While it's not one of the 10 most expensive states, Florida has a higher cost of living than the average for the country. According to the US Census Bureau, Florida's average 2007 rent of $925 per month was over 15 percent higher than the country's average. However, in 2010, the average home price of $175,700 was slightly less than the country's average of $185,700.
It's important to take the recent housing crisis into account when thinking about cost of living in Florida. In 2005, Florida housing prices exceeded the national average by more than 35 percent. But in 2011, the foreclosure rate in Florida was one of the highest in the country, with 1 in every 360 housing units in foreclosure. This has resulted in a massive amount of quick sales and has driven prices down.
When trying to anticipate future housing costs, it's impossible to know how this will affect Florida. It's possible that the state could either bounce back to higher-than-average prices or that it could level out to meet or fall below national averages.
According to USA Today, in 2010 Florida residents, on average, spent less per kilowatt-hour than the national average of 11.54 cents. However, with states such as California charging utility customers an average of 28.10 per kilowatt-hour, the average is slightly deceptive. Florida's rate of 11.44 is beaten by roughly half the states in the country, which can help to cut some of the cost of living in Florida.
Cost of living in Florida is affected positively by its substantial agricultural presence in the south. This makes the cost of some groceries cheaper, but it really depends on where a consumer shops and how close they might be to the farms in the state. Data cannot be found to compare Florida resident average grocery costs with national averages.
According to the Census Bureau, the average median US household income in 2010 was $49,445, whereas the Florida average was $44,243. It is important to consider the fact that the unemployment rate in Florida for December 2010 was 12 percent, much higher than the national average. This could definitely have played a part in the level of income for the average household, which means that it does not reflect an accurate income to deal with cost of living in Florida.