Living in Key West: Old Town is the island’s soul

Old Town: The Soul of Key West from Island Homes Key West on Vimeo.

Key West. Two words and a thousand images.

No other city in the United States combines in just 5.5 square miles the cosmopolitan sophistication of Manhattan with the laid-back, live-and-let-live lifestyle of the historic Caribbean islands.

You already know how wonderful a Key West vacation can be. Living here is better. Whether you’re considering a permanent Key West move or a second home to escape the mainland winters, you’ll soon find yourself wondering how you lived anywhere else.

Here the demographics you’ll want to know about your new home:

1214 Olivia WHIRLPOOL

  • Median single family home value: $425,000, up significantly since 2009, when the value was $349,000.
  • Median household income: $52,660, up almost $10,000 since 2000. Per capita median income is almost $30,000.
  • Total population: 25,0
    57, a number that has remained relatively stable since the 1970s when the U.S. military significantly reduced its presence in Key West.
  • The weather: It’s never snowed, or even reached freezing, in Key West. July, August and September are our warmest and wettest months, but temperatures rarely top 90 degrees and the showers are passing. The rest of the year, we gently swing between 70-85 degrees with sunny skies and wonderful breezes. And, no, it’s not humid; at least not like the rest of Florida. Our humidity stays in the 68-70 percent range — perfect for orchids and your skin.
  • Unemployed percentage below state average: Key West’s unemployment rate is about 3.8 percent, well below the national average of 6.5 percent. Most folks work in the tourism, recreation and retail trades.
  • Politics: Key West’s historic all-welcome, “one human family” culture may tempt outsiders to think the island is a bastion of liberal politics. Quite the contrary. Virtually 100 percent of eligible Key Westers are registered to vote and they split 50-50 Republican and Democrat. In 2012, Obama took 50 percent of the votes; Mitt Romney took 49 percent.

Learn more about our Key West neighborhoods.