Cost of living in 10 of Florida’s major cities, ranked cheapest to most expensive

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Miami-Dade County is the most expensive urban area in Florida among the 10 places on the list.
Insider examined data from The Council for Community and Economic Research.
Half of the 10 Florida cities on the list had higher cost-of-living indexes than the national average.

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

To find out how the biggest cities in the popular Sunshine State stack up, Insider looked at The Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index for different urban areas in the US.

“The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile,” a press release from C2ER said. 

“Covering 61 different items, prices are collected quarterly by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and university applied economic centers in each participating urban area,” the press release continued.

Insider looked at average prices from C2ER’s research and the overall composite index, which is based on six different categories like housing and transportation, to see how expensive it is to live in different large urban areas in Florida. The data is for the first quarter of 2023 from participating areas; there were 10 urban areas in Florida that had available data for this quarter.

A composite index of 100 for a city means its cost living is equal to the national average. While half of those 10 places in Florida had scores above 100, the other five were below the national average.

Miami was the most expensive among the 10 Florida places, with a composite index of 118.9, but its cost of living isn’t as high as other places in the country. Based on indexes from C2ER, none of the Florida cities listed appear in the top spots when ranking all 271 US places with indexes. Manhattan, New York, had the highest composite index in the US with an index of 222.0 in the first quarter of 2023.

Note that researchers attempted to compare like offerings from participants in the cities listed. For the average apartment rent, researchers looked at 1-year leases for a 950-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment in a complex suitable for a childless couple making in the top 20% of income for the area, among other criteria. Doctor’s visits tended to measure prices for the average fee charged to an uninsured and established patient. There are also certain criteria required for determining the price of a house, such as having a 2,400 square-feet living area and newly built.

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

Did you move to one of these Florida places for the cost of living or did you decide to move out of Florida? Reach out to this reporter to share your story, at [email protected].

10. Ocala, Florida

Michael Warren/Getty Images

Composite index: 91.1

Home price: $357,154

Apartment rent: $1,588.25

Total energy bills: $149

Doctor visit: $120.5

Beauty salon visit: $41.25

9. Vero Beach-Indian River, Florida

Jeffrey Greenberg/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Composite index: 93.4

Home price: $355,167

Apartment rent: $1,518.2

Total energy bills: $208.89

Doctor visit: $112

Beauty salon visit: $51.5

8. Tallahassee, Florida

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Composite index: 94.0

Home price: $400,450

Apartment rent: $1,387.8

Total energy bills: $143.05

Doctor visit: $142.2

Beauty salon visit: $56.5

7. Jacksonville, Florida

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Composite index: 94.6

Home price: $389,590

Apartment rent: $1,848.9

Total energy bills: $201.86

Doctor visit: $96

Beauty salon visit: $68

6. Tampa, Florida

John Coletti / Getty Images

Composite index: 98.6

Home price: $453,276

Apartment rent: $1,590.5

Total energy bills: $188.22

Doctor visit: $115

Beauty salon visit: $35.6

5. Orlando, Florida

Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Composite index: 101.7

Home price: $475,000

Apartment rent: $1,989.3

Total energy bills: $163.88

Doctor visit: $123.4

Beauty salon visit: $64.33

4. Sarasota, Florida

Jack Elka Photo/Getty Images

Composite index: 106.0

Home price: $534,280

Apartment rent: $2,085.3

Total energy bills: $188.96

Doctor visit: $126.17

Beauty salon visit: $55.4

3. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida

Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Composite index: 106.8

Home price: $516,160

Apartment rent: $1,936.3

Total energy bills: $174.42

Doctor visit: $143.33

Beauty salon visit: $54

2. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Art Wager/Getty Images

Composite index: 117.8

Home price: $697,381

Apartment rent: $2,619.6

Total energy bills: $202.57

Doctor visit: $119

Beauty salon visit: $79.29

1. Miami-Dade County, Florida

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

Composite index: 118.9

Home price: $634,375

Apartment rent: $3,002.5

Total energy bills: $202.57

Doctor visit: $128.75

Beauty salon visit: $87.33

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