Cost of Living in 10 of Florida’s Largest Cities

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  • Out of the 10 places on the list, Miami-Dade County is the most expensive metropolitan area in Florida.
  • Insider examined data from the Council for Community and Economic Research.
  • Half of the ten Florida cities on the list had higher cost-of-living indexes than the state average.

Florida is the fastest growing state in the US and popular with retirees – but it can also be quite expensive.

To find out how some of the biggest cities in the popular Sunshine State are doing, Insider looked at the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index for various urban areas across the US.

“The cost of living index measures regional disparities in the cost of consumer goods and services, net of taxes and non-consumer spending, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile,” according to a C2ER press release.

“The prices for 61 different items are collected quarterly by chambers of commerce, business development organizations and university centers for applied economics in each participating city area,” the press release continues.

Insider examined average prices from C2ER research and the entire composite index based on six different categories, such as housing and transportation, to see how expensive it is to live in various major urban areas in Florida. Data is for the first quarter of 2023 from participating territories; There were 10 metropolitan areas in Florida for which data was available for the quarter.

A composite index of 100 for a city means its cost of living is in line with the national average. While half of these ten Florida locations scored above 100, the other five scored below the state average.

Miami was the most expensive of the ten places in Florida with an overall index of 118.9, but the cost of living isn’t as high as elsewhere in the country. Based on indices from C2ER, none of the listed Florida cities appear in the top spots when all 271 US locations are rated with indices. Manhattan, New York had the highest composite index in the US for the first quarter of 2023 with an index of 222.0.

Note that the researchers attempted to compare similar offers from participants in the cities listed. For average apartment rent, the researchers looked at one-year leases for a 950-square-meter, two-bedroom apartment in a complex suitable for a childless couple who make the top 20% of the region’s income. For doctor visits, prices tended to be measured by the average fee charged to an uninsured and established patient. Certain criteria are also required when setting the price of a house, such as a living space of 2,400 square meters and a new building.

Here’s how expensive it can be to live in 10 urban areas in the Sunshine State. We also considered some of the average prices for goods and services for the first quarter of this year.

Did you move to one of these places in Florida because of the cost of living or did you decide to move away from Florida? Contact this reporter to share your story [email protected].

Update – August 27, 2023: This article has been updated to clarify that due to data limitations, the list includes major Florida cities, but not the largest.


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Robert Wilson

Business & economics analyst. Breaking down intricate financial trends for informed decision-making.

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