The economy and cost of living in Florida is top of mind for almost all full-time residents. We’ve seen housing and rental prices sky rocket after Hurricane Ian. And that is just one area of the economy. You might be surprised to see how places like Fort Myers and Cape Coral show up on this latest list. It ranks Florida’s cheapest (and most expensive) cities to live.

The stats come from They used cost of living data from Numbeo which looks at everything from the costs of eggs to the price of joining a gym to how expensive it is to get a taxi. All of that data was classified into six categories; accommodation, leisure, groceries, clothing, transportation, utilities and bills. Next, each category was assigned a score. Income levels were also factored into the equation. Finally, the scores were tallied for an overall score.

$100 bill lined up and stacked on top of each other

We are ranking Florida’s cheapest (and most expensive) cities to live. Where do you think Southwest Florida cities will fall?

Here are the results of Florida’s cheapest cities.

Hollywood is the cheapest city to live.  It scored well in transportation and clothing costs. For example, the average cost of a pair of jeans like Levi’s 501 or similar, is $35. Fort Myers comes in second. The city scores high in the low cost of utilities and clothing. Here is an interesting side note. Fort Myers also ranks as one of the warmest cities in Florida so the need for air conditioning is high.

The list includes 29 cities. Naples did not show up in this survey. However, we know other reports rank the city as one of the highest rental markets in the state.

You know the least expensive cities. Here are the top five MOST expensive cities to live in Florida.  This list might surprise you as well.

  • #5 Sarasota

    It costs a lot to buy groceries here according to these stats. Add transportation costs and they rank high enough to put Sarasota in the top five most expensive cities list.
    Going toward Downtown Sarasota from from the Ringling Bridge

  • #4 Miami

    I thought this one would rank number one. It is in the top ten of highest incomes per capita list. However, accommodations and leisure activities are quite pricey here.
    Miami skyline

  • #3 Orlando

    High grocery bills is one of the factors that catapulted this city to the top of most expensive cities in Florida list. In addition, the cost of leisure activities is pretty high.
    Welcome to Orlando sign at Lake Lucerne

  • #2 Gainesville

    This college town ranks high in the groceries and utilities categories but also on the lower end of personal annual income per capita.
    Football fans tailgating in cool weather

  • #1 Tampa

    Tampa’s most expensive metrics are in the leisure and transportation. The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is $2,091.
    Tampa Bay Lightening stadium exterior

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