Miami, FL

The Cost of Living in Florida in 2022

Florida is more than a beacon for retiring seniors. This warm, sunny and laid-back state is the perfect spot for people of all ages. The trick is picking the right place to live to fit into your budget. You may want to live close to the eclectic nightlife of Miami, but can you afford the cost of living in Florida in the center of all the action?

Questions like these are important to ask, but you need to expand them beyond affording rent. So many other expenses go into an overall cost of living, and your budget needs to account for it all.

Does Florida fit your budget? Let’s find out.

Florida housing prices

Housing is a cost of living in Florida

Most Florida cities sit very close to the national average when it comes to housing, either being less than 15 percent above or below. Only a few jump significantly higher, and they’re the places you’d expect to cost more.

While this may mean you aren’t able to live in the very center of the city in some places, it does mean you could find a great apartment that’s not too far away. You may just have to broaden your search.

The trick to having realistic expectations about where Florida truly is budget-friendly for you is to understand the bigger expenses. This includes rent. It’s actually probably your biggest monthly expense, so knowing how rents average out in a few key Florida cities is essential.


Considered one the best places to live in Florida for many reasons, Jacksonville has a lot going for it. Not only will you be close to the abundant shoreline alongside the city, but rentals are easier to come by than in other places in Florida. The cost of living is also just right. The housing itself is 12 percent below the national average.

Housing prices are up in Jacksonville, but still affordable. You’ll pay an average of $1,316 to rent a one-bedroom and $1,555 for a two-bed. These prices are up 19 percent and 21 percent over last year, respectively.

Home prices have also increased at about the same rate as rental costs. The median home price in Jacksonville is $320,000, up 25.5 percent over last year.


For those who want to live close to excellent beaches and a thriving, energetic nightlife, Miami is calling your name. All this fun in the sun and in the club, though, does come with a price.

Average housing costs in Miami are 39.3 percent above the national average. That’s very high, though not the highest in the state. Fort Lauderdale gets that award at 52.3 percent above the national average.

High housing costs also mean high average rents. In Miami, a one-bedroom apartment averages out at $3,249 per month and a two-bed is $4,119. Both of these prices are up over last year, as well. One-bedrooms rose 20 percent in price, and two-bedrooms jumped up by 45 percent.

This growth extends to the housing market, as well, when it comes to purchasing a property. Home sale prices in Miami have jumped by 27.3 percent with the average price being $530,000.


Housing costs in Orlando are also above the national average, but not as high. With an average of only 7.9 percent above what people are paying across the country, you can most likely still live close to Disney World and Universal Studios.

This is good news since those two amusement complexes provide a substantial amount of jobs in the area.

A one-bedroom apartment in Orlando averages out to $1,827 per month, up 20 percent over last year. Rent for a two-bedroom apartment averages out to $2,235, up 19 percent. The prices are on the higher side, but luckily, with a costly two-bed, you can get yourself a roommate.

Growing steadily alongside the rental market, home prices are also up. The median home sale price in Orlando is $360,000, up 24.1 percent over last year.


Tallahassee has similar housing pricing when compared to Jacksonville, however, living here puts you in Florida’s capital city. Its combination of college town and family-friendliness makes it a great draw for many. The housing costs are also 12.2 percent below the national average.

As one of Florida’s less expensive cities, average rent prices slide into a sweet spot for most renter budgets. They’re pricer than in other states, but not overwhelmingly high. One-bedrooms only saw a 13 percent price increase over last year and average out at $1,089 per month. Two-bedrooms jumped a bit higher, up 27 percent, but average out to only $1,232 per month.

Seeing a similarly low price increase in the homes-for-sale market, prices in Tallahassee only rose 13.5 percent over last year. The current median home price is $245,000.


On the Gulf Coast, Tampa presents a great option to consider as the city for you. It’s a busy, urban area that’s not far from quieter beach towns and some sandy shores. Housing is also more affordable here with costs being 5.1 percent below the national average.

This puts the total cost of living in Tampa within a more manageable range. Although rents have gone up over last year, they’re definitely lower than in other Florida cities. A one-bedroom is $1,565 per month on average, up 22 percent, and a two-bedroom is $1,887 per month on average, up 33 percent.

Home prices are also within a more affordable range, although they’ve increased, as well, by almost 30 percent over last year. The median home price in Tampa is $400,000.

Food prices

Key lime pie

Floridians like to eat, and many come to the state intent to enjoy that fresh-off-the-boat seafood. There’s nothing like a haul of stone crab right from the dock. Florida’s also well-known for its oranges and, of course, key lime pie. Eating well, the average Florida resident spends between $266 and $300 per month on groceries.

The high-end food options available in Florida put most cities above the national average when it comes to food prices. Only one city on our list actually falls below.

  • Jacksonville is 0.7 percent below the national average
  • Orlando is 3.2 percent above the national average
  • Tampa is 4.5 percent above the national average
  • Tallahassee is 7.5 percent above the national average
  • Miami is 22.3 percent above the national average

This plays into the costs for groceries, as well as meals out on the town. For example, orange juice in Orlando is only $3.60, but in Miami, it’s almost a dollar more. When we’re talking date nights, a three-course meal for two is more than $30 more expensive in Miami than in Jacksonville. That’s the difference between paying for a $60 meal and a $97 meal.

Utility prices

A key item on anyone’s monthly budget, utility costs can surprise you at certain times of the year. Luckily, temperate climates throughout this state often mean you’re never cranking up the AC or the heat. Overall, utility costs across Florida sit below the national average. Miami and Jacksonville are the only cities that barely hit above it on our list, although in Pensacola, utility prices are 17.7 percent above.

  • Tallahassee is 12.3 percent below the national average
  • Orlando is 4.7 percent below the national average
  • Tampa is 1.8 percent below the national average
  • Jacksonville is 5 percent above the national average
  • Miami is 6.3 percent above the national average

Most of the state’s utility costs go to electricity, which has prompted the Sunshine State to look more seriously into solar power. As of 2021, Florida ranked third in the country for installed solar capacity. About 15 percent of this comes from solar panels installed on homes and other smaller buildings.

Transportation prices

Transportation is a cost of living in Florida

Most Florida cities aren’t really considered walkable overall. Many have a nice city center you can walk through, and there are all those miles of beachside stores and restaurants. Still, it might be best to plan on paying for all the expenses associated with owning a car versus riding public transportation everywhere.

That said, a fair amount of cities do have transportation costs below the national average.

  • Jacksonville is 15.9 percent below the national average
  • Tallahassee is 6.9 percent below the national average
  • Tampa is 1.4 percent below the national average
  • Orlando is 4.6 percent above the national average
  • Miami is 7.1 percent above the national average

Even higher in cost than the often most expensive Miami, Gainesville transportation prices are 8 percent above the national average.

If costs are higher in the Florida city that’s catching your eye, consider pricing out a monthly pass on public transportation. If it can get you where you need to go, it may prove a cost-saving solution.

Miami Metro

Consisting of the Metrobus, Metrorail and Metromover, Miami gives you quite a few public transportation options to get around town.

  • The Metrobus has stops at all major shopping, entertainment and cultural centers and provides service to major hospitals and schools
  • The Metrorail is 25 miles of track that run from Miami International Airport through Miami and further into Miami-Dade County. You can even make connections to Broward and Palm Beach counties.
  • Focused solely on Miami’s downtown and Brickell areas, the Metromover is a free service that hits key destinations within the designated area. The service runs every day from 5 a.m. to midnight.

The Metro system offers fare capping, so although a one-way fare is typically $2.25 per trip, you won’t pay more than $5.65 for an entire day of travel on the Metrorail or Metrobus if you’re using the same digital payment method each time. Bus-to-rail transfers (and vice versa) are also free.

Tampa TECO

A little different than you may find in other cities, Tampa provides city-goers with an air-conditioned, vintage streetcar replica for free public transportation. The TECO has stops that take you between the downtown area, the Channel District and Ybor City.

Jacksonville JTA

Comprised of 39 different routes, the Jacksonville JTA isn’t kidding when they say they have a lot of stops. Key routes are color-coded and crisscross the city.

You can purchase a one-day pass, monthly pass or pay per fare. A regular fare, not including express routes, is $1.75, while a day pass is $4.50. Monthly passes are $35.

Healthcare prices

Florida healthcare prices, overall, are pretty reasonable. Most cities are below the national average (finally Miami comes in under.) Only Tallahassee hits above the line and actually has the highest average in the state.

  • Jacksonville is 15.4 percent below the national average
  • Tampa is 5.3 percent below the national average
  • Orlando is 1 percent below the national average
  • Miami is 1.4 percent below the national average
  • Tallahassee is 4.8 percent above the national average

An easier way to see this is to look at the average cost of an actual doctor’s visit. In Jacksonville, the average patient pays $88.40, but in Tallahassee, that price tag jumps up to $135.67. That’s a 35 percent price difference between the two cities.

florida yoga

Goods and services prices

When it comes to average costs of goods and services, Miami takes the cake with a significant percentage above the national average. No other city even comes close, which is important to consider when thinking about monthly expenses like gym memberships and trips to the movie theater.

Here’s how our select cities break down:

  • Jacksonville is 5.1 percent below the national average
  • Tallahassee is 3.6 percent below the national average
  • Tampa is 0.2 percent below the national average
  • Orlando is 1.7 percent above the national average
  • Miami is 11.1 percent above the national average

Having the total average cost helps, but it’s often easier to see how these differences would play into your monthly budget when looking at how much specific goods and services could set you back.

CityAverage movie ticket price (in the theater)Average cost of a trip to the dry cleanersAverage cost of a beauty salon appointmentAverage cost for a yoga class

Certain services don’t really present that many variations in pricing. Movie tickets, for example, are all relatively close in price. Where you really start to see changes in costs is when looking at more luxury-based items. A trip to the salon in Miami is over $52 more than if you go to one in Tampa. A yoga class in Miami is over $10 more than going to one in Orlando.

These kinds of line items can really affect a monthly budget and are one of the best areas to price compare when calculating your cost of living in Florida.

Looking at childcare costs

Another cost that fits into this area that you may not have a need for yet, but could soon, is childcare. There’s often some serious sticker shock the first time you price out the cost of a child attending a private preschool, so it doesn’t hurt to have the ability to look at this expense before picking a place to live.

For example, it’s $834.38 per month, in Tampa, for a private, full-day pre-school. In Jacksonville, that same service is $933.33, almost $100 more.

Taxes in Florida

Florida has a general sales tax of 6 percent. This is statewide and translates to costing you $60 for every $1,000 you spend shopping. This tax isn’t all-encompassing, though, and there are exceptions to this general rule, one of which is the tax on electricity. For some reason, that’s taxed at a rate of 6.95 percent.

Individual jurisdictions do have the ability to add on county and city taxes to the state minimum, though. This essentially makes the tax rate different in each city, but in Florida, it isn’t by much.

  • Orlando has a total tax rate of 6.5 percent
  • Miami is at 7 percent
  • Tampa, Jacksonville and Tallahassee are all at 7.5 percent

So, for our Florida cities, for every $1,000 you spend, you’re paying, at most, $75 in taxes, which isn’t too bad.

You'll need to earn a certain amount to afford the cost of living in Florida

How much do I need to earn to live in Florida?

To figure out the minimum you need to earn to live in Florida, it’s best to look at the largest expense contributing to your overall cost of living, your rent. Some experts suggest you spend no more than 30 percent of your annual income on housing. With the average rent in Florida being $1,948 for a one-bedroom apartment, you’d need to make a minimum salary of $77,920 per year.

That’s easier said than done, given that the mean salary in Florida is only $51,950. While this discrepancy doesn’t close Florida to you as an option to call home, it may limit the areas in which you can search.

To be certain you understand how far your budget can go when it comes to rent, check out our rent calculator.

Living in Florida

Florida averages 237 days per year of sunshine, and many cities beat that average by more than 30 days. So, it’s safe to say, if you need a lot more sun in your life, move to Florida.

Once you get there, make settling down easier by knowing what cities provide you the lifestyle you want at a price you can afford. Take into account all the pieces that make up your cost of living and do some price comparison. Even if your favorite city center is too pricy, you might find a conveniently located suburban community that’s just right. Once that happens, settle into your new Florida home and look into buying a pair of sunglasses.

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The Cost of Living Index comes from
The rent information included in this summary is based on a calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Rent. as of June 2022.
Rent prices are for illustrative purposes only. This information does not constitute a pricing guarantee or financial advice related to the rental market.


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