WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, U.S. News & World Report unveiled its 2023–2024 Best Places to Live in the Nation and two Florida cities made the Top 10.
According to the magazine, the top Florida city is Sarasota, which ranked No. 5. Naples, which dropped out of the top ten altogether last year, came in at No. 6. The country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas are ranked based on value, desirability, job market and quality of life.
Despite damage from Hurricane Ian last year, both Sarasota and Naples ranked well under the magazine’s new “desirability index.” Senate President Kathleen Passidomo – who lives in Naples – said this week that Governor DeSantis has probably been on Florida’s West coast more than her this year overseeing continuing restoration efforts.
Last October, Governor DeSantis said the state’s “can-do spirit” and focus on unity to get things done was a welcomed change. As a result, Florida repaired the Pine Island bridge in only three days and the Sanibel Causeway, which sustained significant damage, reopened nine days ahead of schedule.
“This year’s rankings are a reflection of the current economic, social and natural factors that impact a place’s livability for its residents,” said Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News. “People are considering more than housing when they look at an area’s affordability – they want to know how much goods cost in that area.”
“The ever-present risk for severe weather and a community’s ability to recover – coupled with the area’s opportunities for social activities – are also taken into account when evaluating a best place to live,” Thorsby added.
A new desirability index now includes weather temperateness, which evaluates the number of days annually that the temperature falls between 33 degrees and 89 degrees Fahrenheit, and an establishment-to-population ratio, which assesses the number of restaurants, bars and activities per 1,000 residents.
2023–2024 U.S. News Best Places to Live – Florida City Rankings
49. Daytona Beach
63. Port St. Lucie
91. Fort Myers