Financial Hub’s 10 Worst Places to Live in Florida


    There are the 10 worst places to live in Florida as ranked by Financial Hub:

    10. Palm Coast

    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.

    9. Poinciana

    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.

    8. New Port Richy

    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.

    7. New Smyrna Beach

    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.

    6. Daytona Beach

    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.

    5. Haines City

    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. 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.

    4. Florida City

    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.

    3. 4 Corners

    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.

    2. Palatka

    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.

    1. Fort Pierce

    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.


    10. Orlando
    9. Lake Worth
    8. Lake Park
    7. Panama City Beach
    6. Opa Locka
    5. Daytona Beach
    4. Miami Beach
    3. Lake City
    2. Cocoa
    1. Florida City