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Is this county really the worst place to live in Florida?

Even worse, Union County ranks among the worst to live in the entire country

Photo via Union County
Photo via Union County

For the second year running, Union County has been named the worst county to live in Florida.

That unwanted distinction is courtesy of 24/7 Wall Street, which graded counties based on U.S. Census data including poverty rate, life expectancy and the number of college-educated adults.

Worse yet, the authors found that Union is “not only the worst county to live in Florida but one of the worst in the country,” ranking the county No. 12 among the 25 worst counties nationwide.

The average life expectancy there has sagged to 67.6 years. That’s nearly 12 years under the statewide average, 11 years below the nationwide average and slightly worse than India’s rate.

While Union County has a better unemployment rate (2.8 percent) than the state (3.5 percent) and national averages (3.6 percent), its 21.4-percent poverty rate is about six points higher than Florida’s.

“The local economy relies heavily on the Union Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison, and the profession of corrections officer ranks among the worst jobs in America,” the authors noted.

You can read the complete write-up on 24/7 Wall Street.


About the Author:

A Florida transplant with Midwest roots, Garrett Pelican is the digital executive producer for News4Jax.