its great weather, a wealth of amenities, and a stable housing market, Miami only comes in as the 10th best city in Florida because of its high crime index, high cost of living, poor education, and a fairly high unemployment rate.
Located in Metro-Dade County, the city of Hialeah is the sixth largest city in the state and home to around 225,000 people. Hialeah is the ninth best place to live in Florida, and has a very similar livability score to that of Miami. Unemployment is slightly lower here, and there’s a little less crime, but the schools are not good, and the cost of living is high.
Florida’s capital, and seventh largest city, is Tallahassee. Set in the north of the state, Tallahassee ranks highly for amenities, weather, and a stable housing market, and has the best schools out of all the cities on our list. A bad crime index keeps Tallahassee from ranking any higher than eighth best city in Florida.
7. Fort Lauderdale
Known as the Venice of America for its extensive canal system, Fort Lauderdale is an attractive city and popular tourist destination 23 miles north of Miami. Excellent access to amenities, great weather, above average employment, and a slightly lower cost of living are offset by the high crime index.
Florida’s third largest city is on the Gulf of Mexico and is known for its vibrant cultural scene. Tampa is the sixth best city in Florida, and earned this accolade thanks to a very low cost of living, great amenities, sunny weather, and a stable housing market. A lower crime index and underperforming schools stops Tampa from being higher on the list.
The fifth best city in Florida, and the fifth largest city, is Orlando. The Theme Park Capital of the World is home to around 238,000 people and has average unemployment rates, a low cost of living, great amenities, and average schools, but falls short on crime.
4. St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is the fourth largest city in Florida. Fondly known as St Pete, the city has a very low cost of living, and a stable housing market. This along with the numerous amenities, average unemployment, and average schools puts it as the fourth best city in Florida. The bad crime rating is the only real downside to the city.
For a large city, Jacksonville ranks very high on our list as the third best city in Florida. The crime index is better than Miami, St. Pete, Tallahassee, and Orlando, and a low cost of living helps to increase Jacksonville’s score too. Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida, and it’s in the north east of the state.
2. Pembroke Pines
Source: Flickr user emsolo
Though the cost of living is high in Pembroke Pines, this city in Broward County scores favorably in all other departments: better than average crime index, schools, and employment, and weather typical of South Florida all make Pembroke Pines the second best city in Florida.
1.Port St. Lucie
Source: Flickr user baseballoogie
Port St. Lucie is the best city in Florida! Home to around 155,000 residents, it’s the ninth largest city in the state. Port St Lucie takes the number one spot thanks to having the best crime rating among all ten cities. It also has a low cost of living, average schools and unemployment rates, and good access to amenities too.
Image Sources: Wikipedia