20 Best Cities for Families in Florida [2021]

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“Home is where the heart is”

It’s true what they say. But things get different when you want to raise a family. Many people think covering up the finances and good schools are more than enough. 

In reality, it’s something dissimilar. You have to take safety as a crucial point, considering the violent crimes going around the world. On top of that, your life is going to get dull if there aren’t any fun family activities. 

Anyhow, I’ve shown a couple of problems. But that’s not why I’m here. As you know from the title, I’m here to talk about the best cities for families in Florida

So, without any further delay, let’s dive in:

1. Valrico

City Overview

  • Population: 38,169
  • Median home price: $320,000
  • Median annual salary: $74,792
  • Average commute time: 29.9 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 92.0%

First up on the list, we have Valrico. With a population of 38,169 people, it’s not that big of a town, which makes it ideal for families. 

Geography & Climate

The summers in Valrico are long, humid, oppressive, wet, and somewhat gloomy. While the winters are short, cool, and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, temperatures usually range from 51°F to 92°F and are rarely below 38°F or above 95°F.

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

The cost of living in this beautiful city is not certainly cheap. Despite the higher median annual salary of $74,792, the price of groceries and other stuff is somewhat affordable. But the quality of education makes up for it. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security 

The NeighborhoodScout did an analysis of the FBI crime data and found out that Valrico is safer than more than 70% of the communities in the states. So, that’s a relief for people who want to raise families.  

2. Nocatee

City Overview

  • Population: 13,266
  • Median home price: $371,300
  • Median annual salary: $115,250
  • Average commute time: 27.7 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 85%

According to Newsweek magazine, Nocatee is no doubt one of the best places to live in Florida. With only 2.5 miles away from Mickler’s Landing public beach, the view and atmosphere are perfect for families. 

Geography & Climate

As I’ve already discussed, the geography of Nocatee is simply amazing thanks to the beach. Although the weather condition is too similar to Valrico. Sometimes, you might feel like it’s a little bit colder here in winter.

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

Nocatee is both a great place to live and learn. While you might find jobs in this area, keep in mind that the job market can get hard. Also, the cost of living is slightly more expensive as it’s close to the beach. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

With a crime rate of 133/100k people, the crime rate is a lot lower than cities like St. Augustine that has a 724 violent crime rate per 100k people. 

3. Parkland

City Overview

  • Population: 33,631
  • Median home price: $638,425
  • Median annual salary: $146,094
  • Average commute time: 25.5 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 61%

With a population of 33,631, Parkland with its rural feel is an ideal place to live with family. Along with good schools and moderate political views, living here should be a delight. 

Geography & Climate

You’ll get long and warm summers in Parkland, like the rest of Florida. Similarly, the winters here are comfortable. Although the winter might be a little too warm than some other cities. 

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

With a median annual income of $146,094, Parkland is surely more affluent than a lot of other cities. The interesting part is only 2.8% of people live in poverty here. So, jobs are good-paying but the schools are somewhat above average. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

In 2018, the National Council for Home Safety and Security marked Parkland as the third safest city in Florida. In all of America, it ranks for number 15. 

4. Melbourne

City Overview

  • Population: 82,826 
  • Median home price: $248,064
  • Median annual salary: $45,938
  • Average commute time: 21.2 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 52%

If you’re a fan of a dense suburban feel, you’ll love Melbourne, Florida. Along with top-rated public schools, there are tons of family fun activities you could do here. 

Geography & Climate

While Melbourne is said to have a Humid Subtropical climate, it’s more like a tropical climate with a mean temperature of 64.4 °F. But regardless of what the stats say, it’s similar to other Florida cities. 

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

The cost of living in Melbourne, Florida is rather less than in other states. On top of that, the job market is good here. If you wait for the right opportunity, you’ll find the perfect job easily. Although the schools are of average quality.  

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

Unfortunately, the crime rate in this city is higher due to its large population. 43 per 1000 people is quite high for a crime rate no matter how you see it. 

5. Jacksonville

City Overview

  • Population: 903,889
  • Median home price: $207,368
  • Median annual salary: $46,768
  • Average commute time: 24.6 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 89.5%

Jacksonville, Florida offers a number of family fun activities. If your family is a fan of sightseeing and amusement, this might be the perfect place for you. 

Geography & Climate

Jacksonville is situated on the northeastern side of Florida, on the banks of the St. Johns River, close to the Atlantic Ocean. There are four different seasons you’ll find here: cool in spring and fall, moderate in winter, and hot in summer with lots of year-round sunny weather.

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

With an average monthly cost of $1,677, living in Jacksonville is not cheap. On top of that, the median annual salary is not so high. Unless you have a decent income, living here and affording good schools might get tough. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

Over the years, the crime rate has dropped significantly in Jacksonville. While it’s not completely safe from crimes, the family-friendly neighborhoods have the lowest crime rates in the city. 

6. Sarasota

City Overview

  • Population: 57,738
  • Median home price: $541,339
  • Median annual salary: $41,670
  • Average commute time: 19.3 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 93.1%

Sarasota is an amazing place with gorgeous locations. If you’re looking for an affordable place to live, keep Sarasota at the top of your list. With no state income tax, the cost of living couldn’t get better. 

Geography & Climate

With a humid subtropical climate, the summers in Sarasota are always hot and dry. And like the rest of Florida, you’ll see dry and warm winters. Although it rains a lot in June-September. 

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

As I’ve already said, the cost of living is quite affordable in Sarasota thanks to no state income tax. On top of that, the public schools here do well too. Based on test scores, 72% of the students are good at math.  

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

Sarasota has a couple of bad neighborhoods where crimes happen. It’s not as bad as Jacksonville but you can’t forget about it. But the good neighborhoods are great for families. 

7. Pensacola

City Overview

  • Population: 52,713
  • Median home price: $167,464
  • Median annual salary: $48,686
  • Average commute time: 18.7 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 93%

If you’re a fan of the outdoors, then Pensacola, Florida is the place for you. But it doesn’t end there. Along with outdoors, it has several public parks. Most importantly, you get access to the beautiful Gulf Islands National Seashore. 

Geography & Climate

Based on the research from the Köppen Climate Classification system, you’ll find a humid subtropical climate in Florida. With a total area of 40.7 square miles, it’s big enough for its 52,713 people. 

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

Other than the grocery prices, everything in Pensacola is affordable. For example, housing expenses drop down by 27% in this city. As for education, the public schools are of average quality. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

Overall, Pensacola is a great city to live in. However, the west part of the city might not be the safest place for families. Other than that, it’s an amazing city for families. 

8. Lakeland

City Overview

  • Population: 110,516
  • Median home price: $194,622
  • Median annual salary: $44,313
  • Average commute time: 20.6 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 96%

Lakeland, the biggest city in Florida is great due to being in a central location. You get to live close to both outdoors and famous Florida beaches. On top of that, there’s minimal traffic making it easier to commute. 

Geography & Climate

Like most parts of Florida, Lakeland also falls under a humid subtropical zone according to Köppen climate classification. The summers here are hot and dry while the winters are typically warm with a temperature ranging from 70° F to 90° F. 

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

The cost of living in Lakeland is 89 based on the national index. So, it’s 11% lower than the average making it quite affordable. Although with a higher population, the job market is already saturated. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

According to Msn.com, Lakeland ranked 6th in the US, which makes it much safer than a lot of other cities. With a lower crime rate, this city is a great place to raise a family. 

9. Weston

City Overview

  • Population: 71,210 
  • Median home price: $739,000 
  • Median annual salary: $91,613
  • Average commute time: 28.5 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 95%

Famous for its lush landscapes and safe neighborhoods, Weston is an awesome place. This cultural gem of a city offers tons of family activities. On top of that, it’s got some great schools, some of them are A-rated. 

Geography & Climate

Bordered to the west, Weston sees sunny days for the most part of the year. Besides this, you’ll see wetlands, canals, and natural lakes. Thanks to the lush greenery and lakes, it’s a treat to live here. 

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

With a median home price of $739,000, there’s no doubt that Weston is not a cheap place to live. But that also means the salaries are better here too. Most importantly, it has several A-rated schools as I’ve already mentioned. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

Weston, Florida is one of the safest cities to live in this region. With a crime rate of 521/100,000 people, you don’t have to worry about someone breaking into the house. 

10. Naples 

City Overview

  • Population: 22,039
  • Median home price: $352,630
  • Median annual salary: $94,394
  • Average commute time: 15.8 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 95%

Naples was awarded as the healthiest city twice in a row, and it has good reasons. From cosmopolitan dining to various outdoor activities like boating and golfing, it’s a fine place for families to live in. 

Geography & Climate

With a total area of 16.4 square miles, Naples comes with both land(12.3 square miles) and water(4.1 square miles). When it comes to the climate, you’ll experience a tropical savanna climate. 

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

Turns out Naples, Florida isn’t an affordable place to live. With a living cost index of 174, the expense is much higher than in other cities. But the median annual salary is also high. And most importantly, the schools in this area are high-rated. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

Naples has one of the lowest crime rates in the entire country and 90% lower than all of Florida. Even if you walk in the park alone at late hours, you don’t have to worry about getting mugged. 

11. St Petersburg

City Overview

  • Population: 265,098
  • Median home price: $253,032
  • Median annual salary: $61,000
  • Average commute time: 23.8 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 91% 

St Petersburg comes with all the features and amenities you’d get from large cities along with a nice small-town feeling. The unique lifestyle of the residents hand in hand with the sunny weather of Florida. 

Geography & Climate

Because of the cool summer subtype, St Petersburg sees a humid continental climate. The Baltic Sea cyclones also play a huge role in the climate of this area. Unlike the rest of Florida, the winters are quite long with occasional warm spells. 

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

Surprisingly, the housing expenses are much lower(29%) in St Petersburg. However, the utility expenses make up for that with an increase of 16% from the national index. Although the public schools in this area are quite good.  

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

While it’s true that the crime rate in St Petersburg is higher but it’s only limited to a few areas. So, if you choose to live in this area, make sure to find a good neighborhood because there are tons of them. 

12. Orlando

City Overview

  • Population: 285,713
  • Median home price: $272,605
  • Median annual salary: $41,901 
  • Average commute time: 25.4 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 86.9%

The City Beautiful didn’t name Orlando as the 17th best place to live for nothing. This city is not only beautiful it’s also one of the most sustainable in the country. Apart from having great tourist attractions, it’s a wonderful city for families. 

Geography & Climate

The city of Orlando has several lakes and swamps surrounding it. Along with wetlands all around it, it experiences a humid subtropical climate. Similar to other cities in Florida, you’ll mostly see sunny days throughout the year. 

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

With excellent schools in the Winter Park and Dr Phillips areas, Orlando is an amazing place to learn. On top of that, the cost of living here is not much. Compared to Weston, it’s quite affordable. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

Orlando has some bad reputation with its crime rate and safety. But it’s not like someone is going to rob you in broad daylight. Although if you’re walking in a dark alley at 3 a.m, you might have some trouble. 

13. Tampa

City Overview

  • Population: 392,890 
  • Median home price: $279,450
  • Median annual salary: $65,000
  • Average commute time: 24.0 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 87.30%

The wide array of people with bountiful jobs and exquisite beaches with fine cuisines make Tampa a gem of a place for living. On top of everything, the city pays extra to keeping it clean. 

Geography & Climate

With an average temperature of 70 to 90 °F, Tampa’s summers are mostly dry and humid. And in winter, it drops down to 52 to 76 °F. Also, the interesting fact is, Tampa is divided between 2 USDA climate zones. 

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

Similar to St Petersburg, the housing expenses are significantly lower in Tampa. Also, they cover it up with a 16% increased utility price. But the bountiful jobs with top-graded public schools make all of it worth it. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

Fortunately, the crime rate in Tampa is bearable. In fact, it’s 1.4 times lower than the country’s total average. You’d be free to visit the beautiful surrounding areas of Tampa without worrying about thugs. 

14. Tallahassee  

City Overview

  • Population: 193,551
  • Median home price: $204,151 
  • Median annual salary: $39,407
  • Average commute time: 17.8 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 93.5%

Thanks to the beautiful, well-maintained parks living in Tallahassee is a delight. Moreover, the city is close enough to the beach, making it easy for a quick family day-trip. 

Geography & Climate

Nestled in the hills of Northwest Florida, it’s located in a region called the Big Bend. With four separate seasons, including subtropical summers with regular thunderstorms, and 90 days with temperatures above 90 degrees annually, Tallahassee has a hot, humid climate. Sometimes with less sunlight than in summer, winters are gloomy.

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

The cost of living is quite affordable compared to other cities in Florida. With a median monthly rent of $931, the city is one of the most affordable cities in the country. Along with quality transportation and good colleges, the city is perfect for families. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

Tallahassee will give you a small-town feel despite being large. Sometimes there are crimes happening here and there. But most of the time, these are petty crimes. 

15. Fort Myers

City Overview

  • Population: 82,254
  • Median home price: $231,017
  • Median annual salary: $37,360
  • Average commute time: $37,360
  • Residents with high school degree: 95% 

Adjacent to Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers is a fantastic place to live and retire. Moreover, the affordable living cost makes it perfect to stay here for a long time. 

Geography & Climate

With its hilly terrains and forests, this city experiences a mild and moist tropical monsoon climate. Sometimes the winters here will see unexpected rain. 

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

Fort Myers is slightly more expensive than other areas of Florida. But it’s only applicable to the housing expenses. However, your salary might depend on the job you’re getting because it varies a lot. On the other hand, the public schools in Fort Myers are of above-average quality. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

According to the FBI crime data, there’s a 1 in 28 chance that you might face trouble. But as I’ve already said it really depends on what area you’re living in. 

16. Lake Mary 

City Overview

  • Population: 17,283
  • Median home price: $336,137
  • Median annual salary: $84,741
  • Average commute time: 23 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 96%

Lake Mary is renowned for its well-planned suburban neighborhoods, excellent schools, influential firms, including outstanding restaurants, and a range of shopping options, among other items. Thanks to their proactive, community-based Police Force, Lake Mary’s crime rate has been one of the least in Florida.

Geography & Climate

There are long, humid, oppressive, wet, and usually cloudy summers at Lake Mary, and brief, calm, and partly cloudy winters. The temperature usually ranges from 50°F to 91°F over the course of the year and is hardly below 37°F or above 95°F.

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

The housing expense is 11% higher than the national index. On top of that, the grocery and utility prices aren’t cheap either. But it makes it up with less traffic and a higher median income. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

There’s a 1 in 56 chance that you might face criminal activities while living in Lake Mary. But in reality, it’s much better. As I’ve already told you, crimes are usually limited to specific areas. 

17. Davie

City Overview

  • Population: 106,558
  • Median home price: $346,361
  • Median annual salary: $66,951
  • Average commute time: 26.4 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 86% 

Located in Broward County, Davie is one of Florida’s best places to live. Life in Davie creates a suburban feel for residents thanks to having nature around it. There are several pubs, coffee shops, and parks all around the city. In Davie, many young people live along with the elderly and residents prefer to lean to liberals.

Geography & Climate

With a total area of 35.7 square miles, Davie is a wide area. Despite having a lot of people, it doesn’t feel cramped up to live here. And it goes without saying that the climate is similar to the rest of Florida, so I’m not getting deep into that. 

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

The living cost of Davie is 120.9, which doesn’t necessarily make it one of the cheapest cities in Florida. But thanks to the no state income tax of Florida, this is a great place to live with excellent schools and job opportunities. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

While it’s true that there are some shady areas in Davie, Florida. But what city in Florida doesn’t? According to the FBI crime data, there’s a 1 in 35 chance of falling victim to a crime. 

18. Oviedo 

City Overview

  • Population: 41,557
  • Median home price: $357,809
  • Median annual salary: $90,482
  • Average commute time: 27.2 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 90% 

Oviedo maintains a suburban feel just 20 miles northeast of the attraction-intensive city of Orlando. It’s actually famed for the chickens that still wander openly in the historic downtown of the city. The origins of Oviedo date back to 1865 when homesteaders settled along Lake Jesup’s shores.

Geography & Climate

Oviedo has a temperate oceanic atmosphere (Cfb in the Köppen climate classification). The atmosphere is very similar to that of the nearby city of Gijón, with only minor temperature differences. With an average high of 23.3 °C (73.9 °F), Oviedo’s warmest month is in August.

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

The cost of living in Oviedo is much lower than a lot of cities in Florida. You’ll find jobs here if you know where to look and have proper skills. Other than that, the schools here are quite good. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

As per NeighborhoodScout’s review of FBI crime statistics, Oviedo is safer than most cities, towns, and villages in America (68%) and even has a lower crime rate than 90% of the municipalities in Florida.

19. Jupiter

City Overview

  • Population: 65,524 
  • Median home price: $372,400
  • Median annual salary: $82,543
  • Average commute time: 21.6 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 95% 

Jupiter, a town renowned for its stunning natural scenery, laid-back beaches, and breathtaking views of the lighthouse, is one of the secret jewels of the Palm Beach area that has been attracting tourists for decades.

Geography & Climate

There is a trade-wind Tropical rainforest atmosphere in Jupiter. For Jupiter, most of the year is mild to hot, and frost is rarely present. … Jupiter has two simple seasons, a warm and dry winter (November to April) and a hot and rainy summer, as is common in South Florida (May to October).

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

Jupiter is the 51st biggest city in Florida, with a total of 65,524 citizens and 18 local communities. Not only are Jupiter home prices among the most costly in Florida, but Jupiter’s real estate is still consistently ranked among the most costly in America.

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

Jupiter is a family friendly town with tons of family activities. Moreover, being near the beach makes it an amazing spot for weekend trips. While there are crimes happening, it’s not anything alarming. 

20. Lutz 

City Overview

  • Population: 21,456
  • Median home price: $282,693
  • Median annual salary: $82,934
  • Average commute time: 29 minutes
  • Residents with high school degree: 96% 

With a population of 21,456, Lutz is a great town just outside of Tampa. Living in Lutz provides a relaxed suburban feeling for locals and most residents own their houses, making it one of Florida’s best places to live. 

Geography & Climate

Staying above 27m lies the city of Lutz. Throughout the year, it experiences a warm and dry climate. However, it also comes with tons of rainfall, even in winter. With an average temperature of 22.1 °C, it stays at a comfortable temperature. 

Education, Career, and Cost of Living

Lutz is great when it comes to affordable living costs. Being 12% lower than the national index makes it a wonderful place to buy houses. However, the utility prices are a bit higher(16%). But jobs here pay well and you get a decent salary if you find the right job. 

Neighborhood, Crime, and Security  

Lutz is much safer than a lot of cities in America. It’s not much but still being above average is not that bad. On top of that, the neighborhoods here are family-friendly. 

Guide for Selecting the Right City 

You’ve already figured out the most important part. It’s your family, the most important thing to you. While smaller towns are a better place to raise a family, you have to consider the other factors. So, let’s find out what you should look out for when selecting a city for a family-

Affordability

No. I’m not talking about your pay grade. Regardless of what you earn, you deserve to live comfortably, and obviously, it has to be well within your means. Figure out the basic costs of living in your preferred city. 

As the cost of gas, electricity, and grocery costs vary from town to town, doing some research will benefit you. Moreover, you have to look out for the taxes you’d have to pay. 

Employment Options 

Whether you like it or not, most of the time salaries are based on the location of the job. For example, a plumber in New York will earn significantly more than in other areas. But living in NYC can also be quite expensive.  

Crime Rates 

Who likes high crime rates? Only criminals I suppose. But finding a no crime rate is harder than you can imagine. Even if your area has low crime rates, you can’t say for sure that it won’t see any in the future. 

Nonetheless, you should research individual neighborhoods. You could also take help from local police stations to find out further information. 

Climate

Are you a fan of snowboarding? If yes, Florida might not be the best place for you to live. On top of that, people find new hobbies and activities depending on the climate. So, this is something you shouldn’t avoid. 

Education 

When it’s about raising a family, you can’t forget about education. Some people might call it the most important factor. But good quality schools are pointless if you can’t afford them. 

So, find out if your income is suitable for the best schools in that area. And it goes without saying that private schools will leave a hole in your wallet if you don’t have enough income.

Commute 

A lot of people are slowly moving towards suburbs, staying away from the noise and pollution of metropolitan areas. But that means you’d have to commute to your workplace. 

If you don’t want an impact on your mental health, it’s better not to commute that much. So, do the math before you move to a new place. 

FAQs

Question: Is Florida good to raise a family?
Answer: There’s no doubt Florida is a good place to raise a family. But it’s certainly not the best as it ranked 39th out of all 50 states. WalletHub figured out the ranking based on family fun, education, affordability, health, and socio-economics. 

Question: Are Florida alligators dangerous?
Answer: Generally, they’re not dangerous as they don’t often get into households. Small alligators that are under four feet eat frogs, fish, or other small animals. 

Question: Is Florida a good state to retire in?
Answer: Florida with its scenic views is an excellent place to retire. On top of that, the state is known for its tax-friendliness with retirees. Also, you don’t have to pay any inheritance tax and estate tax. 

Final Verdict 

So, that’s been it. I hope I could help you find your preferred city from this list of best cities for families in Florida. Even though the post was quite long, I couldn’t add that many details. 

But don’t worry about that. If you’ve any confusion or need any information, simply ask us and we’ll figure it out for you. 

Anyhow, head over to the comment section and let us know about your favorite city. Good luck!

Melissa Hawkins