Fort Walton Beach

Population: 21,238Median home value: $164,100 78 Ranks better than 91% of areas
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A+ Fort Walton Beach Amenities Lots of amenities close to this location
C+ Fort Walton Beach Cost of Living Cost of living is 2% lower than Florida
Fort Walton Beach
973% less expensive than the US average
991% less expensive than the US average
United States
100National cost of living index
Fort Walton Beach cost of living
C Fort Walton Beach Crime Total crime is 5% higher than Florida
Total crime
3,07912% higher than the US average
Chance of being a victim
1 in 3312% higher than the US average
Year-over-year crime
-11%Year over year crime is down
Fort Walton Beach crime
D+ Fort Walton Beach Employment Household income is 2% higher than Florida
Median household income
$50,0919% lower than the US average
Income per capita
$28,0476% lower than the US average
Unemployment rate
5%3% higher than the US average
Fort Walton Beach employment
C+ Fort Walton Beach Housing Home value is 2% lower than Florida
Median home value
$164,10011% lower than the US average
Median rent price
$9411% lower than the US average
Home ownership
55%14% lower than the US average
Fort Walton Beach real estate or Fort Walton Beach rentals
C Fort Walton Beach Schools HS graduation rate is 1% higher than Florida
High school grad. rates
84%1% higher than the US average
School test scores
52%6% higher than the US average
Student teacher ratio
18:112% higher than the US average
Fort Walton Beach K-12 schools or Fort Walton Beach colleges

Living in Fort Walton Beach, FL

Located in the state of Florida, Fort Walton Beach is a medium-sized city with a population of 21,238 people. According to the most recent Census, 78% of Fort Walton Beach residents are White, 11% Black and 3% Asian. Not a fan of sitting in traffic? One big advantage of living in Fort Walton Beach is the reasonable commute times to work. With an average one way commute time of 19 minutes, getting to work is faster than the national average of 26 minutes.

Are you trying to ascertain if living in Fort Walton Beach is the right fit for your lifestyle? To ensure a great experience before relocating to any new city in Florida, you will probably want to make sure that you check all of the most important boxes. Finding the best places to live in Fort Walton Beach and nearby areas is a much easier task when you can rely on information and data from the livability score, which includes amenities, crime, cost of living, weather, employment and other important metrics.

With a livability score of 78/100, Fort Walton Beach is ranked #2,565 in the United States and #237 in Florida. Based on this score, Fort Walton Beach would be considered a very livable city! This city is also ranked in the top 10 percentile of all cities across the USA. If we dig down a little deeper into each category within the livability score, we see that Fort Walton Beach has higher than average rankings for the following: amenities (A+) and weather (B-).

Conveniently located amenities and interesting attractions are a great way to continuously enjoy Fort Walton Beach on a regular basis. Knowing that there are an abundance of amenities and things to do can ensure that you always have access to nearby grocery stores, restaurants and coffee shops. Here are some of the more popular things to do in Fort Walton Beach: Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Air Force Armament Museum, and Okaloosa Island.

Fort Walton Beach real estate prices and overall affordability will play a huge role in determining if the area is the right fit for you. Of course there are probably some other items on your “wish list”, but even before they are considered, let’s take a look at the home prices and affordability in Fort Walton Beach. The median home price for Fort Walton Beach homes is $164,100, which is 1.6% lower than the Florida average. If we take a closer look at the affordability of homes in Fort Walton Beach, we’ll see that the home price to income ratio is 3.3, which is 2.9% lower than the Florida average. Knowing if your home will appreciate on a long term or even a short term basis should be factored into your decision making. An increase in your home’s value can be a good way to generate tax-free equity that can create long term financial security. In the past year, appreciation rates for homes in the Fort Walton Beach area were 8.6% and 5 year appreciation rates were 7.6%.

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Monthly costs include: fuel, maintenance, tires, insurance, license fees, taxes, depreciation, and financing.
See more Fort Walton Beach, FL transportation information

Compare Fort Walton Beach, FL Livability To Other Cities

Best Cities Near Fort Walton Beach, FL

PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Destin, FL869.213,312
Mary Esther, FL862.54,177
Pea Ridge, FL8531.13,801
Cinco Bayou, FL840.6374
PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Niceville, FL8410.814,325
Fidelis, FL8342.7107
Valparaiso, FL827.75,084
Milton, FL8229.49,462
See all Florida cities

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Fort Walton Beach Reviews

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Life's a beach

We lived at Fort Walton Beach for a year and enjoyed our time there. Attraction wise you have the beach, museums near Eglin AFB, some historical sites to visit, parks, put put golf, dolphin tours, go karts, and an Aquarium just a short 5 or 10 minuet drive away to name a few. The beach its self offers a lot to do if you want to boat, ski, fish, surf, or just lay in the sun. You also have a choice in beaches there are several bays out here which give you a more calmer water if your looking for that. They also have beaches without buildings in the background on Okaloosa Island. There are wildlife sites all over the beach too if you want to watch marine life. The community is a little different. A lot of the people here are not locals and you have a lot of tourist come the summer months but people are still friendly. There is a huge nightlife in the area. There are bars, clubs, and events that cater to crowds year round. It seems there is more of a nightlife in the summer months though. There are tons of places to eat as well. You have the typical fast food restaurants and a few sit down places. If you head over to Destin Beach (15 or 20 minuet drive) there are even more places to eat. Don't let the drive scare you it is really not that bad and its a very scenic drive across Okaloosa island. Shopping in Fort Walton depends on what your looking for. They have a few shops and places and grocery stores and a walmart. The mall and Target are technically in Mary Ester but you would not even realize it unless you looked at the address or noticed the "welcome to" sign. In Destin they have even more including high end stores. The entire time we lived in Fort Walton we only went to Destin to go to PetSmart one time. (They do have pet stores in Fort Walton though).
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Reason for reporting
Source: The Fort Walton Beach, FL data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).
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