These Are The 10 Worst Cities In Florida For 2017


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

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2017.

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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. Pahokee (Photos)
  2. Opa-Locka (Photos)
  3. Fort Pierce (Photos)
  4. Cocoa (Photos)
  5. Belle Glade (Photos)
  6. Palatka (Photos)
  7. Avon Park (Photos)
  8. Homestead (Photos)
  9. Lauderdale Lakes (Photos)
  10. Fellsmere (Photos)

What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case. We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.

However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2017.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

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How we determined the worst places to live in Florida for 2017

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
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 204 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 204 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score”.

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score” with the lowest score being the worst city in Florida — Pahokee. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Florida.

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

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1. Pahokee

Pahokee, Florida

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,003
Home Values: $79,100 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 34.2% (1st worst)
When you’re looking at science and data, Pahokee is by far the worst place you can live in Florida. Let’s see why.

The unemployment rate in Pahokee is 34.2%. In terms of comparing Florida cities to one another, that’s the 1st highest in the state.

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And while a lot of folks in Pahokee are out of work, the ones who have jobs earn $27,348 a year, which doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room. And the crime in Pahokee is the 69th highest in the state, where 1 in 29.9 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers. That’s really high.

2. Opa-Locka


Population: 16,139
Home Values: $99,000 (31st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (56th worst)
Now we can get to some actual cities that might have some normal numbers. In this case, Opa-Locka ranks high mainly due to the low economic numbers. Homes are the 31st cheapest in the state here at$99,000. Say what you want about low cost of living. What the data says is that cheaper homes means less demand. And there isn’t a lot of demand to live in Opa-Locka.

The median income levels here are the 1st lowest in the state of Florida, at $18,134. Crime is above average, but not horrible like some of the cities we’ll talk about in a minute. And almost 11.5% of people in Opa-Locka were without jobs according to the latest numbers.

3. Fort Pierce

Fort Pierce, Florida

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 43,267
Home Values: $85,900 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.5% (11th worst)
If you’re looking for a sunny town where it’s dangerous and people don’t have jobs, then Fort Pierce is your place.

The mid-sized city just south of Vero Beach has an unemployment rate that’s nearly twice the national average, and is in the top 10 percentile for crime in Florida.

Additionally, Fort Pierce has one of the lowest student-teacher ratios in Florida, meaning the kids aren’t getting as much attention as in other cities of its size.

4. Cocoa

Cocoa, Florida

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,339
Home Values: $94,900 (25th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.2% (14th worst)
This may or may not be a surprise to you, but Cocoa is the 7th most dangerous city in Florida. For such a small city, there are an astounding number of property crimes. Residents here have a 1 in 12.9 chance of being the victim of some sort of robbery when within city limits every year. That’s lots of stolen cell phones, guns, snowmobiles and lobster traps.

Besides the crime, there are a few other factors why Cocoa might be one of the worst places to live. The home values here are pretty cheap. Why is that not a good thing? Because the salaries of people working in Cocoa are really low. People here earn about $30,517 a year per household.

Additionally, the public schools in Cocoa are some of the lowest funded in the state.

When all is said and done, you could find much more desirable places to live in Florida than in Cocoa.

5. Belle Glade

Belle Glade, Florida

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,950
Home Values: $94,800 (24th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.1% (6th worst)
Belle Glade doesn’t have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 18.1%, and people average less than $30,303 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $94,800, which is very low, and crime in the worst 10% in Florida.

And again, in terms of the overall ‘enjoyment’ factor, it’s not easy to find fun on a Friday night.

6. Palatka

Palatka, Florida

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,414
Home Values: $78,600 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.3% (7th worst)
Palatka has almost every other city in Florida beat when it comes to crime, as only 20 other cities in the entire state have a worse crime index. According to Wikipedia, Palatka has been hit by a loss of automobile and a surge big box retail jobs has taken a toll on the city’s economic landscape.

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Palatka is on the St. John’s River, about an hour’s drive east of Gainesville.

7. Avon Park

Avon Park, Florida

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,974
Home Values: $62,200 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.0% (3rd worst)
Sure, it’s in a beautiful area, and there’s lots of culture, especially in terms of music. But, if you’re measuring desirability, it’s the 7th worst in Florida.

Avon Park residents had a 1 in 19.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime. Meaning lots of stolen laptops, cell phones and sports jerseys.

The unemployment rate in Avon Park is through the roof, as more than 20.0% of the population can’t get a job. At least their mortgages aren’t too high; at $62,200, Avon Park has the 2nd-lowest home prices in the state of Florida.

8. Homestead

Homestead, Florida

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 64,676
Home Values: $116,400 (57th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.2% (40th worst)
Homestead ranks as the 8th worst city in Florida. Located in Miami-Dade County, Homestead has the 69th lowest income levels in the state of Florida ($40,959), and some of the lowest number of doctors in the state. Crime is above average, and the unemployment rate is 12.2%.

9. Lauderdale Lakes

Lauderdale Lakes, Florida

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 34,103
Home Values: $90,900 (20th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.9% (4th worst)
Here in Lauderdale Lakes, you have some of the highest crime and the highest unemployment rates in Florida. That’s not a good combination.

Located in Broward County, you have a 1 in 22.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime when inside Lauderdale Lakes city limits every year. Some of those crimes might be due to the relatively high unemployment rate (18.9%). That’s good for the 4th highest unemployment rate in Florida.

10. Fellsmere

Fellsmere, Florida

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,390
Home Values: $73,600 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.6% (15th worst)
Welcome to Fellsmere, which might be one of the poorest areas in Florida. Residents average $25,132 a year in combined income, which is right at the poverty line. In fact, 42.0% of Fellsmere residents live below the poverty level.

Homes here go for an average of $73,600 and the unemployment rate hovers near 14.6%.

Wrapping Up The Worst In Florida

If you’re looking at areas in Florida with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Pahokee ranks as the worst city to live in Florida for 2017.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Florida:

  1. Key Biscayne (Pop. 12,888)
  2. Palm Beach (Pop. 8,418)
  3. Lighthouse Point (Pop. 10,842)

Now, check out the 10 Most White Trash Cities in Florida!

Or, for more Florida reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Florida

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Pahokee 6,003 34.2% $79,100
2 Opa-Locka 16,139 11.5% $99,000
3 Fort Pierce 43,267 15.5% $85,900
4 Cocoa 17,339 15.2% $94,900
5 Belle Glade 17,950 18.1% $94,800
6 Palatka 10,414 17.3% $78,600
7 Avon Park 9,974 20.0% $62,200
8 Homestead 64,676 12.2% $116,400
9 Lauderdale Lakes 34,103 18.9% $90,900
10 Fellsmere 5,390 14.6% $73,600
11 Quincy 7,947 14.4% $102,400
12 Brooksville 7,752 18.9% $48,200
13 Palm Springs 21,832 13.1% $86,900
14 Daytona Beach 62,726 11.7% $112,000
15 North Miami 62,042 11.8% $143,400
16 Holly Hill 11,726 13.6% $75,600
17 Lake Worth 36,403 11.8% $139,600
18 Live Oak 6,920 10.7% $84,200
19 Arcadia 7,704 13.7% $71,300
20 Sebring 10,371 12.9% $82,400
21 Lauderhill 69,979 14.4% $98,600
22 Leesburg 21,209 14.4% $108,300
23 West Park 14,779 14.5% $121,700
24 Pembroke Park 6,244 7.2% $69,700
25 Sanford 56,170 12.4% $102,300
26 Kissimmee 65,422 10.2% $119,900
27 Greenacres 38,840 11.3% $107,000
28 New Port Richey 15,260 10.7% $65,500
29 Miami Gardens 112,021 15.3% $129,800
30 Deltona 86,418 9.9% $106,600
31 North Miami Beach 43,489 12.9% $149,000
32 Perry 7,058 16.3% $76,800
33 Hallandale Beach 38,725 13.0% $151,600
34 Starke 5,401 12.2% $88,500
35 Miami 424,632 10.9% $224,600
36 Clewiston 7,240 7.3% $106,900
37 Fort Myers 68,472 11.2% $146,800
38 Sweetwater 20,739 8.8% $108,100
39 Fort Meade 5,824 13.7% $67,800
40 Lake Park 8,376 11.2% $138,900
41 Defuniak Springs 5,543 6.6% $109,800
42 Marianna 8,860 23.0% $94,500
43 Pompano Beach 104,741 12.4% $156,200
44 Auburndale 14,281 10.6% $118,700
45 Ocala 57,209 12.1% $116,600
46 Dania Beach 30,878 12.2% $160,100
47 Lake Wales 14,929 16.3% $105,900
48 Inverness 7,184 12.8% $86,600
49 Winter Haven 35,835 12.0% $98,000
50 Lantana 10,910 12.0% $110,100
51 Lake Alfred 5,213 13.2% $98,100
52 Riviera Beach 33,445 14.0% $131,500
53 Titusville 44,363 11.8% $90,500
54 North Lauderdale 42,853 10.6% $105,300
55 Okeechobee 5,566 7.2% $106,700
56 Eustis 19,198 11.1% $111,600
57 Zephyrhills 14,275 11.1% $86,900
58 Deland 28,524 10.0% $152,800
59 Bartow 18,094 9.9% $94,400
60 Springfield 9,186 7.3% $95,600
61 Orlando 256,738 9.0% $160,500
62 Mascotte 5,267 5.0% $103,800
63 Green Cove Springs 7,054 12.3% $133,600
64 Palmetto 12,973 5.8% $109,300
65 Hialeah 234,714 11.8% $156,000
66 West Palm Beach 103,588 9.7% $186,300
67 Oakland Park 43,347 11.7% $154,700
68 Boynton Beach 71,530 11.9% $137,600
69 Debary 19,547 8.2% $152,400
70 Bradenton 51,811 10.0% $127,800
71 Lakeland 101,302 11.0% $108,000
72 Melbourne 78,012 10.2% $116,100
73 Jacksonville 846,951 10.3% $136,400
74 Stuart 16,037 12.0% $113,100
75 Palm Bay 105,212 11.3% $102,400
76 Casselberry 26,663 11.7% $102,000
77 Fort Lauderdale 173,570 11.1% $255,600
78 Hialeah Gardens 23,092 8.1% $147,400
79 South Daytona 12,343 12.5% $112,200
80 Largo 79,737 10.4% $92,300
81 Deerfield Beach 78,227 10.1% $111,400
82 Tallahassee 187,024 12.4% $177,900
83 Apopka 45,801 9.0% $156,100
84 Pinellas Park 50,433 7.2% $109,300
85 Hollywood 146,791 10.3% $181,700
86 Bonita Springs 47,915 7.7% $240,000
87 Port St. Lucie 172,054 12.6% $137,100
88 St. Augustine 13,676 7.7% $212,600
89 St. Cloud 41,502 10.9% $120,500
90 Margate 55,678 11.7% $124,300
91 Callaway 14,760 10.3% $139,300
92 Gainesville 127,559 9.1% $141,500
93 Sarasota 53,583 10.3% $169,100
94 Miami Beach 91,564 5.1% $383,800
95 Milton 9,276 15.3% $101,400
96 Longwood 13,848 12.4% $149,600
97 Palm Coast 79,297 9.3% $159,300
98 Groveland 9,931 8.7% $140,100
99 Marathon 8,563 6.6% $331,200
100 Tavares 14,608 9.6% $97,800
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102 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Cities In Florida For 2017

  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.

      1. I live on the Island and it’s not bad at all. The problem is all the ghetto garbage west of the tracks. They’ll spill over into downtown at night but rarely make it over the bridge.
        Not much you can do about it though. As they say, “Nigs gonna Nig”.

  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)

    2. Nathan you must not have really paid much mind in Daytona lol go drive around more it’s a trash dump filled with crack and gangsters and white trash dope heads.. Palm coast is filled with the same plus old people paltaka is a meth lab the place is pure garbage filled with drugs go drive around the projects in bunnell lol you do not know what your saying its pure garbage that way in most city’s holly hill haha how about Daytona north aka the mondex) you do not know what your saying

      1. Palm Coast is a beautiful city. What is wrong with old people anyway? There are plenty of young families living there. The gangsters and dope heads come from the seedy areas listed above, but never last. This happens everywhere.

  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!

    1. You’re so wrong about New Smyrna Beach. I thought it was great when we first moved to Florida until being robbed twice by crack heads. Take a better look.

  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.

      1. Lakewood Park area….We are looking into buying a house there and while we were there last month from Texas, someone called the cops on us because we were driving around the neighborhood slowly. This actually made us feel better knowing that people keep their eye out for suspiciously activities. The few neighbors we spoke with were very nice and all the yards and homes seemed to be kept up. So what are we missing here? Even the police we spoke with said they didn’t have much trouble in the area. What kind of crime is there in your area Audrey?

    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.

    1. “If you don’t like it here just move.” Just like that, right? So easy to do. Especially for “A lot of homeless people”.

    2. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “If you don’t like it here, then move.” in New Port Richey/Port Richey/Holiday/Hudson (all the same). My response was always “Pay me what I paid for my house and reimburse me for everything that’s been stolen from me or shut your trap.” This entire area is a total disaster. If you are planning to move to West Pasco county, all I can do is say do your research first and advise against it in the strongest terms possible. Hookers, drug dealers, homelessness, crime, abandoned homes and stores, and corrupt local government is all you will find. When I finally did sell my house, it felt wrong not telling the buyers what they were getting into but it is up to you to fully investigate any community you may be considering moving to. If you have children, it should be considered abuse to move them there. At least my 13 year old can identify a hooker at 100 yards. So proud.

      1. I agree with all of the above statements. Add to this the countless number of HOAs that should not be in existence (due to MRTA / Expired restrictions) and you have all that Pasco County has to offer. You not only have to watch your back where you choose to work, and where to raise your family, but you also have to fight to keep your neighbors from taking your house from under you!

  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.

    1. Yes, that was a glaring mistake used throughout the article. It served to make me discount most of the other assertions of the author. Also, high education spending demonstrably does NOT equal higher educational outcomes. If that were so, DC would be full of Ph.D’s rather than gang-bangers and drop-outs.

  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.

    1. I hope you’re enjoying life where you are now, because absolutely no one misses your kind when one of you bitter malcontents leaves. Please, never come back.

  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.

    1. ANDY as a 71 year old YOU are out of touch. You most likely do not bike around town , like folks getting a workout , therefor you are NOT exposed to crime! and having been knocked off your bike….also there are ALOT OF DRUNKS in DAYTONA !!! You shuffle yourself around in a truck ..most likely and shop at PUBLIX where the prices are higher than that of the crime infested WALMART on lets say BEVILLE ROAD.
      The fact that you LIVE here and for a long time tells me what I already know,
      YOU KNOW NO BETTER !!!!!!! That is what is called “FLORIDA CRACKER” that does not know any better!

      1. It’s “know” better, and it’s pretty clear that you don’t. Also, consider laying off the capital letters. It doesn’t make us pay more attention to your rant.

  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??

    1. because when you LIVE in area such as DAYTONA BEACH you will understand that the EVERYONE nearly lives on WELFARE DISABILITY or A LOW PAYING PART TIME SHIT JOB (and that is the educated who are working part time as well!)

      THE COMMUNITY LACKS CULTURE IT IS A MAGNET FOR TRANSIENTS
      and THEREFOR IS A HOLE.

  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 great..plus, 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. Cocoa Beach is a dirty beach town with ignorant residents. Many properties are un-kept and people love to have their dogs poop in neighbors yards. Semi nice place to visit, but do not move here. There is very little entertainment for vacationers or residents. Zero programs for seniors.

  37. I would like to clarify my above statement and add that I lived beachside in the older section of Cocoa Beach. Lots of renters there that didn’t care about the properties. I recently moved to a condo in Orlando and now I have no people or dog worries and lots of things to do.

  38. To clarify my above comment, I lived beachside in the older section of Cocoa Beach where there are lots of renters. I recently moved to Orlando where I no longer have people or dog worries and there is lots to do.

  39. LOL! Great article Nick! I’m a 55 year old Florida native, along with my parents, grandparents, etc., being Florida natives. I’ve been all over the state, currently residing temporarily in Palatka #2 on the list, living on the St. John’s River. I must agree with you!!! 🙂

  40. some people just dont understand there going by income crime and population so if theres more people there has to be the same % of crime or whatever the stats say one city might only have 15,000 people with say 1,500 get arrested so thats 10% and if a city has 100,000 people in order to get at 10% 10,000 people need to get arrest thats just an example i dont care where i live or where its ranked port richey is just fine other then the bitches that live next door house payments are cheap and ins. and house taxes as well and my wife also does pretty good other then its boring and have to drive to go somewhere fun with the kids port richey isnt so bad

    1. You must never leave your house to think Port Richey is anything but a disaster. Boring? If all the strip clubs, gun shops, pawn shops, tattoo parlors, and liquor stores don’t provide you with enough entertainment, then a quick ride through town will reveal all the prostitutes and meth/crack/pain pill dealers you will need to round out your party. Also, I forgot to mention the schools but you kinda have that one covered with your post, assuming you are a product of the school system there, which at least appears to be the case.

  41. what this say is that people are destroying the beauty of our cities and envierment. if we move to the moon, the crime rate will go up and the trash will fill the place.. we are sadly becoming filthy animals.

  42. I’ve been many places and I can say I love palm coast. The crime is low in most parts and the cost of living is cheap.. What more do you want? You can buy a beautiful home for less than 150,000.

  43. I will however like to agree Daytona beach is a filthy place.. Crime is bad and you can always find a lady of the night on every corner.
    I lived there for a few years.. Grew up in ormond beach (really nice town) right next door.
    Can’t imagine how hard the law enforcement works to keep out the bad

  44. Deltona is definitely horrible cause it’s nothing but a huge subdivision and trying to find a job locally is ridiculous. Plus most businesses that are there is mostly family owned or chain companies that are greedy want experiences to lazy to train anyone where even myself at age 26 can’t find one. I been trying to find one since I was 16. It’s a you have to know someone or deal where’s that’s unfair for others.

  45. @Jay; The work situation has *always* been deplorable in Florida, except for a few select fields, and the pay scale has always been grossly substandard compared to the same Northern jobs. Now the job situation is bad everywhere in America, due to corporate outsourcing. These are tough times to be young in. As a 65 year old living on a modest social security check, I have to admit that these are tough times for young people. I don’t envy you, and I don’t mind saying, this looks like a good time to be going out rather than coming in, on multiple levels. That may sound a bit extreme, but that’s how I see it, and I have 65 years of live experience to reinforce that point of view. Good luck. I hope your generation can turn it around, but it doesn’t look good.

  46. This is the stupidest out of touch article I have ever read.I live in Palm Coast and it’s a very nice area and very safe never see or hear of anything bad and it isn’t a big city it’s the newest city in the U.S. also article says that Palatka Fl. is a high crime area.that’s total nonsense, all that’s in palatka is farmland and very low crime.whoever the person”s” are that wrote this must be on drugs and hilucinating its such a joke.

    1. You must be blind.. it definitely was nice, and it does have some nice spots. But its turning into a ghetto. Moved to NSB, it’s a million times better. I will always have a soft spot for pc, but it’s better days are in the history books…

  47. I was shown this list and laughed. I live in Palm Coast and if you never been there you are missing a Gem of a city…. But please continue to think its a bad place to live. I don’t want any new neighbors, it’s perfect the way it is..

  48. Bear in mind that one man’s dumpster is another man’s deli. Most of Florida is no longer the paradise it once was, and how one perceives it is relative to what one is conditioned to. Obviously, most folks from places like New York or New Jersey (for example) aren’t going to be fazed by things like the exponentially growing over-population, endless miles of solid cement permanently replacing what was once green, beautiful and natural, grueling traffic, multiple light cycles, and the likes. In fact, they must like it, because they’re not happy just to move here, they have to bring all that noise with them. SO. This list would make a lot more sense if were ‘The10 Worst STATES to live in’. Because the real Florida, once one of the most beautiful places in the country to live, and a truly “affordable paradise” is disappearing at an alarming rate – like the old song, ‘They Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot’. And the worst part of it is, when it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Quibbling over which parts are “better” or “worse” is pretty much moot at this point. All that said, your mileage may vary. You might be one of those people who wouldn’t know the difference. After all, you can’t miss what you’ve never had.

  49. For whatever reason, Florida is becoming the dumping ground for America’s trash. I used to say that NY dumped all their trash in NJ but now I see it all ends up here eventually. I live in horrible Holiday. Pasco County is the biggest collection of white trash on the planet. I call it Trashco County. It seems like the Florida counterpart to the Statue of Liberty would be a disheveled dreg with a case of beer in one arm and the other holding up a drug syringe or a joint of marijuana. The motto” “Send me your unemployed, your brain-dead, your drug-addicted masses yearning to inhale. The wretched refuse of your teaming slums. Send these, the homeless criminal class to me, I lift my roach beside the broken door!”

    Florida is definitely a sunny state for shady people. The seediest lowlife humanity inhabits this state.

  50. If Margate is better than Key West shoot me …anyone in Key West will trade his house for my place in Margate please stand up..

  51. i lived in south to central Florida and when i visited new Smyrna beach i thought it was a very nice pretty town dont understand why its on the list you also mention homestead without even putting it on the list that is one of the worst places i have passed thru

  52. new port richey is the only west coast place you have on the list Tampa is the strip club capital of the world and fort Myers has the worst trashy beach and awful crime

  53. so what areas in FL are good to live in? I am looking for an area with more than 1 acre, like the country side or beach no city…and low crime but I get conflicting information online. It seems if someone says this place is good, another says “OMG you will be raped three times in 30 minutes if you step out of your house after 3 pm” ha
    Seriously any advice from you floridians?

  54. Suzi, come to Lakeland. We have a wonderful sheriff who is serious about fighting crime. Lakeland is beautiful and you will love it! Halfway in between Tampa and Disney – there’s plenty to do within a short driving distance.

  55. Poinciana is mostly Hispanics and illegal alien Hispanics….it’s a high crime area and I can’t believe the upper 40,000 median income.
    Deltona is about 50% Hispanic and illegal Hispanic residents….dangerous drivers and vandalism/ burglaries are rising with each NYC POS ghetto dweller moving there.
    Pine Hills is a black town where shootings happen all the time.
    Florida used to be a gem but with overdevelopment it is rapidly becoming a Spanish speaking third world state.
    Miami is Lil Havana and no more needs to be said about that.

    1. There is a lot more to be said such as: What make you think you no that most of the Hispanic are illegal,most of the people there are Hispanic and what % is Hispanic. white town shoots just as well and are even more

  56. North Palm Beach not the best place to live under the sun.
    This village is run by simple minded people.
    The code enforcement is a gestapo organization.
    Don’t think about doing anything to your home without a permit.
    I mean anything not even a sprinkler to water a shrub.
    A neighbor can call and make any allegation and the storm troopers will be at your door before the neighbor hangs up the phone.
    I finally sold my place and got out of this hell hole, I can breath now.

  57. My father’s crappy job in the FAA got my family trapped in the Daytona Beach area after the insanely racist and crappy people at the Daytona control tower drove him to a nervous breakdown with their endless abuse and psychological sabotage.

    I could go on and on about how unfathomably mean and crappy Volusia County in general is, but let me just say that it’s such shit that TWO of the towns in this list — Daytona AND New Smyrna Beach — are both in Volusia, but this article neglects to mention that. It also neglects to mention that not only does Volusia County have the highest suicide rate in the state, but its crappy and sadistic local government has in recent years gotten in the malicious mood to violate all previous agreements of Baker Act confidentiality and begin posting Baker Act records of individuals on their public records website, even while the words “NON-PUBLIC” still appear right at the top of each of them.

    With my family having been stuck here since 1984, the only good thing I’ve noticed about Volusia County is its school system — Volusia County Schools does one hell of a job, considering what it has to work with, given the eternal nastiness of the people and the local government. It is literally the only ray of light in this Biff Tannen’s alternate universe dystopia of Back to the Future Part II.

    If you’re reading this and you’re considering moving to Daytona Beach, let me warn you ahead of time: Daytona is the kind of place that not only sucks, but it saps your energy, cripples your spirit and wrecks your life so badly that you get trapped here, unable to leave until you possibly retire — that is, if you work for the school board or goernment here and thereby even get a retirement.

    So if NASCAR, the beach, and unfathomably hard-hearted and mean-spirited people (mostly German) are your thing, move here and be as happy as a pig in its own filth. But if you’re not into the whole gratuitously nasty, biker-bad-ass culture of pawn shops, bail bondsmen, tattoo shops, and endlessly having to make a vulgar show of how tough you are, avoid this county like it has the Black Plague because it will ruin your life and, if you have a family, theirs too.

    1. I HAVE TO AGREE WITH WHAT YOU WROTE ….
      ONLY THE IGNORANT OR SOMEONE WITH INTERESTS* . WOULD ARGUE OTHERWISE.

      SHIT HOLE DAYTONA.

      I OFTEN GO AWAY AND SEE WHEN I COME BACK

  58. Just took a look at the entire list… The list claims that Jacksonville is better to live in than St.Augustine. Not once in my life have I ever come across someone who prefers Jacksonville over St. Augustine. I’m calling this list bullshit.

  59. After coming back from visiting the gulf coast places such as SARASOTA
    and CLEARWATER beach
    it confirmed that DAYTONA is being RUINED by the AFRICAN COMMUNITY which A SHIT the place has become…… DAYTONA BEACH is a shit hole now have been here 20 years and after KATRINA it went DOWN.

    We drove back into town by BEVILLE WALMART and it was CLEAR
    THAT THIS IS A SHIT HOLE NOW .

    GO SEE FOR YOURSELF GO ELSEWHERE you will see .

    DAYTONA IS CRIME RIDDEN

  60. There’s an error in this analysis: “Additionally, Fort Pierce has one of the lowest student-teacher ratios in Florida, meaning the kids aren’t getting as much attention as in other cities of its size.”

    No, a LOW student-teacher ratio means that there are relatively fewer students per teacher than average. That means kids get more attention than in other comparable cities. A HIGH student-teacher ratio would mean more students per teacher. LOW student-teacher ratios are a benefit. Please rewrite this section.

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