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Quality of Life

/Quality of Life
Quality of Life 2017-03-20T16:12:27+00:00

Living in Paradise

From white-sand beaches and dozens of golf courses to a low cost of living, thriving sports scene and outdoor recreation of all kinds, Lee County offers an outstanding quality of life.

A growing and dynamic region situated just a two hours’ drive from Tampa and Miami, Lee County has a nationally recognized public school system, low crime rates and year-round recreational activities that make it a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Each year, thousands of fans flock to Lee County to watch spring training for the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins. Tourists from all over the world visit Lee County’s nearly 100 parks, beaches and wildlife refuges – including the unique J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.

The region also has a long history of attracting innovators – including the families of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison – who were drawn to Lee County’s incredible lifestyle, natural resources and abundant opportunities.

Arts & Culture

Lee County offers many cultural and historical experiences – from the Southwest Florida Symphony and fine arts galleries and festivals to tours of the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. For information on upcoming cultural events and exhibits, visit the Lee County Alliance for the Arts.

Health & Wellness Programs

A healthy lifestyle is important to Lee County. The County boasts health and wellness programs and a variety of events throughout the year to help businesses achieve a healthy workplace and residents live healthier lives.


Healthy Lee is a movement that aims to empower and inspire Lee County residents regarding healthy lifestyle choices through education and action.

Healthy Lee’s Workplace Wellness Initiative arms business leaders with the tools and resources to start an outcomes-based wellness program in their own workplace that will lead to a healthier, happier workforce in Lee County – ultimately resulting in savings and productivity gains for the local business community.

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News & Events

Streets Alive! is an event that engages Lee County residents in healthy activities. It takes place in downtown Fort Myers’ beautiful River District, and incorporates fun, fitness and food to promote healthier lifestyles.

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Taste of Lee is a food festival that attracts more than 1,000 people, features food produced by local farmers and highlights some of Lee County’s best local restaurants.

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Cost of Living

Year-round sunshine and life by the beach are affordable in Lee County, plus there are numerous career opportunities that make it possible.

The chart below shows how the Cape Coral-Fort Myers MSA stacks up against other major metros.


Lee County’s healthcare industry continues to grow. The county is home to the award-winning Lee Memorial Health System, the sixth-largest public health system in the United States and the largest community-owned health system in Southwest Florida.

With more than 10,000 employees, the system includes four acute care hospitals and two specialty hospitals, as well as outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers and primary care physician offices. The system’s HealthPark Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital both rank as one of the 50 Best Hospitals in the United States.

Southwest Florida is also home to a wide variety of top healthcare institutions with specialties ranging from cardiology to orthopedics.

In addition to easy access to some of the nation’s leading healthcare institutions, Lee County residents have access to affordable healthcare. Click here to compare Affordable Care Act average monthly premiums by county and state.

Cost of Living Comparison 2014
MSA Cost of Living
New York (Manhattan) 221.8
San Francisco 166.9
Washington DC 141.2
Arlington 141.2
Boston 137.3
Chicago 116.4
Baltimore 109.2
Minneapolis 107.6
Atlanta 99.4
Cape Coral-Fort Myers 98.6
Phoenix 95.9
Dallas 95.5
Charlotte 94.7
Indianapolis 93.3
Memphis 85.4

Cost of Affordable Care Act average monthly premium in Lee County.

Lee County, FL

Age Sex Premium (Monthly)
27 M $222
27 F $222
40 M $271
40 F $271
64 M $637
64 F $637

Source: Manhattan Institute / Forbes Study: June 2014


To learn more about Lee County’s model school system, as well as higher education and vocational-technical education opportunities, visit our Education  page.


Lee County offers a variety of neighborhoods and housing options – from high-rise condos to homes on the water – with a wide range of pricing options. The county’s real estate market has made a strong comeback since the recession.

In 2014, the median sale prices for single family homes and condos increased roughly 15 percent compared to the previous year, with a median sale price of $195,500 for a single family home and $167,900 for a condo. Closed sales for single family homes increased by nearly 12 percent from November 2013 to November 2014.

When looking at the United States as a whole, median home prices were lower in the South than in the West and Northeast in 2014, making Florida one of the most affordable areas in the country. Additionally, when compared to nearby counties in Southwest Florida, Lee County is one of the most affordable.

Lee County Single-Family Home Sales:

Lee County EDO Lee County Single Famly Home Sales by Priority Marketing

Supporting Trailing Spouses

Relocating to a new city can be exciting but also a source of anxiety for trailing spouses, partners or family members seeking new job opportunities.

Lee County offers a number of career resources for those who have recently relocated to the area through CareerSource Southwest Florida, a network of career development professionals that works directly with Florida employers to align their demand for skilled talent with the needs of those seeking employment and career development opportunities.

CareerSource Southwest Florida’s family relocation assistance program offers resources such as career counseling, career opportunities, job referrals, network and career support, and resume critiques to trailing spouses and residents looking for high-skill, higher-wage job opportunities.

Child Care

To ensure children develop into healthy and educated citizens, Lee County offers many quality options for child care. The early learning programs in the region operate on a strong foundation of supportive parents, comprehensive services and well-educated staff.

To learn about costs, options and availability, please visit the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida. Additionally, the coalition’s Child Care Resource and Referral is a free community service that offers information and referral services to families looking for child care options.

Additional resources for job seekers include:
Employ Florida, Employ Florida Vets, and Florida Abilities Work

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