It is interesting that you should ask this question. I am not a native of Ocala. I am a native of the north Florida area and we chose Ocala almost 14 years ago, moving here from St Cloud, Fl. My wife and I looked at ourselves one day and realized we were not going to live out the rest of our lives in the Orlando area. We began researching the communities around central Florida, and Ocala just always seemed to be a great area. We made the decision and moved from what we knew. I found out we were not wrong. There are so many factors to include when measuring a community to be family friendly. Of course you want to look at the statistics from the law enforcement sources. There are areas of Marion Co that I prefer over others. You also want to look at the schools. The other factors for families would be the community recreation programs. There is something for everyone in all areas. Ocala is a good choice not just because of the beautiful rolling hills and farms but, because of the people. Lots of good people just living life the best they know how, with family and friends.