Most Americans have never been to Florida. However, as the people who live there know, Florida is an awesome state.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Florida has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Sunshine State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
After analyzing more than 124 of Florida’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Florida where you’d never want to live:
- Lemon Grove
- Jacob City
- Lake Mack-Forest Hills
Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Florida has its stuff figured out.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?
In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Florida, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we crunched the numbers
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:
- Population Density (The lower the worse)
- Highest Unemployment Rates
- Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
- Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
- Education (Number of high school dropouts)
- High Crime
We looked at cities with populations between 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 124 to be exact.
Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
Population: 333 Median Income: $24,464
Median Home Value: $62,500
Population: 221 Median Income: $23,750
Median Home Value: $57,900
Population: 590 Median Income: $26,528
Median Home Value: $49,500
4. Lemon Grove
Population: 730 Median Income: $25,735
Median Home Value: $100,600
5. Jacob City
Population: 342 Median Income: $23,047
Median Home Value: $46,100
Population: 285 Median Income: $14,643
Median Home Value: $76,400
Population: 898 Median Income: $30,272
Median Home Value: $33,100
Population: 204 Median Income: $33,162
Median Home Value: $45,900
9. Lake Mack-Forest Hills
Population: 541 Median Income: $23,618
Median Home Value: $66,300
Population: 452 Median Income: $27,143
Median Home Value: $57,200
There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Florida
If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Sunshine State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Florida, according to science.
- Best: Hillsboro Pines
- 2nd Best: Jupiter Inlet Colony
- 3rd Best: Sea Ranch Lakes
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