Four Palm Beach County cities in Florida have been ranked in the top 10 of the state’s largest municipalities for the least expensive cost of living, according to a study conducted by FloridaRentals.com. These cities include Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, and Boynton Beach. Conversely, Tampa has been identified as the most expensive city in the state, with Miami being the only South Florida city to fall within the top 10 expensive cities.
The study considered various categories such as leisure, groceries, clothing, transport, utilities, bills, child care, and salaries. These factors were then compared to the average annual personal income in each city, resulting in an index of the cheapest cities to live in Florida.
The city of Hollywood claimed the top spot as the least expensive city, with a score of 61.29, followed by Fort Myers in second place with a score of 60.19. Boca Raton secured the third position with a score of 59.76, while Bradenton and Melbourne came in fourth and fifth places respectively, with scores of 69.64 and 58.72. Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, and Boynton Beach ranked sixth, seventh, and eighth, with scores of 57.59, 57.31, and 57.26 respectively. Deerfield Beach and Palm Coast rounded out the top 10 with scores of 56.32 and 56.20.
On the other end of the spectrum, the study revealed that the 10 most expensive cities in Florida were Tampa (29th), Gainesville (28th), Orlando (27th), Miami (26th), Sarasota (25th), Clearwater (24th), Kissimmee (23rd), Ocala (22nd), Pensacola (21st), and St. Petersburg (20th).
Amongst these cities, Boca Raton achieved the highest score for clothing and utilities and bills. In Boca Raton, the average cost of a monthly mobile phone plan with calls and 10GB+ data stood at $43. On the other hand, Tampa was identified as having the highest costs for leisure and transport among all cities in the state.
The study also emphasized the variation in housing costs across Florida, with Miami, Tampa, and Orlando generally having higher housing costs compared to more rural cities that offer more affordable housing options. Additionally, the cost of utilities, including electricity, water, and air conditioning, can also vary based on location, usage, and the time of year.
A spokesperson for FloridaRentals.com stated, “Florida is known for having a relatively diverse cost of living that can vary significantly depending on each specific city.” They added, “While Hollywood boasts a relatively high annual personal income per capita of $73,522, other factors contribute to its top ranking. For instance, Fort Myers has an annual personal income per capita of $62,885, and its cheapest factor is clothing, with the average cost of a summer dress at a high street retailer being $25.”
In conducting the study, data from Census.gov, Numbeo, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis were utilized. The full data set can be accessed at Cheapest cities in Florida to live.xlsx on sharepoint.com.