Known as “Magic City” and “The Gateway to the Americas,” Miami is flanked by beautiful sandy beaches and turquoise waves. Residents living here enjoy a balmy climate and days soaked in sunshine. Around 5.5 million people call Miami home, making it the seventh most populous urban area in the entire country.
Thinking of moving to Miami, and wondering what it will be like, or trying to decide whether the city is a good site for your next real estate construction project? Let’s delve into data on the cost of living, transportation, taxes and more.
According to Sperling’s Best Places, the cost of living in Miami is a bit higher than it is on average for the US as a whole, but not by a whole lot. Sperling’s index places the nationwide average at 100, and rates Miami’s cost of living by comparison at 122.80. For reference, you can contrast this with some other coastal cities such as San Diego, which rates 166.00, and Los Angeles, which comes in at 166.20.
What’s the breakdown? Most costs in Miami are only marginally more expensive than the nationwide average. These include groceries, healthcare expenses, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses. Housing comes in at 157 (again versus an average nationwide index of 100), so that is where most of the added expense comes in. Utilities on the other hand are actually slightly less expensive in Miami.
You will save money on sales taxes while living in Miami. Florida’s sales tax rate is only 6%, which is lower than the US average. There is more good news as well; Florida is one of seven states which has no income tax. This helps to offset the cost of living nicely.
The US Census provides estimates for median household income, per capita income and poverty levels. According to the latest data, the average household brings in $44,224 per year, with median per capita income at $24,515. 18.2% of Miami-Dade residents are estimated to live in impoverished conditions. So the job market here can be tough.
If you have a job waiting for you, you should be able to earn a good living working in Miami. With the low taxes, there is a real opportunity to save money and secure your financial future if you are wise with budgeting decisions.
The Census lists the median value of housing units at $221,100 for the years 2012-2016, with monthly mortgage costs around $1,685. Zillow lists the current home value index for Miami at $326,369. Home values are projected to continue rising, so this is a good time to invest in some of the city’s beautiful real estate.
While there are several school districts in the Miami area, the largest and best-known is Miami-Dade County Public Schools. This public district is not only the largest in the state of Florida, but the fourth largest nationwide. There are 467 schools in the district in total. You can also choose from a variety of private schools in Miami.
Some of the top rated schools in the city include the International Studies Charter Middle School, the Aventura City of Excellence School, and the School for Advanced Studies.
According to data 2016, the mean commute time for residents of Miami-Dade county was just over half an hour. This is specifically the “travel time to work,” so the average round trip would be closer to an hour.
If you do not wish to drive in Miami, you can avail yourself of the Metrorail, usually referred to simply as the “Metro.” Consisting of the Orange Line and the Green line, the Metro provides 23 stops for your convenience. There are also Metrobuses you can use if you do not want to park at the station.
On the weekends, you will find lots of fun activities to fill your time in Miami. Downtown attractions include Wynwood Walls, Jungle Island, Freedom Tower, the Miami Seaquarium, Crandon Park, among many more. You are also right near the Everglades, so if you are a nature lover, one of the world’s most unique and diverse landscapes awaits you. Go hiking, kayaking, bird watching, and camping any time you want to get away from the city crowds.
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