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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 245 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:
So what is the worst small town to call home in florida for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Lacoochee is the worst small town to live in Florida.
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.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In Florida For 2020
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $46,500 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.0% (24th worst)
More on Lacoochee: Data
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $49,400 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (28th worst)
More on Montura: Data
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $81,700 (44th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.1% (29th worst)
More on Chattahoochee: Data
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $86,800 (55th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.7% (7th worst)
More on Inglis: Data
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $68,300 (21st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.2% (60th worst)
More on Pomona Park: Data
Rank Last Year: 41 (Up 35)
Median Home Value: $73,900 (28th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.5% (88th worst)
More on Cypress Quarters: Data
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $49,300 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.6% (15th worst)
More on Gretna: Data
Rank Last Year: 34 (Up 24)
Median Home Value: $46,900 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.1% (38th worst)
More on Moon Lake: Data
Rank Last Year: 38 (Up 27)
Median Home Value: $129,200 (114th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 22.3% (3rd worst)
More on Hawthorne: Data
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 determined the worst small towns to live in Florida for 2020
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2014-2018 American Community Survey, 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 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 245 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.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
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:
- Highland Beach (Pop. 3,858)
- Melbourne Beach (Pop. 3,224)
- Tierra Verde (Pop. 3,557)
For more Florida reading, check out: