Melbourne tumbles on this year’s U.S. News & World Report list of best places to live

Melbourne tumbles on this year’s U.S. News & World Report list of best places to live

Melbourne took a massive tumble in the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Places to Live.

Last year the central Brevard city ranked 15th on the annual list of Best Places to Live in the U.S. A new list, released Tuesday, dropped Melbourne all the way to No. 49.

U.S. News & World Report’s Best Places to Live rankings are intended to help readers make the most informed decisions when choosing where to settle down. Cities in the rankings are evaluated using data from sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. News’ own internal resources.

Why the drop in ranking for Melbourne from last year to this year?

Mayor Paul Alfrey told FLORIDA TODAY he believes it’s a case of affordability.

“These rankings are great, but they also bring people to the city, which when you have people come to an area it becomes less affordable,” Alfrey said. “Although it appears negative, we’re still in the top 50 of best places to live. When people realize it’s such a great place to live and they’re looking to relocate, we kind of become a victim of our own success. Melbourne’s still an amazing city.”

U.S. News & World Report noted the influx in Melbourne’s population.

“Troves of urbanites, families, professionals and retirees enjoy life in Melbourne, Florida, one of the Space Coast’s most populous cities,” the report stated. “On clear days, you can see sky-rumbling satellite launches and spacecraft containing cargo en route to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral.”

It also mentioned Melbourne’s Eau Gallie Arts District mix of museums, galleries, restaurants and shops, as well as the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River Lagoon.

What other Florida cities made the list?

Florida was well represented on the list of 150 total cities. In fact, Naples was awarded the No. 1 spot.

“Naples, Florida, takes the top spot due to its strong desirability and job market scores, and moderately high quality-of-life score,” U.S. News said in its report.

Other Florida cities were:

  • Sarasota No. 11
  • Pensacola No. 31
  • Fort Myers No. 37
  • Melbourne No. 49
  • Jacksonville No. 56
  • Orlando No. 68
  • Tallahassee NO. 75
  • Ocala No. 78
  • Lakeland No. 80
  • Port St. Lucie No. 83
  • Daytona Beach No. 96
  • Miami No. 123

Factors U.S. News used in ranking cities

U.S. News & World Report said to craft its methodology, it “asked thousands of people to tell us what factors are important to them when choosing a place to live.”

U.S. News said it categorized data into four indexes: Quality of Life Index (32%), Value Index (27%), Job Market Index (22%) and Desirability Index (19 %).

Spitzer is a Trending Reporter. She can be reached at

Dave Osborn, the regional features editor of the Naples Daily News and The Fort Myers News-Press, contributed to this.

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