These are the most expensive and the cheapest places to live in Florida

The cost of living in the Florida Keys make Monroe County the most expensive in Florida. Image via Canva.

By Crystal Harlan

February 13, 2024

Florida’s most expensive county isn’t Palm Beach or Miami-Dade, where many of its wealthiest residents live.

The Economic Policy Institute’s newly updated family budget calculator shows what you need to earn to have a “moderate yet adequate standard of living,” in each US county, and the Florida results might surprise you.

You might guess that the most expensive place to live in Florida would be posh Palm Beach County or glitzy Miami-Dade, where countless celebrities, politicians, and moguls have homes, including Jeff Bezos, the third wealthiest person in the world. But Palm Beach comes in second, and Miami-Dade, eighth.

The most expensive county in Florida is actually Monroe County, where it costs $130,722 per year ($10,894 per month) for a family consisting of two adults and two children. Monroe County encompasses both the Everglades and the Florida Keys. While 87% of the county’s land area is in the Everglades, 99.9% of the county’s population lives in the Florida Keys.

The calculator takes into account the cost of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, other necessities, and taxes,

Drawing upon the most recent reliable data, (which in many instances is data for 2023) the calculator considers the cost of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities. When 2023 data is unavailable, EPI uses numbers from the latest available year inflated to 2023 dollars.

Here’s the breakdown for Monroe County:

Housing: $2,023/month
Food: $1,304/month
Child care: $1,344/month
Transportation: $1,575/month
Health care: $2,089/month
Other necessities: $1,178/month
Taxes: $1,379/month

Meanwhile, in Palm Beach County, you will need to make $114,045 per year, or $9,504 per month.

So where is the cheapest place to live in Florida? That would be Hendry County, where you will need $79,3564 per year or $6,613 per month. Hendry is nestled between Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades, and encompasses the Seminole Tribe’s Big Cypress Reservation.

Here’s the breakdown for Hendry County:

Housing: $826/month
Food: $874/month
Child care: $685/month
Transportation: $1,454/month
Health care: $1,662/month
Other necessities: $602/month
Taxes: $510/month

Putnam County, between Gainesville and St. Augustine, ranks as the second cheapest place to live, where you will need $80,279 pero year or $6,690 per month.

 

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Author

  • Crystal Harlan

    Crystal is a bilingual editor and writer with over 20 years of experience in digital and print media. She is currently based in Florida, but has lived in small towns in the Midwest, Caracas, New York City, and Madrid, where she earned her MA in Spanish literature.

CATEGORIES: COMMUNITY | HOUSING
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