Cost of Living in Florida

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    (Last Updated – 12/2021)

    There’s a reason Florida is called the Sunshine State. Along with really fresh orange juice, Florida residents enjoy an average of 237 sunny days every year, compared with the U.S. average of 205.

    You also don’t have to worry about any snowy days, because Florida averages zero inches of snow per year, whereas the nationwide average is 28 inches.

    All of those beach days are appealing, but how much does it cost to live in the boating and fishing capital of the world? Let’s take a closer look at the numbers to see what the cost of living in Florida is so you can decide if living in Florida makes sense for your wallet.

    What’s the Average Cost of Living in Florida?

    Average Cost of Living in Florida: $43,615 per year

    If you dream of days spent on sandy Florida beaches, your wallet is in luck. Florida residents enjoy the 32nd-lowest cost of living in the United States, per MERIC data gathered in the third quarter of 2021. While 32nd place may not seem like much to brag about, when you compare what it would cost you to enjoy California’s beaches as a resident, your monthly budget is getting a break. California has the third-highest cost of living in the country.

    Rankings give a look at the bigger picture, but what is the cost of living in Florida? Using 2020 data, the Bureau of Economic Analysis found that the average total personal consumption cost in Florida is $43,615 per year. Here’s how that breaks down.

    Category

    Average Annual Per-Capita Cost in Florida

    Housing and Utilities

    $9,255

    Health Care

    $6,675

    Food and Beverages (non-restaurant)

    $3,693

    Gas and Energy Goods

    $580

    All Other Personal Expenditures

    $23,412

    That translates to about $3,635 per person, per month.

    Housing Costs in Florida

    Average Housing Costs in Florida: $1,040 to $1,700 per month

    No matter where you live, one of your largest ongoing expenses will be paying for housing. Florida has nearly 10 million housing units, according to the 2019 census, so there’s an array of housing options throughout the state. How much do those housing options cost? Zillow listed the typical value of Florida homes at about $328,600 in late 2021, which was below the U.S. median existing-home sale price.

    Here’s what monthly housing prices can look like in Florida, according to the latest census data:

    •  Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,503

    •  Median studio rent: $1,002

    •  Median one-bedroom rent: $1,040

    •  Median two-bedroom rent: $1,240

    •  Median three-bedroom rent: $1,423

    •  Median four-bedroom rent: $1,700

    •  Median gross rent: $1,238

    Housing prices vary throughout the state, so let’s examine the typical home values for 20 major Florida cities, per Zillow, in September 2021.

    Florida City

    Typical Home Price

    Miami-Fort Lauderdale

    $375,082

    Tampa

    $310,378

    Orlando

    $321,666

    Jacksonville

    $301,415

    North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton

    $377,672

    Fort Meyers

    $327,172

    Lakeland

    ​​$253,711

    Daytona Beach

    $290,919

    Melbourne

    $94,248

    Pensacola

    $246,710

    Port St. Lucie

    $321,514

    Tallahassee

    $219,473

    Ocala

    $207,964

    Naples

    $458,330

    Gainesville

    $245,068

    Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin

    $368,233

    Panama City

    $288,103

    Punta Gorda

    $308,537

    Homosassa Springs

    $227,445

    Vero Beach

    $299,735

    Utility Costs in Florida

    Average Utility Costs in Florida: $413 per month

    Utility costs can vary a lot, depending on your state, whether you rely on natural gas, the size and age of your home, and age of appliances. Here’s what you can expect to spend in Florida.

    Utility

    Average Florida Bill

    Electricity

    $129

    Gas

    $136

    Cable & Internet

    $115

    Water

    $33

    Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Sales, Revenue, and Average Price, 2021; Inspirecleanenergy.com; DoxoInsights, U.S. Cable & Internet Market Size and Household Spending Report 2021; and Rentcafe.com, What Is the Average Water Bill?

    Groceries & Food

    Average Grocery & Food Costs in Florida: $308 per person, per month

    One ongoing expense is groceries and eating out. Where you live can affect how much you’ll spend on food.

    The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that the average Floridian’s annual non-restaurant food cost is $3,693, so that’s about $308 per month. A family of four can expect to spend $1,231 per month on groceries, more or less.

    The Council for Community and Economic Research, , which ranks the food costs in major American cities, ranked Florida cities’ grocery costs for the second quarter of 2021 from lowest to highest.

    Florida City

    Grocery Items Index

    Daytona Beach

    93.7

    Ocala

    95.6

    Pensacola

    97.0

    Palm Coast

    99.1

    Tampa

    101.4

    Vero Beach-Indian River

    102.1

    Jacksonville

    103.4

    Orlando

    105.0

    Cape Coral-Fort Myers

    106.1

    Tallahassee

    108.2

    Miami

    116.6

    Fort Lauderdale

    118.2

    Transportation

    Average Transportation Costs in Florida: $5,113 to $13,896 per year

    No matter where you live in the country, transportation costs can add up. Throw kids into the mix, and costs rise.

    Here’s what transportation can cost in Florida, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator .

    Family Makeup

    Average Annual Transportation Cost

    One adult, no children

    $5,113

    Two working adults, no children

    $9,378

    Two working adults, two children

    $13,896

    Health Care

    Average Health Care Costs in Florida: $6,675 per person, per year

    The average annual per-capita cost of health care in Florida is $6,675, the 2020 Bureau of Economic Analysis Personal Consumption Expenditures by State report found.

    It’s worth noting that how much you spend on health care will depend on your unique medical needs and health insurance coverage.

    Child Care

    Average Child Care Costs in Florida: $790 to $1,364 or more per child, per month

    Many parents know the struggle of budgeting for child care. Where you live and the type of care you choose can have an effect on how much you spend.

    In Florida if you need care for an infant, you’ll find that home-based family child care is much less expensive than an infant classroom. But once your child gets a little bit older, you’ll save by choosing the toddler classroom route. Let’s take a look at average child care costs in Florida, per 2021 data from
    costofchildcare.org .

    Type of Child Care

    Average Cost Per Month, Per Child

    Infant Classroom

    $1,364/p>

    Toddler Classroom

    $790

    Home-based Family Child Care

    $989

    Taxes

    Highest Marginal Tax Rate in Florida: N/A

    Ready for some good news? Florida residents aren’t charged any state income tax, as noted by the Tax Foundation’s State Individual Income Tax Rates and Brackets for 2021 .

    If you like the idea of getting away from state income taxes, then you’ll appreciate that the following states also don’t charge state income tax: Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

    Miscellaneous Costs

    Now that you have a general idea of what the essentials will cost you, let’s chat about some of the non-essentials that make life fun.

    If personal expenditures average $23,412 per person, per year in Florida, this is where Floridians may be spending some of that money (costs are accurate as of Nov. 1, 2021):

    •  Walt Disney World annual passes start at $399 per year, per person and go as high as $1,299.

    •  A day at the Miami Zoo is a much more affordable way to enjoy some family time: Free to $22.95, depending on age.

    •  To get up close and personal with the alligators Florida is famous for, Gatorland tickets start at $22.99. A day spent on one of Florida’s beaches won’t set you back anything, aside from parking and snacks.

    Recommended: What are the Average Monthly Expenses for One Person?

    How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Florida?

    While your definition of what it means to live comfortably will be unique to you and your needs, we all have a basic standard of living we hope to meet without having to feel excess financial pressure. If you have your heart set on moving to Florida, you may or may not find it hard to live comfortably.

    According to U.S. News & World Report’s Affordability Rankings , Florida is 31 out of 50. That finding falls close to the MERIC data that ranked Florida the 32nd most expensive state.

    What City Has the Lowest Cost of Living in Florida?

    These three Florida cities have the lowest cost of living, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index for the second quarter of 2021.

    Jacksonville

    You don’t need to give up big-city life for an affordable lifestyle in Florida. Jacksonville, with almost 1 million residents, as of the latest census data, is the city with the lowest cost of living in the Sunshine State, with a cost-of-living index of 93.7.

    Daytona Beach

    Daytona Beach is another affordable city in Florida, with a cost-of-living index of 94.2. That’s a pretty sweet deal when you consider the fact that Daytona Beach really is a beach town. Affordable ocean views? Yes, please. This city also hosts tons of fun events year-round and is home to lots of great restaurants.

    Palm Coast

    Here’s another coastal city with a low cost-of-living index (94.6). If you like a smaller- town feel than Jacksonville, you’ll appreciate that Palm Coast has just under 90,000 residents, as of the latest census data. Sounds pretty charming.


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    Photo credit: iStock/Sean Pavone
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