5 Factors Affecting the Cost of Living in Miami in 2023

Take a cruise through the cost of living in the Magic City.

Miami is the melting pot to end all melting pots, with cultures from Central and South America, the Caribbean and many more infused into the very character of the city. With such diversity and beautiful weather, it’s no wonder that 6.2 million people live in this South Florida metro area. But, just how affordable is it?

Miami is one of the most popular cities in the Sunshine State. It’s not hard to see why with the sunshine and beaches, as well as the plethora of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences. These attributes, coupled with the exciting yet laid-back personality of the city earned the “City that Never Sleeps”.

Based on these perks, you might think that the cost of living in Miami, particularly the average rent, would be exorbitant. And while the total cost of living in Miami is over the national average (by 17.1 percent), the price point has dropped over the past year in a couple of categories, namely transportation and housing.

Cost of living in Miami - rent prices in Miami cost more than other US states

1. Housing costs and utilities in Miami

While the data shows that the overall cost of living in the Magic City is 21 percent higher than the national average, the average rent price is actually a whopping 29.2 percent higher than the U.S. average. You can expect to pay somewhere around $2,937 for the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment, and sometimes, even more than that for studio apartments! Indeed, apartment unit type makes a big difference in rent prices.

At first glance, it might be easy for many people to brush off the Miami rental market since not everyone can pay thousands of dollars in monthly rent. However, it’s important to remember that this is the average price, meaning there are apartments for rent in Miami with rental fees that are both higher and lower. The amenities at particular apartments also affect the rent prices.

For example, if you wanted to live in Miami’s Financial District, one of the most expensive neighborhoods, you can expect to pay an average of $3,910 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. An apartment in Brickell will run a similar rate of $3,650 for a one-bedroom unit. But if you move to the Upper Eastside neighborhood, you can pay as low as $1,500 per month. Mays Gardens is another lovely neighborhood for renting. Location plays a big part in apartment prices, which affect your estimated monthly costs greatly.

Average rent in the Miami area

The Upper Eastside is just one of the neighborhoods near Miami that boasts lower-than-average rental fees. Whether you’re looking for a city with a lower cost of living than Miami, or don’t want to live Downtown, you might want to check out the following cities. They’re nice alternatives to the hustle and bustle of Miami living, for a much lower price. The rate shown is for a one-bedroom unit.

These Florida cities are close enough to commute or visit on occasion but without the high apartment prices. Obviously, they’re much more cost-effective for a single person on one income.

Utility prices

Overall, Miami residents pay 6 percent more in utilities than the national average. At first glance, that might seem like a lot but, it seems to match the trend in this pricey major city. Especially when you consider some cities have monthly costs for utilities that are nearly 10 percent above average. If you live in a rental that’s owner-occupied, make sure you fork over a reasonable portion of the utilities, often at a set rate per month.

For the most part, your energy bill is going to power up your refrigerator and computer and keep your lights on. Winter weather is fairly mild, though some Floridians find the winter lows quite cold because they’ve acclimated to the higher summer temps. You might need to use a heater occasionally during the winter, but you’ll likely experience an increase in energy costs in the summer when you’re dealing with warm-to-hot and humid conditions. Air conditioning is something of a necessity in Miami!

Other utilities should also be factored into your monthly costs. For example, cell service, Internet provider and cable television and/or streaming services. Water/sewer fees are another important expense. You can get an estimate of charges by contacting the Miami-Dade County government directly.

Cost of living in Miami - residents can save money on cooking at home rather than eating out

2. Food costs and goods and services in Miami

Grocery bills can dramatically increase the cost of living in Miami depending on the type of foods you purchase (organic, meats, name brand products) and the amount you need. Obviously, a single person needs less than a family of four, and renters who entertain need more than those who don’t. Groceries will also be cheaper in Miami’s most affordable neighborhoods.

Overall, the cost of groceries in Miami is 20 percent higher than average, which is a slight decrease from last year. To get an idea of how this translates to dollars and cents for Miami residents, let’s look at some common kitchen staples and their expected prices.

  • Gallon of milk: $4.46
  • Dozen eggs: $5.13
  • Loaf of white bread: $3.42
  • Pound of ground beef: $6.93

Where you shop for groceries also plays a major role in overall cost. Higher-end supermarkets rack up a larger bill, in general, than the neighborhood Aldi. Search around for the best price on frequently purchased items. In terms of dining out, Miami has so much to offer in the way of dining, from a ritzy Japanese sushi restaurant (Makoto) to The Surf Club Restaurant, where you can enjoy 1950s glamour both in the décor and in the menu items (Beef Wellington, martinis and ice cream Sundays).

Prices vary, so read the menu before sitting down. You can expect to pay an average of around $25 for a budget meal in Miami and up to $105 for a nicer, three-course meal. Use your best judgment when choosing where to nosh. A low or mid-range restaurant is obviously going to cost less than a swank Miami Beach hotspot.

Miami public transportation can take residents anywhere including the miami international airport

3. Transportation costs in Miami

Another factor that can increase your overall cost of living in Miami is transportation. In fact, related costs can impact the cost of living so much that it may determine whether you can handle the average rent in Miami. Thankfully, Miami-Dade County has multiple transit options for its residents.

Miami has a pair of commuter trains called the Metrorail and the Metromover. The Metrorail runs on elevated tracks through Downtown Miami to suburbs north and south of the city. If you park a car to use this option, though, there’s a charge.

The Metromover is a driverless monorail extension of the Metrorail that takes passengers to various sites throughout Downtown Miami. Metromover cars come to stations every 90 seconds to 3 minutes, depending on the time of day. Look for an MIA station to hop on board.

Another public transit option is the Miami bus system. Prices are pretty affordable, so many renters opt to park their cars in favor of transit.


  • Metrobus: $2.25 one way
  • Metrorail: $2.25 one way; $4.50 daily fee to park; Park for $11.25 per month with a pass
  • Metromover: free service

Gas prices in Miami are higher than average ($3.67 per gallon). Vehicle maintenance fees (like tire balancing and rotation) are on par with the U.S. average, which is great news.

Because of higher transportation costs, many people want to know if they can easily get around the city on foot or on a bike. The walkability and biking scores for Miami have increased since last year — 77 and 64, making getting around easier.

4. Healthcare costs in Miami

It’s not easy to find average data when it comes to healthcare costs in any city, because healthcare is so unique to each individual. You have to consider several factors, like health insurance costs, specific benefits and details like co-payment amounts for doctor’s visits and medications. Or, if you don’t have insurance, how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket each month/year for healthcare services and medications. On average, estimated monthly costs for healthcare are 5 percent lower in Miami and surrounding cities than nationally.

Depending on your personal needs, this can increase the cost of living in Miami and even impact whether you’re able to swing the average rent. An average doctor’s visit will run you $118.04 while your average dentist visit costs around $101.84. Vet visits for your furry friends will average around $65.42 also.

5. Taxes in Miami

In Florida, the sales tax rate is 6 percent. In Miami, you’ll pay another 1 percent for a discretionary county surtax for a total of 7 percent sales tax. For example, if you purchase something worth $1,000, you’ll pay an additional $70.

Experience culture in places like little havana and other spots in miami florida.

Unique perks of living in Miami

Like any city, they’re are unique perks that make the cost of living worth it to certain individuals. Miami is no different, with unique opportunities that speak to the sunshine city.

Beach access and tropical climate

Miami’s year-round warm temperatures and sunshine are sure to enhance your outdoor activities and broaden your opportunities outside. Residents of this city have access to world-class beaches like Miami Beach, where they can soak up the fantastic weather and vacation in their own backyard.

Cultural diversity

Miami is a melting pot of cultures. The city’s population includes a blend of people from various backgrounds, including Latin American, Caribbean, European and more. This diversity is reflected through the food, art, music and cultural events throughout the city. Miami hosts numerous festivals, art exhibitions, and international culinary experiences that provide residents with a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate different cultures without leaving the city.

median income or median household income tells us how much you need to earn to live in Miami

How much do you need to earn to live in Miami?

Many financial experts agree that it’s best to designate no more than 30 percent of your income to rental fees. The average annual income in Miami is $59,162. Thirty percent of that average salary is $17,748.60 per year. The average rent in Miami is $2,937 per month. Annually, that comes to $35,244 per year in rent, which is above the 30 percent rate, leaving only $23,918 to spend on utilities, healthcare, transportation, car park, food, etc. Not to mention, it’s a good idea to save some cash every month!

Needless to say, many people will find it difficult to afford an apartment in the more expensive neighborhoods of Downtown Miami. If you’re curious whether a move to Miami is in your budget, visit our free rent calculator.

Life in Miami and beyond

If you’re dreaming of a move to a city that’s fun, vibrant, exciting and beautiful, there’s no better choice than Miami. The Golden Girls loved it there, and they wouldn’t lie to us.

Cost of living information comes from The Council for Community and Economic Research.
The rent information included in this summary is based on a calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Rent. as of March 2023. 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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