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20 Most Expensive Cities to Live in Florida

In this article, we will discuss the 20 most expensive cities to live in Florida. If you want to skip our discussion on Florida's economy, you can go directly to the 5 Most Expensive Cities to Live in Florida.

The cost of living is considerably different across the United States, with some states reporting significantly higher costs than others. On average, the Northeast and West Coast have higher costs of living than the South and Midwest. Florida stands out as one of the more affordable states in the US, with a cost-of-living index just 2.3% above the national average. In the state-wise cost-of-living ranking by the World Population Review, Florida holds the 21st position. These rankings are derived from standard household spending across various categories, including rent/housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, healthcare, and miscellaneous goods and services. Florida scores below the national averages in five out of six subcategories. However, it registers 10.5% above the national average, specifically in housing expenses, as indicated by the US Cost of Living Index (COLI), which compares these six subcategories. According to Zillow, while Florida has not traditionally been considered one of America's more expensive states, it now boasts some of the most expensive homes in the US, surpassing New York to claim the second position. California holds the first position in terms of real-estate market valuation. Read more about the Top 20 Most Expensive Cities To Live In California here.

Florida is famous globally for its beaches, resorts, amusement parks, and warm climate. It is also famous for attractions like the Kennedy Space Center, Walt Disney World, and Miami Beach, which draw tens of millions of visitors every year. Similarly, the Sunshine State is popular as a retirement destination as well as an employment center due to the large businesses that call the state their home. Some of the famous companies operating in the state include Carrier Global Corp (NYSE:CARR), Jabil Inc (NYSE:JBL), and NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE).

Here's what Matrix Asset Advisors said about NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) in its Q3 2023 investor letter:


“During the quarter, we started a new position in NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE), the owner of Florida Power & Light (FPL), a regulated utility, and NextEra Energy Resources, the largest unregulated alternative power producer (wind, solar, battery) in the United States. FPL has benefitted from Florida’s population and business growth. In addition, Florida’s regulators have been business friendly and allowed the utility to raise rates, earn a good profit, and build out its infrastructure. As a result, NextEra has historically shown earnings and dividend growth above the Utility group average. On September 30, the current dividend yield was 3.3%.

NEE disclosed some business setbacks after our initial partial purchase causing the stock price to decline further. We are very comfortable that they have a best-in-class franchise, and we are slowly continuing to build our position into the stock price weakness. We are upbeat about NextEra and the utility group in general after its poor performance this year.”

Florida's Economic Outlook 

Following the pandemic, Florida experienced an increase in personal income, witnessing a growth of 6.6% in 2020 and 8% in 2021. This growth rate surpassed the national average and was largely supported by federal relief funds released during the pandemic. However, as post-pandemic relief measures stopped, the growth rate declined to 4.9%. In the future, Florida's income is projected to sustain a high growth of 7.8% due to ongoing salary increases. Florida was among the states most impacted by reduced wage growth rates, primarily due to the lockdown's effects on low-wage service staff employed in the service and tourism industries. Florida maintained an unemployment rate below 4% from January 2018 to February 2020. However, with the start of the pandemic, the unemployment rate rose to 14.1% in May 2020. This was significantly higher than the previous peak of 10.9% recorded in the initial four months of 2010 during the Great Recession.

The Florida Legislature Office of Economic and Demographic Research indicates a positive trajectory for the state, projecting population growth rates of 1.27% until 2030. This is nearly double the US average of 0.64%. This, combined with Florida's demonstrated economic resilience, paints a promising picture for the state's future. Fitch Ratings has emphasized that Florida's sound financial management has played a crucial role in supporting strong state revenues. Florida is also rapidly becoming a destination of choice for people earning well because it is one of the states that do not levy a state income tax. It is among the top 5 Tax-Friendly States for High Income in the US. Taxes in these states take up about 6% of the average household income, while the US average tax burden in the worst-taxed states can be as high as 17% for the average household. The state has an average combined state and local sales tax rate of 7.02%.

20 Most Expensive Cities to Live in Florida
20 Most Expensive Cities to Live in Florida

Pixabay/Public domain

Our Methodology

To identify the 20 most expensive cities in Florida, we analyzed the overall cost of living and average house rent costs. This comprehensive approach allows us to understand which cities have higher living costs primarily due to elevated rental expenses. It's important to note that while the cost of living may be high in some places, the rental expenses could be lower, indicating higher costs in other aspects such as transportation. To gather information on cost-of-living indexes and housing rates, we utilized information from sources like BestPlaces, PayScale, Zillow, and With this context in mind, let's begin our cost of living comparison across cities in Florida.

Most Expensive Cities to Live in Florida

20. Jacksonville

Cost of Living Index: 94.2

Average House Rent: $1,631

Population: 971,319

Unlike some bustling tourist spots, Jacksonville has a more serene feel. Jacksonville's economy is diverse, with various financial institutions, a busy port, and big players like BellSouth and CSX Transportation operating in the city.

 19. Port St. Lucie

Cost of Living Index: 98.6

Average House Rent: $2,502

Population: 231,790

Among one of the larger populated cities in this list, Port St. Lucie is a well-to-do city with an above-state average median income of $68,000. The city is more cosmopolitan and is one of the fastest-growing cities in Florida due to its mix of small-town and modern city vibes.

18. Palm Coast 

Cost of Living Index: 98.7

Average House Rent: $2,029

Population: 98,411

Palm Coast is the 413th largest city in the US and is known for its golf courses, beautiful beaches, and natural beauty.

17. St. Petersburg

Cost of Living Index: 102.8 

Average House Rent: $2,001

Population: 261,256

Residents of St. Petersburg enjoy its beaches as well as scenic parks. There are multiple seafood restaurants and musical entertainment options in the city. The average house rent in the city stands at $2,001, making it secure the seventeenth position on our list of the most expensive cities to live in Florida.

16. Clearwater

Cost of Living Index: 103

Average House Rent: $2,290

Population: 117,027

Clearwater is located on the Gulf Coast and boasts many scenic beaches. The city offers plenty of water-based activities as well as wildlife preserves.

15. Tampa

Cost of Living Index: 104.2

Average House Rent: $2,150

Population: 398,173

Tampa is often cited as one of the most expensive cities in Florida due to the higher costs of entertainment, food, and clothing, as well as rentals and housing costs.

14. Cape Coral

Cost of Living Index: 104.2

Average House Rent: $2,395

Population: 216,992

Cape Coral is the 139th largest city in the US. It is a popular vacation destination and offers multiple outdoor activities like fishing, boating, and kayaking. It also runs several baseball training camps.

13. Fort Myers

Cost of Living Index: 105

Average House Rent: $2,475

Population: 95,949

Fort Myers is a comparatively quieter city with appeal for tourists looking to vacation in a slower-paced environment. It also offers the benefit of easy access to the beach.

12. Sarasota

Cost of Living Index: 105.3

Average House Rent: $2,950

Population: 57,376

Sarasota is a popular tourist city, usually preferred by many visitors due to its short distance to Tampa and St. Petersburg.  This city provides opportunities for numerous outdoor activities, including scenic hiking options.

11. Winter Garden

Cost of Living Index: 106

Average House Rent: $2,900

Population: 47,049

This small suburban city off Orlando is known for its historic buildings, prime dining options, and focus on ecotourism.

10. Deerfield Beach

Cost of Living Index: 110.5

Average House Rent: $2,600

Population: 86,772

Deerfield Beach has a cost-of-living index of 110.5, making it secure the tenth place on our list of the most expensive cities to live in Florida. The city is known for its clean beaches and sunsets.

9. St. Augustine

Cost of Living Index: 110.9

Average House Rent: $1,812

Population: 15,180

Located in St. Johns County, St. Augustine is popular for its “old city” style. The average house rent in the city stands at around $1812.

8. Hollywood  

Cost of Living Index: 112.9

Average House Rent: $2,850

Population: 152,650

Hollywood features over 60 parks and seven golf courses. The city is known for its boutique shops and dining options all along the beachfront.

7. Naples 

Cost of Living Index: 113

Average House Rent: $6,500

Population: 19,618

Naples is located along the Gulf Coast in Collier County. It attracts visitors around the year to its range of luxury resorts located along the white sandy beaches. It also offers plenty of sea-based activities as well as eco-tours in the Everglades National Park.

6. Boynton Beach

Cost of Living Index: 114.1

Average House Rent: $2,999

Population: 80,587

Boynton Beach is a city in Palm Beach County, about 57 miles from Miami. This is an old city with waterfront dining, numerous shopping options, and lively entertainment all through the week.  Beyond the recreational offerings of cities like Boynton Beach, Florida is also home to some famous companies such as Carrier Global Corp (NYSE:CARR), Jabil Inc (NYSE:JBL), and NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE).


Click to continue reading and see the 5 Most Expensive Cities to Live in Florida.


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Disclosure: None. 20 Most Expensive Cities to Live in Florida is originally published on Insider Monkey.