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With its near perfect weather, top-notch beaches, and world-renowned theme parks, living in the Sunshine State is worth every penny. But which places in Florida are the most expensive to live in?
It turns out that the priciest places in Florida are in one of two places: the Florida Keys and around Miami. If you're willing to break the bank for a year-round tropical vibe, head to Key West or Marathon. For those who are more interested in a vibrant community with out-of-this-world Cuban cuisine, stick to the Magic City and it's surrounding cities. In either case, you're paying a premium to live near some of the country's best beaches. Hey, Florida is already one of America's most expensive states, so why not pay a little extra to really live the high life?
How much money should you earn to live comfortably in one of the most expensive cities in Florida? The data shows that you need to earn at least $36,638/year to live in these highly desirable locations. Florida is home to about 10% of the Forbes 400 wealthiest list, so it should come as no surprise that you need a hefty salary to compete. To live in these cities, you'll have to pay a higher proportion of your salary on housing, and considering Florida has one of the highest average rents in America, you may want to earn even more to cover that expense.
If you're ready to brave hurricanes and alligators, and pay a high price for the privilege, read on to find out the most expensive places to live in Florida.
What's the most expensive place to live in Florida? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Key West is the most expensive place to live in Florida.
So hopefully Fort Meade (the cheapest place to live in Florida) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.
And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Florida and the most expensive cities in the country:
The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Florida For 2020
Key West is an island city in Florida and the county seat of Monroe County. The city boundaries include the island of Key West and several nearby islands, as well as the section of Stock Island north of U.S. Route 1, on the adjacent key just east of the city. Sigsbee Park-originally known as Dredgers Key-and Fleming Key, both located to the north, and Sunset Key located to the west are all included in the city boundaries. Both Fleming Key and Sigsbee Park are part of Naval Air Station Key West and are inaccessible to the general public. Key West is the southernmost city in the contiguous United States and the southern terminus of U.S. Route 1, State Road A1A, the East Coast Greenway and, before 1935, the Florida East Coast Railway.
The median income in Key West comes in at $67,712 and the median home value is $578,100 for 2020.
Southwest Ranches is a town in Broward County, Florida, United States. It is located on the eastern edge of the Everglades, 15 miles southwest of Fort Lauderdale. It became the county's 30th incorporated place in 2000 to avoid annexation into Pembroke Pines and to preserve its semi-rural lifestyle. Because the area has many horse ranches and is located in the southwestern part of Broward County, residents chose "Southwest Ranches" over other potential town names.
The median income in Southwest Ranches comes in at $104,083 and the median home value is $627,700 for 2020.
The median income in Surfside comes in at $86,088 and the median home value is $581,800 for 2020.
Miami is a major port city on the Atlantic coast of south Florida in the southeastern United States. As the seat of Miami-Dade County, the municipality is the principal, central, and the most populous city of the Miami metropolitan area and part of the second-most populous metropolis in the southeastern United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Miami's metro area is the eighth-most populous and fourth-largest urban area in the U.S., with a population of around 5.5 million.
The median income in Miami comes in at $36,638 and the median home value is $292,900 for 2020.
Miami Beach is a coastal resort city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. It was incorporated on March 26, 1915. The municipality is located on natural and man-made barrier islands between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, the latter of which separates the Beach from Miami. The neighborhood of South Beach, comprising the southernmost 2.5 square miles of Miami Beach, along with downtown Miami and the Port of Miami, collectively form the commercial center of South Florida. As of the 2010 census, Miami Beach had a total population of 87,779. It has been one of America's pre-eminent beach resorts since the early 20th century.
The median income in Miami Beach comes in at $53,348 and the median home value is $443,400 for 2020.
Sunny Isles Beach is a city located on a barrier island in northeast Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The city is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Intracoastal Waterway on the west.
The median income in Sunny Isles Beach comes in at $55,209 and the median home value is $340,700 for 2020.
Aventura is a planned, suburban city located in northeastern Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The city name is from the Spanish word for "adventure", and was named "Aventura" after one of the developers of the original group of condominiums in the area remarked to the others, "What an adventure this is going to be." According to the U.S. Census estimates of 2010, the city had a population of 35,762. Aventura is located 18 miles north of the city of Miami.
The median income in Aventura comes in at $63,131 and the median home value is $345,000 for 2020.
West Miami is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The population was 5,965 at the 2010 census.
The median income in West Miami comes in at $48,418 and the median home value is $303,800 for 2020.
Marathon is a city on Knight's Key, Boot Key, Key Vaca, Fat Deer Key, Long Point Key, Crawl Key and Grassy Key islands in the middle of the Florida Keys, in Monroe County, Florida, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 10,255. As of 2014, the population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau was 8,708.
The median income in Marathon comes in at $53,866 and the median home value is $389,300 for 2020.
North Bay Village is a city located in Miami-Dade County, Florida. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 6,733. As of 2010, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 7,137.
The median income in North Bay Village comes in at $55,000 and the median home value is $293,300 for 2020.
How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Sunshine State For 2020
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- 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 2014-2018 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 most 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 217 places in Florida that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the highest cost of living in Florida according to the data is Key West. You can download the data here.
Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Florida For 2020
Well there you have it, the places in Florida that have the highest cost of living, with Key West ranking as the most expensive city in the Sunshine State.
Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Florida according to the data:
- Fort Meade
- Live Oak
For more Florida reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In Florida
- Cheapest Places To Live In Florida
- Most Dangerous Places In Florida
- Best Places To Raise A Family In Florida
- Safest Places In Florida
- Worst Places To Live In Florida