These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Florida


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

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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. 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. Or check out the best places to live in Florida.

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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.

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1. Fort Pierce

worst places in florida

Source: DelsJourney.com

Population: 42,350
Unemployment rate: 9.6%
Median income: $27,719
Crime index: Worst 10%

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.

2. Palatka

worst places in florida

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,572
Education spending: Bottom third in Florida
Median income: $21,156
Crime index: Almost the worst in the state

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.

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

3. Four Corners

worst places in florida

Source: Trulia.com

Population: 27,164
Education: Bottom third in state
Median income: $48,140
Crime index: Worst 10%
Four Corners, about a 30 minute drive southwest of Orlando, is actually a census designated place, not an actual city per se. The fact that it seems to be a quiet, mostly gated community is noticeable. Its unemployment rate is significantly lower than the cities listed above, and its residents make double the income than in Fort Pierce.

However, with really high crime, low student-teacher ratios and one of the highest home vacancy rates in Florida, Four Corners ranks as the third-worst place to live in the state.

4. Florida City

worst places in florida

Source: Google maps

Population: 42,350
Unemployment rate: 6.6%
Median income: $27,719
Crime index: Worst 10%

Florida City, a Miami suburb just south of Homestead, has a very low household income and some of the worst crime in the state of Florida. Its education spending is about average for cities its size in Florida.

However, if sunshine matters to overall happiness levels, Florida City is towards the top with the number of sunny days per year.

5. Haines City

worst places in florida

Source: Google maps

Population: 11,313
Commute time: Worst 30%
Median income: $25,917
Crime index: Worst 10% in Florida

Low household income and above average crime are the major bad factors for Haines City, which is located about 30 minutes south of Kissimmee, directly in the middle of the state.

  These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Florida

With one of the highest student-teacher spending ratios in Florida, Haines City has something going for it, though. Its unemployment rate is somewhat average for Florida, but still relatively high when compared to the rest of the nation.

6. Daytona Beach

worst places in florida

Source: Flickr user Ann Alto

Population: 61,779
Unemployment: 6.1%
Median income: $28,963
Crime index: Worst 5% in Florida

Daytona Beach has a problem with crime, as most people who live there will tell you. The city is ranked almost dead last in terms of safety for a city of its size.

The city, which is one of the biggest destinations for motor racing enthusiasts in the nation, has something positive going for it – its education system is ranked higher than almost all other cities in the state.

7. New Smyrna Beach

worst places in florida

Source: Pinterest

Population: 22,658
Unemployment: 5.7%
Median income: $49,070
Crime index: Worst 30% in Florida

Statistically, New Smyrna isn’t all that bad, but across the board, it’s either average or below average in some of the more important categories, such as unemployment rates, household income, and crime.

Tourists don’t seem to pay heed to the issues in New Smyrna Beach, as it has been ranked as one of the best beach towns in America many times. However, the number of out-of-towners who flock here has created a traffic nightmare, and might be part of the reason for the higher crime rates.

8. New Port Richey

worst places in florida

Source: YouTube

Population: 15,113
Unemployment: 6.5%
Median income:$28,763
Crime index: Worst 30% in Florida

New Port Richey, just an hour or so north of Tampa, is the only city on this list that is on the Gulf Coast. High crime, unemployment rates and a very low household income level are the main reasons it ranks in the top 10.

9. Poinciana

worst places in florida

Source: Google maps

Population: 54,442
Unemployment: 6.1%
Median income: $42,487
Crime index: Average

Poinciana might be the largest, most under-the-radar city in Florida. Located near Haines City in the middle of the state, across the board, things aren’t so bleak for this mid-size city.

Crime is average (but not good), unemployment is about on par with state averages and income levels are middle of the road.

10. Palm Coast

worst places in florida

Source: Google maps

Population: 75,143
Unemployment: 8.3%
Median income: $47,993
Crime index: Average

The largest city on the list, Palm Coast, is located near Daytona Beach. Besides the very high unemployment numbers, across the board, Palm Coast isn’t really all that bad. It does boast some of the highest education spending in the Sunshine State, too.

Wrapping It Up

There you have it.

While some cities at the top of this list are really in bad shape, across the board, most of the cities are just below average, in comparison to one another.

If there’s a lesson learned here: There are ‘worst’ and ‘best’ cities in every state. You just need to know where to look.

We also ranked the 10 most redneck cities in Florida. Click here to read that one.

Disclaimer: This article is an opinion based on data. It should not be taken as fact.

We also wrote about the 10 best cities to live in Florida and the 10 dumbest cities in Florida. Click those links to read the stories.

Worst Places To Live In Florida, Detailed Ranking

City Population Worst Place Score Rank
Fort Pierce 42350 229.56 1
Palatka 10572 228.31 2
Four Corners 27164 215.75 3
Haines City 20531 214.63 4
Daytona Beach 61779 213.63 5
Florida City 11313 207.56 6
Poinciana 54442 204.69 7
New Smyrna Beach 22658 204.25 8
New Port Richey 15113 203.81 9
Warrington 13159 200.88 10
Shady Hills 10551 200.06 11
Palm Coast 75143 199.44 12
Kissimmee 60830 198.19 13
Ruskin 16130 194.69 14
Sanford 53299 194.06 15
Zephyrhills 13515 194 16
Winter Haven 34118 192.44 17
Hudson 11939 192.19 18
Lehigh Acres 95767 191.75 19
Fort Myers 63427 191.56 20
Cocoa 17254 191.31 21
Gladeview 10636 190.5 22
Immokalee 21682 188.56 23
Mount Dora 12445 188.5 24
Holly Hill 11730 188.13 25
Lakewood Park 11625 187.81 26
Deland 27013 187.75 27
Homosassa Springs 14034 187.19 28
Ocala 56598 186.88 29
Mango 11273 186.63 30
Thonotosassa 12729 185.5 31
Vero Beach 15505 185.44 32
Lake City 12133 185.38 33
Orange City 10653 185.25 34
Riviera Beach 32640 184.63 35
Leesburg 20463 184.31 36
Holiday 21175 183.56 37
Auburndale 13623 183.06 38
West Pensacola 19793 182.63 39
Cocoa Beach 11368 182.38 40
Lake Wales 14268 182.25 41
Elfers 13612 181.69 42
Sebring 10462 181.44 43
Gibsonton 15989 181.13 44
University (Hillsborough County) 40294 180.13 45
Port St. Lucie 163748 179.88 46
North Miami 59362 179.56 47
Jasmine Estates 18744 179.44 48
Brownsville 13795 179.06 49
Fernandina Beach 11573 178.81 50
Panama City 36153 178.19 51
Tarpon Springs 23382 178.13 52
South Daytona 12388 178.06 53
Opa-Locka 15329 175.5 54
St. Augustine 13113 175.13 55
Brent 22862 174.5 56
North Miami Beach 41938 174.06 57
Bayonet Point 23932 173.56 58
Florida Ridge 17486 173.38 59
Miami 401927 173.31 60
Jacksonville 823652 172.88 61
Palmetto 12761 172.13 62
Bartow 17422 171.94 63
Edgewater 20796 170.63 64
Eustis 18727 170.31 65
North Fort Myers 39453 169.31 66
Destin 12425 169.25 67
Titusville 43855 168.94 68
Clermont 28302 168.56 69
Lauderdale Lakes 32912 168.38 70
Cheval 10448 167.38 71
Hallandale Beach 37343 167 72
Homestead 59866 166.94 73
Palm Bay 102814 166.94 73
University (Orange County) 25925 166.31 75
Goldenrod 12000 166.19 76
East Lake-Orient Park 24177 166 77
Lady Lake 14043 165.88 78
Tavares 14011 165.44 79
Crestview 21104 164.13 80
Sunny Isles Beach 20739 163.38 81
Apollo Beach 14759 163.19 82
Plant City 34961 162.75 83
Pinewood 17371 162.63 84
Ensley 19947 162.63 84
Golden Glades 32982 162.38 86
Jacksonville Beach 21470 162.25 87
Orlando 240185 162.25 87
Sun City Center 20369 162.19 89
West Perrine 10439 162.13 90
Lake Worth 35246 161.31 91
Pine Hills 64841 160.88 92
Pompano Beach 100819 160.38 93
Wesley Chapel 43559 160.31 94
Gainesville 124981 160.06 95
Belle Glade 17597 159.75 96
Oak Ridge 20044 159.5 97
Deltona 84973 159.44 98
Leisure City 22630 159.38 99
Meadow Woods 24707 158.94 100
North Port 56148 158.94 100
Lakeland 98317 158.69 102
Debary 19246 158.44 103
Ormond Beach 38372 158.44 103
Spring Hill 99513 158.38 105
Cape Coral 155405 157.69 106
Stuart 15653 157.06 107
Tallahassee 181821 156.56 108
Key Largo 11409 156.13 109
Hobe Sound 12901 156.13 109
Vero Beach South 22356 155.56 111
Melbourne 76609 155.5 112
Tampa 339391 155.5 112
Ferry Pass 28865 154.63 114
Palm River-Clair Mel 21279 154.25 115
Casselberry 26292 154.25 115
Princeton 23725 153.94 117
Sebastian 21881 153.38 118
Delray Beach 61231 153.06 119
West Lealman 14299 152.88 120
Buenaventura Lakes 27803 152.38 121
Villas 10341 152.06 122
Myrtle Grove 16917 151.56 123
Bonita Springs 44517 150.69 124
West Palm Beach 99803 150.19 125
Gulfport 12063 150.13 126
Bellair-Meadowbrook Terrace 13313 149.63 127
Dania Beach 29815 149.63 127
Callaway 14409 149.5 129
South Bradenton 20273 148.75 130
Hollywood 142060 148.75 130
Doral 45233 148.69 132
Atlantic Beach 12799 148.5 133
Miami Gardens 107884 148.13 134
Riverview 70052 148 135
Miami Beach 88628 148 135
Dunedin 35339 147.38 137
Horizon West 12111 146.31 138
Englewood 14929 145.94 139
St. Cloud 36371 145.94 139
Fish Hawk 14485 145.63 141
Azalea Park 13036 145.56 142
Lauderhill 67553 145.44 143
Palm Springs 19551 145.25 144
Lantana 10445 144.88 145
South Miami 11717 144.88 145
St. Petersburg 245363 144.88 145
Hunters Creek 22384 144.56 148
Glenvar Heights 16647 144.44 149
Clearwater 108138 144.38 150
Upper Grand Lagoon 13977 143.94 151
Egypt Lake-Leto 37237 143.88 152
South Miami Heights 36759 143.44 153
Jensen Beach 12039 142.44 154
Boynton Beach 68467 142.38 155
Bradenton 50141 141.94 156
Fort Lauderdale 167370 141.38 157
Cypress Lake 11276 141.13 158
Seminole 17246 140.94 159
East Lake 31987 140 160
Town ‘N’ Country 79785 140 160
Lealman 20277 139.75 162
Venice 20803 139.56 163
Land O’ Lakes 32589 139.44 164
Oakleaf Plantation 20966 139.31 165
West Little River 31792 139.25 166
Sarasota 52501 139.06 167
Iona 14425 138.75 168
Lake Magdalene 29081 138.63 169
Westchase 22208 138.25 170
Estero 23124 138.25 170
Cutler Bay 40390 137.88 172
Wellington 56391 137.88 172
Temple Terrace 24705 137.06 174
Forest City 14892 136.94 175
Oldsmar 13565 136.88 176
Merritt Island 34752 136.88 176
Keystone 21973 136.75 178
Brandon 102555 136.38 179
Altamonte Springs 41761 135.75 180
Union Park 10452 135.19 181
World Golf Village 13288 135.06 182
San Carlos Park 18828 135.06 182
Deerfield Beach 75724 134.81 184
Bayshore Gardens 16824 134.5 185
Pensacola 52246 134.5 185
Largo 77502 134.5 185
West Melbourne 18259 134.06 188
Bellview 22807 133.94 189
Lutz 19158 133.88 190
Fountainebleau 52698 133.5 191
Tamarac 60849 132.94 192
Alafaya 82196 132.94 192
Rockledge 25000 132.88 194
Apopka 41908 132.69 195
Gulf Gate Estates 11021 132.25 196
Navarre 31627 132.25 196
Aventura 35613 131.88 198
Port Orange 56242 131.44 199
Pinecrest 18464 131.06 200
Middleburg 12617 130.75 201
Yulee 11990 130.56 202
Fort Walton Beach 19814 130.5 203
Port Charlotte 55942 130.44 204
Citrus Park 24480 130.38 205
Longwood 13796 129.94 206
Trinity 10946 129.69 207
Punta Gorda 16685 129.69 207
South Venice 13976 129.44 209
Satellite Beach 10297 129.31 210
Miami Springs 13909 129.25 211
Palm Valley 20333 129.25 211
Hialeah 226837 128.94 213
Sweetwater 17600 128.63 214
Kendall West 35895 128.63 214
The Acreage 38683 128.25 216
Sunrise 85745 128 217
Palm City 23341 127.75 218
Jupiter Farms 11241 127.5 219
Wright 25242 127.31 220
Southchase 15469 126.56 221
Northdale 21828 125.94 222
Ives Estates 17904 125.81 223
Valrico 35765 125.63 224
Miramar 121447 125.5 225
Palm Harbor 60041 125.38 226
The Villages 50313 124.88 227
Westchester 30417 123.94 228
Midway (Santa Rosa County) 17198 123.88 229
Country Club 45202 123.63 230
Miami Shores 10482 123.56 231
Pace 20476 123.31 232
Greenacres 37447 123.31 232
Margate 53821 123 234
Kendall 77462 122.94 235
Key West 24657 122.63 236
Bloomingdale 21676 122.38 237
Palmetto Bay 23650 122.13 238
University Park 24900 121.75 239
The Hammocks 53097 121.5 240
Winter Garden 34508 120.75 241
Gonzalez 13135 120.5 242
Wilton Manors 11787 120.31 243
Ojus 17901 120.06 244
West Park 14306 119.63 245
North Palm Beach 12114 119.56 246
Hialeah Gardens 21841 119.31 247
Lake Mary 13917 119.06 248
Palm Beach Gardens 48338 118.88 249
Port St. John 12286 118.56 250
Golden Gate 26327 118.25 251
North Lauderdale 41352 118.25 251
Pinellas Park 49136 118 253
Oakland Park 41841 117.75 254
Carrollwood 34891 117.06 255
Lynn Haven 18393 116.5 256
Westwood Lakes 12060 116.19 257
Niceville 12977 115.75 258
Safety Harbor 16903 115.63 259
Davie 92587 115.63 259
Lockhart 13736 115.44 261
Lighthouse Point 10471 115.19 262
Olympia Heights 12514 114.38 263
Fruit Cove 29161 114 264
Ocoee 36072 113.69 265
Key Biscayne 12385 113.56 266
Winter Springs 33331 112.88 267
Three Lakes 16340 112.38 268
Oviedo 33726 112.31 269
Naples 19933 111.94 270
Doctor Phillips 11263 111.88 271
Fleming Island 28493 111.56 272
Wekiwa Springs 22784 111.44 273
Lakeside 32701 110.31 274
Tamiami 55836 110.13 275
Miami Lakes 29329 109.44 276
Viera East 11230 108.31 277
Maitland 15913 107.94 278
Royal Palm Beach 33876 106.25 279
Jupiter 55133 105.69 280
Kendale Lakes 57256 104.56 281
Pembroke Pines 155578 104 282
Sunset 16862 103.94 283
Country Walk 16573 102 284
Palmetto Estates 14852 101.81 285
Winter Park 28283 101.44 286
Parkland 24050 101.25 287
The Crossings 23945 100.38 288
Boca Raton 85738 99.75 289
Marco Island 16570 99.44 290
Coral Terrace 25359 99.19 291
Richmond West 32990 97.63 292
Coconut Creek 53104 97.19 293
Weston 65233 96.88 294
Coral Gables 47285 96.19 295
Sarasota Springs 14496 91.56 296
Coral Springs 122219 90.25 297
Lakeland Highlands 11089 89.88 298
Fruitville 13452 86.25 299
Conway 15480 79.38 300
Cooper City 29580 79.25 301

Click here for a data spreadsheet of the data we used.

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93 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.

      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

  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.

  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 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.

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