Florida Worst City for Families to Live Has Been Revealed

Florida attracts a large number of tourists and retirees, but not all of its cities are family-friendly. Indeed, some can be quite dangerous and unwelcoming. According to a recent study conducted by WalletHub, a financial website, Lake City has been identified as the least family-friendly city in Florida.

What Causes Lake City to Be So Undesirable?

Located in northern Florida, Lake City is situated halfway between Jacksonville and Tallahassee. Boasting a population of around 12,500 residents and a median household income of $45,011, the town stands out for all the wrong reasons, mainly due to its high crime rates.

Lake City has a high violent crime rate of 1,547 incidents per 100,000 residents, which is over four times the national average. Moreover, the property crime rate is 5,185 incidents per 100,000 residents, significantly higher than the national average. There are various reasons behind Lake City’s elevated crime rate, such as poverty, drug abuse, gang activity, and a lack of educational and job prospects.

As per the U.S. Census Bureau, 13% of Lake City’s population lives below the poverty line, while 18% do not have a high school diploma. The unemployment rate is currently 5.1%, which is higher than the state average of 4.7%. Opioid overdose deaths reached 32.9 per 100,000 residents in 2020, which is worrisome.

Lake City faces safety challenges and lacks a desirable quality of life for families. The city provides a limited number of attractions and amenities, including parks, museums, restaurants, and shopping centers.

The region experiences high temperatures, moisture, and regular thunderstorms and hurricanes. The air and water quality in Lake City have been flagged for not meeting safety standards, particularly due to high levels of various contaminants in the water supply, such as lead, copper, chlorine, and coliform bacteria.

Also Read: Exploring the Least Educated City In Georgia to Live in

What are the positive aspects of Lake City?

Although Lake City has some significant drawbacks, it does have some redeeming qualities that might appeal to certain families. First of all, the cost is quite reasonable when compared to other cities in Florida, with a median home value of $144,900, which is lower than the state median of $245,100.

The cost of living index is below the national average at 86.9. Furthermore, Lake City boasts a fascinating history and cultural legacy that traces back to the Civil War period. The city is known for hosting a range of festivals and events such as the Olustee Battle Festival, the Alligator Fest, and the Christmas Parade.

Close by, you’ll find natural beauty and outdoor recreational options like Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Osceola National Forest, and the Suwannee River.


Overall, Lake City has some appealing aspects, but they are overshadowed by significant problems related to crime, poverty, education, health, and the environment. As a result, WalletHub ranked Lake City as the least attractive city for families to live in Florida. Families looking for a safe, thriving, and pleasant place to live should consider exploring options in the Sunshine State.

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