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Top 20 Cheapest Cities To Live in Florida

Florida isn't just for snowbirds anymore. Statistics from 2022 show that more than one million people moved to the Sunshine State that year. Trends from 2023 show that more people are moving out of more expensive urban places in the north and west and heading south to several states. 

The reason, according to experts, is that housing is cheaper, jobs more plentiful, cities are less crowded, and the weather is great. Those looking to retire are still among the largest groups moving to Florida but younger people are also seeking the state out because of the job growth potential.

Florida is a large state so there are many places to choose from to live. Some are more affordable than others. Below are the 20 most affordable places to live in Florida.

Key Takeaways

  • In 2022, over one million people moved to Florida, marking a shift from being predominantly a retirement destination to a state drawing a diverse demographic, including younger individuals and families.
  • The trend of migration from more expensive urban areas in the north and west to southern states, like Florida, is driven by factors such as lower housing costs, increased job opportunities, less crowded cities, and favorable weather conditions.
  • Given Florida's size, there's a plethora of cities to choose from, each offering a unique blend of lifestyle and affordability.

Florida heat map

1. Ocala

Ocala is a great mix of the landscape of horse country mixed with a laid-back city. Many of those moving to this city are retirees wanting a spot in the senior living community of The Villages, located just 36 minutes away. There are also many opportunities for those wanting to work in businesses targeting the older generation as this is the demographic that has money to spend. 

Ocala is not only the best affordable city to live in Florida but also one of the 30 most affordable cities in the U.S. The median home price is $248,700 and rent averages around $1,289. 

2. Gainesville

Gainesville is the largest city in the north-central part of the state. That is partly because the University of Florida is located there. This town is the place to be if you are younger because this college town has great nightlife. 

The cost of living doesn't rise much and is only about 2 percent higher than the average across the U.S. Single adults can live fine on $28,268 while a family of four will need just $65,100 to live comfortably in Gainesville.

3. Pine Hills

Pine Hills made the list because it's the place to go to buy a home, get a dog, and raise a family. It is highly suburban with denser housing and most people own their own homes. The average home cost is around $255,000. 

The average household income in this Florida city is $57,691 and there are lots of jobs available so families don't have to drive far to work.

4. Daytona Beach

Those moving to Florida sometimes want a beach and Daytona Beach is the perfect place for those who want a beach with a car vibe. Daytona has plenty of both beaches and cars as it's the home to the Daytona International Speedway. 

You don't need much money to live in Daytona Beach. That's because this city is below the national average in the cost of living. Single people only need $29,189 after taxes to do well while a couple with three children can live well on $75,359 as a household income.

5. Poinciana

Poinciana is a hidden gem in Florida but has become well-known among those ranking best cities across the U.S. It ranked #1 on America's 100 Nicest Places to Live twice. 

Poinciana is known as a great place to raise families as there is no nightlife. The median income is $52,285 but the thing to note is the cost of owning a home and renting isn't much different so it pays to own. 

6. Port Charlotte

Port Charlotte is another Florida town that has a lower cost of living than the rest of Florida and the rest of America. This city is centrally located so it's a hub town. It's close to beaches and harbors like Siesta Key Beach, Port Charlotte Beach State Park, and Boca Grande. Property values remain stable between $60,000 and $93,000 and the median household income is $54,956.

7. Deltona

Deltona is one of the cheapest U.S. cities to live in, with the cost of housing being 78.2% of the rest of the country. The median home price in this city is $326,500. The city has a lot of events, stores, and places for families to go and is low on crime. 

8. Lakeland

Lakeland is the right place for active people. It has a ton of shops and restaurants, several state parks, and public golf courses. Lake Mirror is a popular spot to jog or walk and views abound. 

Lakeland is also way below the national average for the cost of living - 13 percent lower - and is 17 percent lower than the rest of Florida. The average price of a home is $299,281, much less than the national average. 

A family can live well on just $54,000 a year in Lakeland while a single person only needs a $40,000 salary to have a comfortable life. 

9. Spring Hill

Spring Hill is four miles from the Gulf of Mexico and has a focus on outdoor activities like fishing, hunting, biking, and birdwatching. It's a quieter town with low crime, family-friendly neighborhoods, and gated communities. 

Housing expenses are lower than they are nationally, falling 29 percent below the national average. Utility prices are around 3 percent lower than the rest of the U.S. 

10. Melbourne

Melbourne is on Florida's Space Coast beside the Indian River Lagoon. It offers the great outdoors in its beaches, golf, fishing, snorkeling, and other water sports. 

It isn't the cheapest place to live in Florida but still highly affordable. Top earners make around $60,713 while the average income is $37,236.

11. Palm Bay

Palm Bay is a less popular city that is quiet, safe and has a countryside feel to it. The affordability factor is a reason many move there. The average home price of $172,200 is well below the national average with an average mortgage payment of $1,389.77 and the average rent at $1,101. 

12. Kissimmee

Kissimmee is a busy place because of its proximity to Orlando and all the parks there like Disney World, Epcot, MGM, and Universal. 

The city has a low cost of living and a thriving economy. It also has its own entertainment and shopping options so you don't have to travel outside the city for fun. Kissimmee is ranked 81 out of 273 cities in the U.S. for low cost of living. The cost of living is 1.7 percent above the national average. 

13. Lehigh Acres

Lehigh Acres residents love that everything is close by. They can shop, enjoy a meal, or find entertainment without driving for more than 10 minutes. 

This city is slightly above the national average for cost of living and is ranked 56 out of 273 cities for its affordability. Homes start at $166,295 making it affordable for many people.

14. Port Orange

One of the best reasons people move to Port Orange is jobs. It has a lot of career potential, especially with organizations like Brown and Brown Insurance and N.A.S.C.A.R. There are also many hospital jobs, law firm positions, and school jobs. 

The city also has plenty for a growing family to do from golf courses, sports teams, and the beach. The average price of a home in Port Orange is $262,000 and the city is 78.2% of the national average when it comes to cost of living. 

15. Palm Coast

Palm Coast is a retirement haven with it being named one of the top 10 on the list of "Best City to Retire in 2022" by Retirement Living. It has more than 80,000 residents and most own a home since it is 29 percent cheaper there than the rest of the U.S. 

16. Winter Haven

Winter Haven is a mix of families and retirees and more are moving there with thousands of new homes being built. It's a family-friendly city with many job opportunities and a community feel. 

The total cost of living for a single adult is around $4,000 less a year than the national average. The average cost of living for someone in Winter Haven is around $34,206 compared to $36,375 as the state average.

17. Titusville

Titusville has a lot going for it as it sits on the Canaveral National Seashore, making it a good place to watch rockets launch. It is close to beaches and is a bustling city with tons of recreation. It has a historic downtown that is the entry point for three multi-purpose trails. 

The public schools are top-notch and there are many parks in this dense suburban community. The cost of living for a single adult is only $33,980 and the average household income is $68,350, making it a great affordable city. 

18. Fort Pierce

History lovers are drawn to Fort Pierce because it has significant historic neighborhoods. It's located on the Treasure Coast and showcases that with sidewalks, tree-lined streets, neighborhood parks, and many nature trails. 

This city ranked third on most lists for affordability with median monthly housing costs set at around $655. The median home value is just $113,600 making home ownership within reach for most families. 

19. Pensacola

Pensacola is a busy city with beaches, nightlife, and many museums and historical sites. It's a diverse, friendly city that has both young and old living there. 

The cost of living in Pensacola is 6 percent less than the rest of Florida and 5 percent less than the national average. Housing is 9 percent less expensive than the U.S. average. 

20. Dunedin

Dunedin is a place for young people starting to feel at home. There are coffee shops, restaurants, bars and parks. Most people own their homes and retirees also like living there because of the convenience. The public schools are considered better than most.

The top 20 affordable cities in Florida showcase a range of options, from coastal living in Daytona Beach to the suburban charm of Pine Hills and the active lifestyle offered by cities like Lakeland. As people increasingly migrate from expensive urban areas to the Sunshine State, the trend underscores the importance of factors such as housing affordability, job growth, and quality of life.

Florida's geographic diversity provides a wealth of choices, each city presenting a unique blend of amenities, community vibes, and cost-effective living. Whether it's the bustling attractions of Kissimmee or the peaceful landscapes of Port Charlotte, the state caters to varied preferences and lifestyles.

Florida stands as a dynamic and inclusive state, continually evolving to meet the diverse needs of its residents. The affordability, job opportunities, and appealing lifestyle factors contribute to Florida's status as a sought-after destination, not just for snowbirds but for a broad spectrum of individuals and families looking for a new place to call home.

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