What's it like to live in Jacksonville, FL?

Eugene Holley

Profile written by local expert:

Eugene Holley

Jacksonville is the largest metro area by land mass in the continental U.S., and it offers a range of culturally and aesthetically diverse neighborhoods surrounding downtown.

Sitting near the Atlantic shore in northeast Florida, Jacksonville is tied together by bridges, crossing rivers to unite residents in the downtown area with nearby beaches. Restaurants, shops and entertainment options fill all of Greater Jacksonville's neighborhoods. There are nature trails to hike and marshes to kayak. There is history to see, and there is business to develop. The metro area is big enough to find something for everyone to enjoy.

Jacksonville is growing. The region witnessed an ignition of the art and music scene, stimulating business development that has led to demand for a higher standard of living. As a result, Jacksonville is undergoing an economic boom. 

See all the best places to live in Florida.


U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Jacksonville, Florida is ranked:

#42 in Best Places to Live

#6 in Best Places to Retire

#5 in Best Places to Live in Florida

#17 in Fastest Growing Places




Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Job Market
  • Quality of Life
  • Net Migration

Read how we rank places

Jacksonville, FL Quick Stats

  • 1,447,884

    Metro Population

  • $45,760

    Average Annual Salary

  • 79.2° / 61.2°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 38.1

    Median Age

  • $174,658

    Median Home Price

  • 49.2 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 3.3%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $1,019

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 26.5 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What's the cost of living in Jacksonville, FL?

The cost of housing in Jacksonville is lower than the national median sale price, although you should expect cost fluctuations, depending on your preferred neighborhood and type of residence. For many residents, the largest daily expense is transportation, as many people rely on their own cars to get around.

Value Index

Index Score: 6.3 /10

How we calculate this.

Jacksonville offer a lower value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs 2018



Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Jacksonville, FL.

What's the weather like in Jacksonville, FL?

Jacksonville experiences an uneven distribution of seasons. The summers are long and hot, while fall and winter tend to arrive much later than expected, compared with the rest of the country. Jacksonville is also susceptible to heavy rains and tropical storms. 

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)









Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

3.0 in


3.9 in


6.3 in


7.6 in


Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around Jacksonville, FL?

The metro area is an expansive landmass connected by main routes that include Interstates 10, 95 and 295. These routes – not to mention the area's bridges – are prone to heavy rush-hour traffic as well as accidents.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority offers bus service, but routes are long and often delayed by traffic congestion. Downtown Jacksonville offers its own public transit services, including ferries, water taxis and the JTA Skyway train.

To get out of the area, residents rely on Greyhound buses, Amtrak trains or flights via the Jacksonville International Airport, which accommodates about 200 domestic and international departures and arrivals each day. Cruises depart the JAXPORT cruise terminal in the Mayport area.

Commuting in Jacksonville, FL

Means of Transportation
Above national average

Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Public Transit
Below national average
Average Commute Time

26.5 minutes

0.1 minutes more than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Jacksonville, FL?

Jacksonville attracts people of all ages and backgrounds. The metro area is a popular retirement spot: About 14 percent of the population consists of residents older than 65, and the beach towns are home to a number of retirement communities. It's also a popular place for families, and a quarter of the community is younger than 20 years old.

About half the population identifies as religious. Protestantism and Catholicism are the dominant faiths. 

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown

About the same number of single people in Jacksonville as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

What is there to do in Jacksonville, FL?

Jacksonville's seat on the Atlantic coast lures many who wish to live near the beach. Popular shorelines include Amelia Island and Ponte Vedra – both of which are known for their golf courses. Residents also enjoy outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking and cycling, in state recreation areas like Hanna Park and the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. Such areas complement the beaches of Jacksonville, with its waterways and expansive coastline for fishing, boating and other aquatic pastimes.

Jacksonville also has a growing restaurant scene in the San Marco and Southside neighborhoods. The fine and performing arts are best viewed at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cummer Museum, the Ritz Theatre and the Florida Theatre.

The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena caters to sports fans, as it is home to the Sharks indoor football team as well as college and minor league basketball teams. Other teams include the Jumbo Shrimp minor league baseball team, the Armada FC professional soccer team and the Jaguars NFL team.

Find out more about what there is to see and do in Jacksonville, FL