17 Reasons Not to Move to Jacksonville, Florida (Voted by the Locals!)

To many people, Jacksonville, Florida seems like it is the perfect place to move to because of the numerous beaches that are nearby and the year-round warm weather. However, it is not this idyllic place that many people make it out to be, especially when you choose to move there. To help you decide whether or not you should move to Jacksonville, Florida, we have listed 17 reasons why you shouldn’t move there.

1. Number of Tourists that Visit Yearly

The number of tourists that visit Jacksonville, Florida every year is absolutely baffling, so if you don’t like being asked for directions by tourists or interacting with them, you do not want to move to this city.

About 22 million tourists visit Jacksonville, Florida every year. Tourism is a booming industry in this city, so if you enjoy doing touristy things, you will definitely have a lot of things to do. However, you will also have to deal with and navigate crowded beaches after dealing with traffic that is worse than normal, which can be incredibly frustrating.

Many Jacksonville locals have expressed their frustration over the years at the number of tourists that visit the area, as it makes it hard for them to make friends, as most of the people that they meet leave within a few days or a few years (if they encounter people that live in the city).

2. Crime

If you enjoy keeping your family safe from crime, you do not want to move to Jacksonville, Florida, as it is quite dangerous. Many people are assaulted daily, as most crimes that are committed involve assault or theft.

Jacksonville, Florida has a crime index of 11 out of 100, 100 being the safest a city can be, which is not at all comforting. About 6,447 violent crimes are committed in Jacksonville every year, which means that every 6.79 out of 1,000 people are victims of violent crimes.

Violent crimes are not the only crimes that occur in Jacksonville. Many property crimes happen as well. About 26,662 property crimes occur each year, which means that the property crime rate is 28.08 per 1,000 people.

The violent crime rate in Jacksonville is nearly double the violent crime rate in the rest of Florida State.

3. There is a Massive Bug Problem

There is a massive bug problem in Jacksonville, Florida, so if you want to avoid swatting bugs away from your face constantly, you do not want to move to this city. You will have to constantly deal with mosquitos and avoid scratching your various bug bites.

The most common bugs and pests in Jacksonville are:

  • Bed Bugs
  • Rodents (mice, rats)
  • Termites
  • Mosquitos
  • Cockroaches

4. High Cost of Housing

If you enjoy cheap rent or want to purchase a relatively cheap house, you do not want to move to Jacksonville, Florida. The average monthly cost of rent for an apartment is $1,453 per month, not including utilities and various other apartment fees. It is easy to find an apartment that is more expensive than that, but it is relatively hard to find a decent apartment that is cheaper, especially if you want to live close to the beach.

If you want to purchase a home, you will have slightly more luck in your search. The average cost of a house is about $308,300. However, that is expected to increase in the next few years.

5. Racial Discrimination and Tension

Unfortunately, Jacksonville, Florida has a long history of racism and racial tension, and it is not expected to go away anytime soon. However, the issue does seem to be getting better, so there is some hope for the future for those that want to move to Jacksonville and not have to deal with racism and discrimination.

6. High Population

Jacksonville, Florida is densely populated, so when you walk on the sidewalks, go to the beach, or go to any of the stores, especially grocery stores, you will encounter a lot of people, which is not always appreciated. In fact, Jacksonville is the most populated city in the state, as it has more than 902,488 residents. Also, people are constantly moving there, so the population is steadily increasing.

7. Lack of Public Transportation

Although Jacksonville, Florida has a public bus system, it doesn’t have many other forms of public transportation. However, even though there is a bus system, that doesn’t mean that it actually works or is used by the majority of Jacksonville residents that don’t own cars. In fact, many of the residents consider the public transportation system to be almost useless.

There aren’t very many bus stops, there are only a few buses that run at a time, the buses are often late and rarely on time, and there is no shade or covered area for people waiting for the bus to wait under, which causes many people to get rained on or sunburned while waiting for their bus to arrive.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the public transportation system will be improved or expanded anytime soon, as where it is most needed, people have opposed its expansion.

8. Traffic is Getting Worse

Traffic in Jacksonville, Florida is relatively mild, especially when you compare it to traffic in large cities like New York or Sana Francisco, but it is continuously getting worse, especially as more people move there. The roads were not designed well and are not built to support such a large number of people, so traffic easily gets congested.

9. Lack of Quality Public Education

If you have children and want or need to send them to public school, do not move to Jacksonville, Florida, as the public education is lackluster and struggling to teach its students properly. The high school graduation rate of Jacksonville schools is only about 90%, which is a major improvement from recent years. Still, I don’t consider graduation rates that are less than 95%to be satisfactory.

The low graduation rate can likely be attributed to the high teacher-to-student ratio, as the teacher-to-student ratio in Jacksonville is 19:1, which is higher than the national average of 16:1.

The teacher-to-student ratio is high partially because there is a teacher shortage in Jacksonville, which isn’t helping matters at all when it comes to the quality of the public education system in Jacksonville. If you move to this city and have children, you might want to send them to a private school rather than a public one.

10. Prone to Natural Disasters

Jacksonville, Florida is prone to various natural disasters. Most homeowners in Jacksonville have to have flooding insurance, as the tropical storms that hit near the coast often cause their homes to flooding, and it would be nearly impossible to fix the damage without money from flooding insurance.

Jacksonville, Florida is prone to the following natural disasters:

  • Flooding
  • Fires
  • Tornados
  • Earthquakes
  • Tropical Storms

11. Weather

The weather in Jacksonville, Florida is quite unpredictable and boring. In Jacksonville, it seems like there are only two seasons; summer and spring, so there is no fall or winter weather to enjoy. If you enjoy wearing sweaters or playing in the snow and hate rain, you don’t want to move to this city, as it rarely gets below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

When I visited Florida, it was 80 degrees Fahrenheit in December., which is absolutely baffling and not the temperature I want to experience when I’m trying to celebrate a cozy Christmas.

It is humid throughout the year in Jacksonville and is hot almost all of the time. When it is not extremely sunny, it is either cloudy or rainy, which leads to a dreary life to enjoy. Even when it is raining, it is warm.

Also, the weather changes at the drop of a hat, so even if rain isn’t forecasted for the day, you will want to bring an umbrella with you when you are out and about so you are prepared should it start pouring down rain without warning.

12. Lackluster Job Market

The job market in Jacksonville, Florida is lackluster, so unless you want to be sitting in your home for a few months while you apply for jobs and wait for an offer to be given to you, you don’t want to move to this city. However, if you work in technology, the Department of Defense, or finance, it will likely be easy for you to find a job.

However, if you don’t move to Jacksonville with a job offer already lined up, it will likely be a few months before you get a job, which is disappointing and extremely stressful.

The lackluster job market is partially caused by the fact that many hiring managers discriminate against people that recently moved to Jacksonville and people of different races, especially because of how hard it is to prove discrimination against someone that didn’t grow up in Jacksonville. Luckily, it is slowly getting better as time goes on.

13. Lack of Businesses

If you enjoy shopping until you drop, you do not want to move to Jacksonville, Florida, as there aren’t many businesses open, especially not shopping centers. Although there are many places for tourists to shop while on vacation so they can bring home souvenirs, there aren’t very many other businesses for the locals to thoroughly enjoy during their free time. There are many unoccupied buildings on Main Street, even though they should be filled to the brim with bustling businesses.

14. Bad Drivers are Everywhere

If you enjoy driving on roads while surrounded by good drivers, you don’t want to move to Jacksonville, Florida, as bad drivers are everywhere. People weave in and out of lanes and traffic constantly, and if you honk at them because they are being reckless, they don’t like it.

Also, even though it rains often in Jacksonville, people struggle to drive safely when it is raining, which is quite odd.

15. Construction

For a city that doesn’t seem to be growing and has a lot of abandoned business buildings, there is a lot of construction in Jacksonville, Florida. In fact, many locals find that they can almost always find construction cones or zones in the city of Jacksonville, as construction is constant. Because of the lack of a cold or snowy season, construction workers can work year-round, so they do, and you will suffer for it.

16. Homelessness is a Massive Problem

Homelessness is a massive problem in Jacksonville, Florida. Although the exact number of homeless people on the streets of Jacksonville is currently unknown, it is estimated that there are nearly 1,500 homeless people in the city. The problem has gotten better in recent years, which is amazing, but that progress will likely become stagnant as life goes back to normal as the Covid-19 Pandemic slows down or ends.

17. Smells Like Swamp

Jacksonville, Florida is filled with various swamps, so many areas of Jacksonville smell swampy. It is never pleasant to smell the rotten eggOpens in a new tab. smell of a swamp, but it is especially irritating when you are trying to enjoy your day and relax, and you smell rotten eggs because your favorite shops are located near a swamp.

The rotten eggs smell can get especially bad when it is extremely hot outside, which makes it hard for people to want to open their windows and let a breeze in, as they don’t want their homes to smell like rotten eggs. This makes air conditioning a necessity in the summertime.

Luckily, the issue has gotten better in recent years and when you are at the beach, you won’t smell rotten eggs. Instead, you will be able to enjoy the light, salty scent that comes off of the ocean, especially when it is windy.

However, you will have to be careful when looking for an apartment and make sure that you don’t live anywhere near a swamp, especially if you don’t want to accidentally encounter alligators or crocodiles, as well as the other not-so-friendly animals that call the swamps in Jacksonville home.

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Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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