13 Florida cities made U.S. News & World Report’s ‘Best Places to Live’ list

13 Florida cities made U.S. News & World Report’s ‘Best Places to Live’ list


Florida is again well represented on U.S. News & World Report’s latest list about Best Places to Live in the U.S.

And Naples ranked No. 1 on the list, the only Florida city to make the top 10 out of 150 total cities.

Sarasota ― the highest-rated Florida city last year at No. 5 ― fell to No. 11 this year. Other Florida cities in the new top 150: Pensacola (No. 31); Fort Myers (37); Melbourne (No. 49); Jacksonville (56); Orlando (68); Tallahassee (75); Ocala (78); Lakeland (80); Port St. Lucie (83); Daytona Beach (96); and Miami (123).

“Naples, Florida, takes the top spot due to its strong desirability and job market scores, andmoderately high quality-of-life score,” U.S. News said in its report.

Also noteworthy: Two cities plummeted, from 15th last year for Melbourne and 16th for Jacksonville in 2023.

Why U.S News says it ranks places to live

“U.S. News & World Report specializes in helping people make major life decisions, andwhere you choose to live is one of life’s biggest decisions,” the media company said in its news release.

“Where you live can determine the employment opportunities you’ll have, the income you’ll be able to earn and save, and the quality of health care and education you and your family can access.”

Factors U.S. News used in ranking cities

U.S. News & World Report says its “Best Places to Live’ rankings “are designed to help readers make the most informed decision when choosing where to settle down.”

“To craft the methodology, U.S. News asked thousands of people to tell us what factors are important to them when choosing a place to live,” the company said in a news released.

U.S. News said it categorized data into four indexes: Quality of Life Index (32%), Value Index (27%), Job Market Index (22%) and Desirability Index (19 %). Data is sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau, FBI, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sharecare, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. News’ internal resources.

And in 2022, Naples also ranked sixth ― down from No. 2 in 2021 ― in the U.S. News and World Report’s list of The 10 Best Places to Retire in the U.S. The magazine unveiled the rankings Tuesday.

4 of 5 ‘Fastest Growing Places’ in Florida

Anyone who experiences traffic jams in Florida knows that more and more people are moving to the state.

U.S. News’ list on the “Fastest Growing Places” in the country bolsters this fact. Four of the top five fastest-growing regions are Fort Myers at No. 1; Port St. Lucie (No. 3), Daytona Beach (4) and Tallahassee (5).

2 Florida cities deemed safest in U.S.

Two Florida cities also made U.S. News’ of the “Safest Places” in the country.

Pensacola was ranked No. 4 and Port St. Lucie was No. 5 in the top five in that category. Augusta, Georgia, was ranked the top safest place, followed by Montgomery, Alabama, at No. 2 and South Bend, Indiana, third.

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Not surprisingly, no Florida cities made U.S. News top five list of “Most Affordable Places.”

Dave Osborn is the regional features editor of the Naples Daily News and The Fort Myers News-Press. Follow him on Instagram and Threads @lacrossewriter and on X (formerly Twitter) @NDN_dosborn.

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