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USA Today Names Palm Coast 2nd Best Florida City To Move To

ⓒ AskFlagler

Is Palm Coast one of the best cities in Florida to move to? According to a new report by USA Today, it is. Palm Coast ranked second on a list of 30 cities in Florida considered the most desirable to move to.

The list was published by Homefront, a paid collaboration between USA Today and Home Solutions. It considered metrics such as life expectancy, median income, typical rent and home value, and unemployment rate. Though Palm Coast ranked among the most desirable locations, it did report high cost-of-living figures compared to the cities around it on the list.


The top ten was as follows:

  1. Gainesville
  2. Palm Coast
  3. Palm Bay
  4. Fort Myers
  5. Melbourne
  6. Tampa
  7. Daytona Beach
  8. Tallahassee
  9. Brandon
  10. Cape Coral

“Palm Coast is located in Flagler County, which has the lowest climate risk score and lowest expected annual property loss from climate events,” the study said. “This lower risk climate helps keep homeowner insurance premiums in Palm Cost relatively low for Florida, at $1,741 per year.” Palm Coast’s proximity to both Daytona Beach and St. Augustine was also considered a plus.

Despite these benefits, out of the top five cities Palm Coast scored the highest typical rent, and the highest unemployment rate. To counter, it also has the second-highest median income and second-highest life expectancy in that group.

Additionally in Palm Coast’s favor is the city’s crime rate. “One of the safest cities in our study, it only has 10 crimes per 1,000 residents,” the study continued, “which is well below the state rate of 18.25 crimes per 1,000 residents.” The city contracts its law enforcement services from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, with proposals to adopt a Palm Coast Police Department having not gotten far in the past.

Also in the area was Daytona Beach, which ranked seventh on the list. With a typical rent cost a solid 25% lower than Palm Coast’s (theirs was the lowest on the entire list) but with lower incomes and equal unemployment, Daytona represents a vastly different living environment than its neighbor to the north. Still, one of Palm Coast’s benefits was considered to be its proximity to Daytona.

Written By

Chris Gollon is a Flagler County resident since 2004, as well as a staple of the local independent music scene and avid observer of Central Florida politics, arts, and recreation.



  1. TR

    March 21, 2024 at 3:41 pm

    Who did they ask? Not me, because IMO Palm Coast is not the 2nd best city to move to. We have a city council that IMO is corrupt. There are no jobs here for someone to support a family on. Taxes keep going up to pay for the city councils bad mistakes. The newest one is the new sport center with the new pickle-ball courts. Now the drainage system is no good and it all has to be redone because when it rains the area floods. Go figure. Sounds like another Holland park splash park fiasco. Wonder how many more thousands of dollars will be wasted on top of the thousands that was wasted to please a few.

    • Anony

      March 23, 2024 at 1:37 pm

      I have been visiting palm coast since I was about 5 im 34 now. I’ve seen the build up of this community and although it is a very nice and beautiful area….still needs alot of growth.

    • K

      March 23, 2024 at 3:12 pm

      And than the big construction jobs or manual labor jobs The city hires migrants to do all their work for them. Im disgusted w it. Talk about creating jobs. For mexicans that dont pay taxes.

      • Bill Carter

        March 29, 2024 at 10:50 pm

        Do you ever get tired of being bigots and racists or is it instilled in your DNA?

    • Elizabeth

      March 23, 2024 at 6:05 pm

      I don’t like the majority of cities that you put on the list. How come, Palm Bay, Daytona Beach, ?

    • norma farley

      April 13, 2024 at 12:52 pm


    • COPC Citizen

      April 13, 2024 at 4:45 pm

      Flooding is not an issue in Palm Coast. Properties are graded to control rain water, which percolates down through swales, ditches and canals out to the Intracoastal then to the sea. First though, is underground flowing drainage which recharges the aquifer. Compared to anywhere else in Florida. Palm Coast stormwater drainage is superior. Odds are extremely high your home won’t flood.

  2. Florida Patriot

    March 22, 2024 at 7:27 am

    I echo TR’s comment, having lived here for 34 years, Palm Coast no longer offers the lifestyle that brought me here. It have become very crowded to the point where the road system has reached its maximum capacity to handle the current traffic load.
    As stated by the previous poster there is an unresolved issue with homes being flooded by adjacent homes being built at significantly higher elevations, and the runoff is flooding adjacent properties. After four months of complaints to the city council, it’s apparent the council is paralyzed regarding taking corrective actions. The storm drainage is in dire need of maintenance as it has be neglected for 24 years, subsequently every time it rains streets get flooded, homes and yards get flooded.
    I don’t know where the researcher got information but most of the city’s on that list are the least desirable city’s one would choose to live. Tampa for example is significantly over crowded, has a high crime rated and the entire city is dealing with a rat infestation they don’t seem to get a handle on. As for Daytona Beach it is a low income city, plagued with crime, and as a consequence the police department is rude and very disrespectful to its citizenry and visitors alike. I avoid that city at all costs.
    As stated by the previous commenter, to which I agree. There are no good employment opportunities here other than fast food, small retail, and corner store jobs encompass the vast majority of available jobs, not providing sufficient income to manage a family. Residents here don’t expect that to change anytime soon as the city has established a long time anti-business reputation.
    Currently we are 30million dollars short on read resurfacing, our water treatment system is showing signs of age for failure of regular upkeep.
    As a whole, Florida ranks 2nd nation wide for homeowners insurance cost. The figure the article quoted was $1,700.00 which is the national average, yet across the board rates are generally 2 – 3 X higher than that which includes Palm Coast. Auto insurance is also a concern, having a clean driving record myself, and not logging more than 5,000 miles/year with a single vehicle having full coverage and moderately insured limits, my annual premium is $3,000.00/year, significantly higher than neighboring states where rates are 1/2 that of Florida.
    If you’re seriously considering a move to Florida, think again, and do some very serious due diligence as Florida in general is not the place it was even 10 years ago. With 1/4 million people who relocate here every year it’s driving up the cost of homes to outrageous highs approaching nearly $400,000.00 for a typical home. Florida is no longer affordable, cost of living is very high, property taxes are on the rise as are water rates which run about $100.09/month for a family of two.
    Although I love the weather here, I’m seriously considering leaving Florida and moving to Tennessee where I own acreage and could build a home at far less living cost than here.
    So all in all this article was very poorly researched, I’d be willing to bet that the writer did not even visit Florida before writing this article as the inaccuracies abound.

    • Bonnie

      March 22, 2024 at 6:03 pm

      You nailed it.

    • Roger

      March 23, 2024 at 10:41 am

      It sounds exactly like where I live in North Port, In Sarasota County on the Gulf Coast in SW Fl. The entire state is just as you described. My children, born and raised here, can’t afford to live in the state. Jobs can not sustain the cost of living here in rent, mortgage, insurance, property taxes. It’s no longer livable. The infrastructure can’t handle the population. The quality of life has declined due to the state selling its soul to developers and tourism.

    • Roger

      March 23, 2024 at 11:06 am

      I considered moving to Palm Coast after 40 years in Sarasota County because of the exact same situation here. But sadly the entire state is in this condition.

    • COPC Citizen since 2005

      April 13, 2024 at 5:14 pm

      Bye, and good riddance. Your post was too long on words and too short on truth. Enjoy Tennessee. You’ll be bad mouthing them too. Your kind always do.

  3. Kandi S

    March 22, 2024 at 10:03 am

    Our home owners insurance is way higher than reported. Our utilities are the highest around! AND RISING. ALL this while simultaneously Our infrastructure is failing. Our city is being destroyed by over development, its causing more water intrusion to homes and yards!! WHO DID YOU ASK?! OUR current mayor is a realtor!! All trant money we have received that COULD have been used to fix the infrastructure was used to go WEST!! SHAME ON YOU ALL

    • I hate palm Coast

      March 23, 2024 at 2:32 pm

      I took the city of Palm Coast to federal court. For behavior of the code /inspecter/code board

  4. Rosie

    March 22, 2024 at 1:34 pm

    Insurance and homeowners rates have increased dramatically. The price of everything seems to be going up. The increase in home development has made it challenging at times to get medical care. Getting doctor’s appointments if not already established with a doctor can be months out. Can’t have a baby here, no obstetrician’s, you have to go to St Augustine or Daytona.
    Traffic is becoming unbearable in the afternoon that I just stay home

  5. LR

    March 22, 2024 at 1:41 pm

    I agree

  6. Claudia

    March 22, 2024 at 5:09 pm

    I was there in the winter and I thought it was very beautiful, I hope I have the opportunity to return in the summer to see if it is as wonderful as I imagine

  7. Using Common Sense

    March 22, 2024 at 6:52 pm

    No good paying jobs. Outrageous utility charges. Crumbling roads. Stressed infrastructure. High unemployment. Lack of Health Care options. City Mayor and cronies catering to realtors, developers, and land owners at the direct expense of the residents of Palm Coast. Low crime? Not around Town Center, just look at the Crime Stats, but let’s build more apartments and add to the bulging at the seams school system. We need a change in government, qualified individuals that put the Residents of Palm Coast first!

    • RK

      March 23, 2024 at 8:40 pm

      totally agree, ready to pack it up and move to Tennessee. can’t afford to live here, keep raising taxes ,water, sewage.cant survive being retired, it’s a shame.

  8. Sonia

    March 23, 2024 at 8:04 am

    I completely agree with all the
    I have lived here for 22 years.
    And it is completely different.

  9. Criminally inept

    March 23, 2024 at 8:17 am

    Two things, first our sheriff’s department is the best. They’re presence in our community provides real safety and security. They have a no nonsense stance on crime and do phenomenal investigative work.

    Second, our council and local governments are either criminally inept or corrupt. It is beyond coincidence the mistakes they are making. For example, they spent around a million dollars, not to fix our broken water park, but to commission a “study” from a foreign corporation that only produced a single PowerPoint presentation saying we should build disc golf courses in our parks. I could have told them that for free.

    Additionally, I literally have a million dollar education from UF in ecosystem sciences. I applied for the flood and erosion control position offered by Flagler and didn’t even get a call back. Then the person they hired literally ordered the city to dump millions of dollars of sand meant for dune restoration directly onto the beach at low tide before a storm, allowing the millions of dollars of resources to wash away overnight.

    Instead of using the resources to actually restore the dune system like the FEMA and the federal government allotted the money for, the millions of dollars of sand that were improperly dumped onto the beach at low tide before a storm and before restoring the dune system allowing it to be washed away during a storm in one night. Totally predictable.

    But the city made the audacious statement, “nobody could have predicted this.” Let’s be clear, this is a concept literally in highschool text books. We didn’t need to waste millions of dollars to prove you can’t replenish beaches before restoring dunes or storms just allow erosion to carry the sand away. This is literally just middle school and highschool environmental science that the person our city hired for the position, and the rest of our officials, obviously do not understand.

    As of today the dunes are allowed to be trafficked over, walked over, burnt, and the 6ft of beach left at high tide is black as asphalt from the pollution of letting people drive vehicles over the dunes to leak oil onto the little bit of beach remaining.Most of the vegetation they planted on the dunes to prevent further erosion after they spent millions of more dollars to get more sand and replenish, is now dead. But instead of planting new vegetation to stabilize the dunes they have opened them back up to vehicles to drive over and destroy.

    • Coy williams

      April 11, 2024 at 7:37 pm

      Last time you could drive on the beach in Flagler county was the early 90’s.

  10. Carlos

    March 23, 2024 at 9:24 am

    Best City in the State, Palm Coast has it all!
    Trails, parks, waterways! Great friendly people. Great to retire in. Don’t listen to
    the few disgruntled people who want PC to remain as it was 30 years ago. They hate progress! Lowest crime rate thanks to Flagler Sheriff Staly and his deputies. Easy access to I95 , St Augustine, Daytona, All the attractions, Space center and the cruise ports. If you don’t like it here, ? I95 runs both ways.

    • Deanna

      April 11, 2024 at 8:47 pm

      I agree! I95 runs both ways!

  11. Yayayaya

    March 23, 2024 at 9:33 am

    I 100% agree with all these comments. I lived there for 2 years and immediately regretted it on day 2. Absolutely zero jobs. Had to take a low paying job to keep my head above water (and just barely). Apartment rents are higher in PC than my rent was IN MIAMI. So grateful I moved. Other than the friends I made there, PC has zero to offer.

  12. No-nonsense

    March 23, 2024 at 10:36 am

    Palm Coast is planned Urban Development aka a PUD. Its a city designed to have up to 200k people and we are at 100k. All the complaints about high cost are from retirees. They are on fixed incomes and I get it. But planning for increases should always be in your budget. I hear complaints about high utility cost and some people in Palm Coast have no idea and complain about everything. I have lived in South Florida where my water/sewer bill was 250.00 to 300.00 a month with an irrigation system. In Palm Coast I pay 165.00 a month which is reasonable. I have a new home and pay 1100 dollars a year for insurance. The homes that have high insurance cost are the older ones so do your due diligence. The roads are not over crowded as some say. They want it like it was 20 to 30 years ago when no one was around. Its fairly easy to get around the city. I was born in a northern city with bad traffic so Palm Coast traffic complaints are crazy imo. The flooding they are talking about happens sometimes but what they are not telling you id it always did flood because they never did there due diligence when they bought there home. All of Florida is a filled in swamp. So look at flood plain maps. I recommend the F section of Palm Coast its one of the oldest sections in the city and is very nice. The goverment issues they are complaining about are no different than anywhere else. The sherriff here is approachable, friendly, engaged and takes no mon sense, hence low crime rate. Its a great place to live. Also notice the ones who are complaining are not leaving? Are they ? That says it all. I love it here and have lived in multiple cities here in Fl and two other states on the east coast and by far this place is awesome ! So check us out and do all your due diligence and don’t just listen to the complainers because in reality they don’t want you here ! I am a retired Florida LEO and this city is very nice compared to others. Jobs are not as abundant but with a short 30 min drive to Daytona or 45 min to Jacksonville you will be fine.

    • Quickontheuptake

      April 11, 2024 at 6:29 pm

      The sooner you head out to TN, the better. This is obviously not the place for you!

  13. Ariel Perez

    March 23, 2024 at 12:29 pm

    This city is falling apart and city officials all they care is about the impact fees on all the new construction ruining the city, traffic has double and no place to work that pays a decent wage. If you planning to move here think hard and they should search how many people living Florida for a better.and cheaper place.

  14. Jake

    March 23, 2024 at 9:46 pm

    We’re full. Don’t move here.

  15. Sven Jonsenn

    March 25, 2024 at 8:36 am

    Foreigners invading… get out now

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