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Cost of Living in Florida vs Maryland

Cost of Living in Florida vs Maryland

Key Takeaways

  • Florida: No state income tax, lower housing costs, higher insurance rates.
  • Maryland: Higher housing costs near D.C., progressive income taxes, more affordable healthcare, efficient public transportation.

Understanding the cost of living is essential when considering relocating. This detailed comparison between Florida and Maryland delves into economic factors affecting everyday life in these states, offering a clearer picture of where you might prefer to live based on financial considerations.

Cost of Living Overview

The “cost of living” includes expenses such as housing, food, taxes, and healthcare. These factors vary depending on the region’s economy, lifestyle, and climate.

Cost of Living in Florida

Housing Costs

Florida’s housing market shows considerable variation. For instance, the median home price in Miami is about $450,000, whereas more rural areas like Lakeland offer median prices around $245,000. Rent in major cities like Orlando averages $1,400 for a one-bedroom apartment.

Transportation Costs

Florida’s average gasoline price is around $3.20 per gallon, with residents typically paying about $1,800 annually for car insurance due to the state’s high risk of natural disasters.

Grocery and Food Expenses

The average monthly cost for groceries per person in Florida is approximately $323, slightly below the national average of $336.

Healthcare Costs

The average annual premium for health insurance is around $5,600, which is about 5% higher than the national average.


Florida is one of the few states without a state income tax. However, sales tax can be as high as 7.5% in some areas, and property tax rates average around 0.98%.

Cost of Living in Maryland

Housing Costs

In Maryland, housing costs can be quite high, especially near Washington, D.C. The median home price in Montgomery County is around $530,000, with rents averaging $1,700 for a one-bedroom apartment.

Transportation Costs

Maryland’s average gasoline price matches the national average at $3.30 per gallon, but public transportation options like the Metro can reduce monthly commuting costs significantly.

Grocery and Food Expenses

Marylanders pay about $350 per month on groceries per person, which is above the national average.

Healthcare Costs

Healthcare in Maryland is more affordable compared to Florida, with average health insurance premiums at about $4,800 per year, mainly due to effective state health policies.


Maryland has a progressive state income tax ranging from 2% to 5.75%, plus local income taxes, which can make the overall tax burden relatively high.

Comparative Analysis

Florida generally offers a lower cost of living, especially considering its lack of state income tax and lower average housing costs. However, healthcare and insurance costs can offset some of these savings. Conversely, while Maryland is more expensive in terms of taxes and housing, it offers better healthcare affordability and more efficient public transportation, which may appeal more to families and urban workers.

FAQs of Cost of Living Maryland vs Florida

What are the most significant factors affecting the cost of living differences between Florida and Maryland? 

The absence of a state income tax in Florida significantly reduces the overall tax burden, whereas Maryland’s higher housing and healthcare costs increase expenses.

How does the absence of a state income tax in Florida impact overall affordability? 

This absence typically makes Florida more affordable for those with higher incomes and retirees, saving an average of 5% to 10% in annual revenue.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of the higher housing costs in Maryland? 

Higher housing costs are tied to better job opportunities and amenities, especially near D.C., but they limit affordability for lower-income residents.

How do healthcare costs compare between the two states? 

Florida’s healthcare costs are higher by about 15% compared to Maryland, influenced by a larger elderly population and fewer state regulations.

Which state is more cost-effective for retirees? 

Florida, with its lower overall tax burden and generally lower cost of living, is typically more cost-effective for retirees.

How do transportation costs affect the overall cost of living in each state? 

In Florida, reliance on cars increases transportation costs, while Maryland’s robust public transport options can significantly reduce these expenses.

Choosing between Florida and Maryland depends on individual circumstances such as employment, lifestyle, and family size. Those seeking lower taxes and cheaper housing might prefer Florida, while those valuing accessible healthcare and transportation might find Maryland more suitable.