These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Florida For 2018

Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Florida have the most for people looking to make the move to Florida.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Florida a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in Florida.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Sunshine State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best pat of Florida, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 56 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Sunshine State for 2018:

  1. Nassau County (Photos)
  2. Santa Rosa County (Photos)
  3. St. Johns County (Photos)
  4. Sumter County (Photos)
  5. Okaloosa County (Photos)
  6. Collier County (Photos)
  7. Monroe County (Photos)
  8. Martin County (Photos)
  9. Clay County (Photos)
  10. Seminole County (Photos)

Nassau County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Florida. And you might want to avoid Madison County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move Florida, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Florida and the best places to raise a family in Florida.

How do you determine which Florida county is the best?

To give you the best county in Florida, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a ‘best county’ and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Florida across each of the criteria from one to 56, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the ‘Best County To Live In Florida’.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Sunshine State.

Read on to see why Nassau County is the best county, while Madison County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Florida.

1. Nassau County

Fernandina Beach, FL

Biggest Place: Yulee
Population: 77,187
Median Income: $59,196 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $192,600 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (11th best)
More on Nassau County: PhotosData

2. Santa Rosa County

Gulf Breeze, FL

Biggest Place: Navarre
Population: 163,903
Median Income: $60,652 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $165,500 (36th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (6th best)
More on Santa Rosa County: PhotosData

3. St. Johns County

St. Augustine Beach, FL

Biggest Place: Fruit Cove
Population: 218,362
Median Income: $69,523 (1st best)
Median Home Price: $259,900 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (2nd best)
More on St. Johns County: PhotosData

4. Sumter County

Bushnell, FL

Biggest Place: The Villages
Population: 113,589
Median Income: $52,594 (13th best)
Median Home Price: $227,000 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (15th best)
More on Sumter County: PhotosData

5. Okaloosa County

Crestview, FL

Biggest Place: Wright
Population: 195,798
Median Income: $57,655 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $191,800 (27th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (4th best)
More on Okaloosa County: PhotosData

6. Collier County

Marco Island, FL

Biggest Place: Golden Gate
Population: 348,236
Median Income: $59,783 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $291,900 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (3rd best)
More on Collier County: PhotosData

7. Monroe County

Key West, FL

Biggest Place: Key West
Population: 77,150
Median Income: $60,303 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $400,800 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (1st best)
More on Monroe County: PhotosData

8. Martin County

Hobe Sound, FL

Biggest Place: Palm City
Population: 153,592
Median Income: $52,622 (12th best)
Median Home Price: $209,700 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (25th best)
More on Martin County: PhotosData

9. Clay County

Green Cove Springs, FL

Biggest Place: Lakeside
Population: 200,346
Median Income: $59,179 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $157,600 (39th best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.9% (31st best)
More on Clay County: PhotosData

10. Seminole County

Altamonte Springs, FL

Biggest Place: Sanford
Population: 442,905
Median Income: $58,538 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $188,400 (28th best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.0% (17th best)
More on Seminole County: PhotosData

There You Have It – The Best Counties In Florida To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Florida can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in Florida according to the data:

  1. Madison County
  2. Putnam County
  3. Miami-Dade County

For more Florida reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Florida

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Nassau County 1 77,187 $59,196 $192,600
Santa Rosa County 2 163,903 $60,652 $165,500
St. Johns County 3 218,362 $69,523 $259,900
Sumter County 4 113,589 $52,594 $227,000
Okaloosa County 5 195,798 $57,655 $191,800
Collier County 6 348,236 $59,783 $291,900
Monroe County 7 77,150 $60,303 $400,800
Martin County 8 153,592 $52,622 $209,700
Clay County 9 200,346 $59,179 $157,600
Seminole County 10 442,905 $58,538 $188,400
Charlotte County 11 169,642 $44,865 $154,400
Manatee County 12 353,411 $51,483 $178,700
Sarasota County 13 398,011 $52,796 $196,800
Hillsborough County 14 1,323,059 $51,681 $167,400
Flagler County 15 102,917 $48,898 $174,700
Alachua County 16 256,581 $44,702 $165,700
Bay County 17 178,361 $48,577 $162,500
Pinellas County 18 939,548 $47,090 $157,500
Pasco County 19 488,310 $46,010 $122,100
Escambia County 20 309,574 $46,117 $121,800
Gilchrist County 21 17,033 $40,881 $94,400
Indian River County 22 145,342 $47,446 $160,900
Duval County 23 900,890 $49,196 $146,400
Broward County 24 1,863,780 $52,954 $202,300
Leon County 25 284,788 $48,248 $183,800
Lake County 26 317,586 $47,141 $145,100
Taylor County 27 22,582 $36,195 $83,200
Washington County 28 24,627 $38,330 $93,700
Palm Beach County 29 1,398,757 $55,277 $222,700
Brevard County 30 560,683 $49,914 $150,500
Jefferson County 31 14,082 $41,696 $123,300
Calhoun County 32 14,550 $37,089 $80,300
Lee County 33 680,970 $50,390 $171,100
Jackson County 34 48,721 $35,470 $92,200
Gulf County 35 15,851 $40,822 $131,400
Orange County 36 1,256,055 $49,391 $173,700
Franklin County 37 11,705 $40,301 $124,500
Bradford County 38 26,919 $43,373 $92,000
Hamilton County 39 14,362 $38,980 $71,000
Highlands County 40 98,862 $35,865 $86,600
Volusia County 41 510,806 $42,240 $139,000
Hernando County 42 176,797 $42,274 $112,300
Osceola County 43 311,962 $45,536 $146,500
St. Lucie County 44 293,136 $44,140 $137,700
Marion County 45 340,341 $40,295 $114,400
Polk County 46 637,691 $44,146 $110,400
Levy County 47 39,707 $35,480 $86,700
Hardee County 48 27,302 $36,222 $78,800
Suwannee County 49 43,653 $37,796 $88,700
Desoto County 50 35,134 $35,513 $82,300
Okeechobee County 51 39,420 $36,415 $90,800
Hendry County 52 38,376 $37,552 $70,600
Gadsden County 53 46,153 $38,533 $105,100
Miami-Dade County 54 2,664,418 $44,224 $221,100
Putnam County 55 72,304 $33,003 $84,100
Madison County 56 18,560 $29,806 $81,100

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

One thought on “These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Florida For 2018

  1. Okay I only know of one the counties personally, the median income for Santa Rosa County is 60,000$ because of retirees working from home. The average salary is 15$ an hour. The average house price is well over 200,000$ and over 300,000 thousand for a brick house. Unemployment rates at7% does welfare and retirement count as employment? Only about 25% of the population actually goes to work. Travel during work hours is impossible because nobody goes to work. Activities for family none, and the locals that lived here before the building boom are mean. The people who moved here for military get so much pay to live off base the economy is lopsided, and if you enjoy outdoors activities you can’t do anything for the other 168,000 people That want to hunt or fish out here. Now I know there will be people saying I do lots of hunting and fishing but it has decreased tremendously in last ten years.

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