Florida Has Become the Most Expensive Place to Live


Michael Tuszynski

Florida is now considered the most expensive place to live in the United States.

Sophia Cacoilo, Reporter

As many individuals have come to notice, pricing has continued to rise within past years, with little to no increase in minimum wage to keep up with the skyrocketing inflation. Florida is the lead when it comes to the issue, having become officially considered the most expensive place to live.

In the past three years, rent on average across the U.S. has jumped 24%. Comparing this to popular Florida cities, such as Miami, having a 61% increase in rent. Tampa is up 53%, Orlando up 34% and Jacksonville 32%.

“These Sun Belt markets, and Florida in particular, have topped our lists for the last couple months,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com, a real estate listings website.

In terms of average home values, the average cost rose in Miami from $188K in late 2011 to $489K in March 2022, according to Zillow. The same timeframe saw Orlando’s average home values rise from $138K to $379K, and Tampa’s from $125K to $367K. The national average was higher than Orlando’s and Tampa’s in 2011 as it sat around $165K, now having reached $338K. This does not line up with the minimum wage in the state of Florida, leaving many to struggle with these shocking changes.

The minimum wage in Florida for 2022 is $10.00 per hour which was first established September 30, 2021. However, it is scheduled to increase to $15.00 per hour by 2026 based on the Florida voters proposal called Amendment 2 (2020), with each year having the minimum wage raise by a dollar until 2026.

It is important to note the minimum wage for tipped employees is different from the minimum wage of non-tipped employees. According to Florida’s Department of Labor, the minimum wage for tipped employees in the state of Florida for 2022 is $6.98 per hour making a $3.02 difference.

In February, Miami was picked as the least affordable city to live in with renters spending 60% of their income to keep a roof over their heads. Tampa was not far behind with the average renter spending 45% of their income, and Orlando renters were spending 37%.

Exposing the devastating impact of the high, unbalanced, rents, can lead to brainstorming solutions and change to occur within the system.

It does not help the Floridian population is facing record breaking gas prices

According to AAA, the American Automobile Association, the average price of a gallon of gas spiked by around 30 cents last week, to an average of $4.49 a gallon. That beats the previous record high of $4.38 a gallon in March right after Russia invaded Ukraine. Prior to that, the record high was $4.08 in 2008. The new record is around $1.60 a gallon higher than this time last year.

This increase in gas prices is devastating for working parents who travel to and from work and take their children to childcare or school.