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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Ocala ranked as one of best, safest places to live, retire

Ocala was recognized as one of the best and safest places to live and retire in the United States.

According to a new U.S. News & World Report that analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States, Ocala ranked among the highest places in the U.S. and Florida to live for the upcoming year.

Ocala ranked as the fourth safest place to live in the U.S., the sixth fastest-growing place in the U.S., the 16th best place to retire in the U.S., and the ninth best place to live in Florida.

Downtown Ocala historic square and gazebo
Ocala, Florida

The report highlights Ocala’s equestrian roots as the “Horse Capital of the World” and the city’s vibrant downtown that features an active food scene and nightlife. The report made special mention of the local creativity of painters, sculptors, artisanal brewers, and independent movie makers.

Multiple government and public officials have continuously cited the city’s public art scene as one of the best in the country, comparing it to Chicago, which has fewer public art pieces per capita than Ocala.

The report also makes note of the job market in Ocala, which is viewed favorably with major companies such as FedEx, Chewy, and AutoZone opening large distribution and fulfillment centers in the city. Other smaller distribution centers in the city also serve convenience stores and the beverage industry.

Ocala has 15 public elementary, middle, and high schools, along with 25 private schools. Five of the city’s high schools were recognized in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools rankings.

Safety in Ocala was also recognized for having violent crime rates and property crime rates that were lower than the national average in 2020.

The U.S. News & World Report Best Places rankings are based on an analysis of public data and user opinions. For more information, visit the U.S. News & World Report website.