These Are The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Florida For 2019


We used data and science to determine which places in Florida go easy on your wallet.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the cheapest places to live in Florida.

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A wise sage once said:

“She works hard for the money…”

And these places in Florida definitely treat her right.

You see, these are the cities and places in Florida where the cost of living is the lowest; where your salary goes the furthest. And when if you have the luxury of choosing where to live in the Sunshine State, then the cost of living should play a role in the decision.

So we did the hard for you and crunched the numbers to find the cities that have lower food, energy, and housing costs. After the dust settled on our analysis of the 214 largest places in Florida, we were left with this set of the best value for your money.

So where is the cheapest place to live in Florida? That would be Fort Meade.

Here are the 10 cheapest places to live in Florida for 2019:

  1. Fort Meade (Photos | Visit)
  2. Live Oak (Photos | Visit)
  3. Starke (Visit)
  4. Macclenny (Visit)
  5. Bartow (Photos | Visit)
  6. Mascotte (Photos | Visit)
  7. Quincy (Photos | Visit)
  8. Perry (Photos | Visit)
  9. Newberry (Photos | Visit)
  10. Okeechobee (Photos | Visit)

So listen up Southwest Ranches (the most expensive place in Florida) as we explain how we created this ranking. You could learn some things from the rest of the state.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Florida and the cheapest places in the country:

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Sunshine State For 2019

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Florida
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2013-2017 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Florida to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 214 places in Florida that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in Florida according to the data is Fort Meade.

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Florida For 2019

Fort Meade, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,938
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.5x (1st most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.6x (31st cheapest)
More On Fort Meade: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Fort Meade is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. The population was 5,691 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 5,761. It is part of the Lakeland-Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city was named for George Meade, an officer in the Second Seminole War. Fort Meade is home to Fort Meade Middle-Senior High School, several historic buildings, Streamsong resort and Patterson Park. The area is popular with kayakers and canoers.

The median income in Fort Meade comes in at $41,263 and the median home value is $63,100 for 2019.

Live Oak, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,854
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (6th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.2x (30th cheapest)
More On Live Oak: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Live Oak is a city in Suwannee County, Florida, United States. The city is the county seat of Suwannee County and is located east of Tallahassee. As of 2010, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 6,850.

The median income in Live Oak comes in at $38,380 and the median home value is $82,300 for 2019.

Starke, FL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,324
Rank Last Year: 32 (Up 29)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.0x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.6x (41st cheapest)
More On Starke: Homes For Sale | Data

The median income in Starke comes in at $43,974 and the median home value is $87,000 for 2019.

Macclenny, FL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,423
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.0x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 71.0x (9th cheapest)
More On Macclenny: Homes For Sale | Data

Macclenny is a city in Baker County, Florida and is one of the principal municipalities comprising Greater Jacksonville. The population was 6,374 at the 2010 census, up from 4,459 in 2000. It is the county seat of Baker County.

The median income in Macclenny comes in at $59,116 and the median home value is $120,000 for 2019.

Bartow, FL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 18,705
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.2x (9th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.9x (34th cheapest)
More On Bartow: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Bartow is the county seat of Polk County, Florida, United States. Founded in 1851 as Fort Blount, the city was renamed in honor of Francis S. Bartow, the first brigade commander to die in combat during the American Civil War. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2000 Census, the city had a population of 15,340 and an estimated population of 16,959 in 2009. It is part of the LakelandWinter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 584,383 in 2009. As of 2016, the mayor of Bartow is Trish Pfeiffer.

The median income in Bartow comes in at $46,938 and the median home value is $102,400 for 2019.

Mascotte, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,442
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.2x (8th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.9x (35th cheapest)
More On Mascotte: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Mascotte is a city in Lake County, Florida, United States. The population was 2,687 at the 2000 census. As of 2013, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 5,251. It is part of the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The median income in Mascotte comes in at $48,922 and the median home value is $106,100 for 2019.

Quincy, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,599
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (19th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.2x (33rd cheapest)
More On Quincy: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Quincy is a city in Gadsden County, Florida, United States. The population was 7,972 at the 2010 census, up from 6,982 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Gadsden County.

The median income in Quincy comes in at $36,000 and the median home value is $94,300 for 2019.

Perry, FL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,948
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (25th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.5x (58th cheapest)
More On Perry: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Perry is a city in Taylor County, Florida, United States. As of 2010, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 7,017. It is the county seat of Taylor County. The city was named for Madison Starke Perry, fourth Governor of the State of Florida and a Confederate colonel during the American Civil War.

The median income in Perry comes in at $31,603 and the median home value is $85,000 for 2019.

Newberry, FL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,615
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (14th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 72.6x (6th cheapest)
More On Newberry: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Newberry is a city located on the southwest side of Alachua County, Florida, United States. The population was 4,950 at the 2010 census.. The University of Florida estimates the city’s population at 5,946 as of September 2016. Much of the city borders the neighboring Gilchrist County to the west. The current mayor is Jordan Marlowe.

The median income in Newberry comes in at $65,486 and the median home value is $154,100 for 2019.

Okeechobee, FL

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,596
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (34th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.4x (46th cheapest)
More On Okeechobee: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

The median income in Okeechobee comes in at $38,810 and the median home value is $110,500 for 2019.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Florida Cheapskate

If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Florida, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in florida for 2019.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Florida according to the data:

  1. Southwest Ranches
  2. Surfside
  3. Key West

For more Florida reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Florida

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Fort Meade 11.33 5,938 1.5x 57.6x
2 Live Oak 14.67 6,854 2.1x 58.2x
3 Starke 19.0 5,324 2.0x 55.6x
4 Macclenny 20.67 6,423 2.0x 71.0x
5 Bartow 22.33 18,705 2.2x 56.9x
6 Mascotte 23.5 5,442 2.2x 56.9x
7 Quincy 24.33 7,599 2.6x 57.2x
8 Perry 31.33 6,948 2.7x 52.5x
9 Newberry 33.33 5,615 2.4x 72.6x
10 Okeechobee 37.33 5,596 2.8x 54.4x

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