A congratulation is in order today. According to US News, Jacksonville was ranked number 45 in the “Best Places to Live” in the U.S. The overall scores ranked the largest metro area in the U.S. a 6.6 out of 10 based on the quality of life, the job markets, the city’s value and the people’s desire to live there. Here’s some highlights from the ranking:
Jacksonville is the home of the Jaguars, the Armada, the Sharks and the Jumbo Shrimp. The city is filled with entertainment and excitement, and is connected by highways, bridges and river crossings to bring the different regions together.
Considering that Jacksonville seems to attract people from all age groups and assorted backgrounds, there’s several shops, restaurants and forms of outdoor entertainment to indulge in, like kayaking, paintball or nature trails.
There’s also fine and performing arts places like the Cummer Museum and the Florida Theatre. The area also offers historic preserves and plenty of parks for parents to take their kids.
Roughly 14 percent of the Jacksonville population is older than 65 and the beach area houses a good number of those who are retired. Not only that, but Jacksonville is great for raising a family with 23.5 percent of the community being children under the age of 18.
Jacksonville is even surrounded by interesting places like St. Augustine, Orange Park, Flemming Island and several beaches like Jax Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach and Neptune Beach.
Although most residents rely on their cars to get around, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) offers water taxis, buses, ferries and a Skyway train to get from Point A to Point B.
There’s also the Greyhound buses, Jacksonville International Airport, a cruise terminal and an Amtrak train station to get people to their destinations that lie outside of the 904 area.
As far as employment goes, the city’s unemployment rate matches the national average, while the average salary is below that. Despite that fact, the salary is reflective to the annual expenditures required to live in the area.
Due to the spark of art and music scenes, there has been a stimulating business development that has led to demand for a higher standard of living. Thanks to that, Jacksonville is undergoing an economic boom.
Jacksonville has been experiencing consistent growth in different fields. Their education field has been listed as the 20th largest public school district in the nation and has a number of accredited colleges. The health care and financial sectors are growing with the numerous hospitals, clinics, banks and credit unions in the area.
The logistics and transportation field is another sector that is growing with its top employers like CSX and Fanatics. Lastly, the hospitality field is huge because of the numerous hotels, restaurants, retail stores and commercial housing catering.
Military officials also have job opportunities at any of the military bases in Jacksonville.
Unfortunately, Jacksonville’s crime rate is above the national average, with theft and burglary being the most common offense. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) has been working to lower the rates by targeting the hottest crime spots in Northwest Jax and paying attention to the Arlington and Westside areas.
Aside from all facts, there is one aspect not mentioned that should be considered, and that’s the people. The community is what helps shape Jacksonville and is the main reason why it was ranked so high. If it wasn’t for the people tourists interacted with and the people who spew positive vibes across this city, Jacksonville wouldn’t be what it is today. So, congratulations to the people of Jacksonville. Great job!