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


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

To find out how some of 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 of 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 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-foot living area and being 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.

10. Ocala, Florida

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

Vero Beach, 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

Tallahassee, Florida
SeanPavonePhoto/Getty Images

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

Jacksonville, Florida
joe daniel price/Getty Images

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

Tampa, FL
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

Universal Studios in 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

Sarasota Florida skyline
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

Cape Coral, 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

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

Miami, 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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