In comparison to other major cities in the US, such as New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, the cost of living in Miami is significantly lower. That said, it's still relatively expensive when put into a global context, ranking 17th out of 226 cities worldwide in Mercer's 2024 Cost of Living City Ranking.

The cost of living in Miami is significantly affected by lifestyle choices – there are just as many opportunities to save as there are to splurge. Accommodation and transport are likely to be one's biggest expenses.

Cost of accommodation in Miami

The cost of purchasing a home in Miami has been continuously climbing over the past few years and looks set to continue. While this is good news for those looking to invest in real estate, it does mean that rental prices are also on the rise.

When looking for accommodation in Miami, new arrivals may notice that there's plenty of availability in new and expensive developments, but there are far fewer options for people on a tight budget. It's worth noting, though, that outlying suburbs are generally cheaper than central inner-city areas, and adding a little extra to one's commute time can pay off when it comes to saving money on rent. 

Utilities in Miami are 6 percent higher than the national average, so this is another expense new arrivals will need to consider when renting or purchasing a home. Newcomers looking in Miami should be prepared for the initial rental costs of security deposits and utility deposits. 

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Miami

Entertainment in Miami is often relatively expensive, especially in popular areas such as South Beach. There are, however, plenty of affordable things for expats to do in Miami, such as spending a day exploring the city's botanical gardens, hiking in the Everglades National Park or perfecting one's tan on the beach.

The cuisine in Miami is influenced by the city's diversity, and the cost of eating out will largely depend on a newcomer's personal preference. Fast food, ethnic restaurants and food vans will be more affordable, while newcomers looking to explore sit-down restaurants should expect to shell out handsomely for the food and tips. Alcoholic drinks are also fairly pricey, so newcomers will need to be strategic when enjoying a night out.

Cost of groceries in Miami

The cost of groceries in Miami is 16 percent higher than the national average. New arrivals to the city are advised to shop around and visit several grocery stores during their first few weeks in Miami to find the most affordable supermarkets in their neighbourhoods. 

Aldi, Costco and Trader Joe's are among the most affordable supermarkets in Miami. While Publix is the most popular grocery store in Miami, budget-conscious new arrivals are advised to avoid shopping at premium supermarkets for all their basics as this can be quite expensive. 

Cost of transport in Miami

The cost of public transport in Miami is reasonable, but the public transport system is not as comprehensive as that in other major US cities. New arrivals can reduce their transport costs by purchasing a reloadable EASY card. That said, most people from Miami tend to own a car for convenience. As such, those planning a move to the city would do well to budget for the cost of buying and maintaining a vehicle. This includes petrol (gas), parking and maintenance fees. 

Cost of education in Miami

Foreigners and US citizens alike can attend public schools free of charge, many of which offer a good standard of education. Parents who wish to send their children to a private or international school in the city should note that school fees can be high, and there are often additional expenses for things like school uniforms, stationery, extracurriculars and textbooks.

Cost of healthcare in Miami

The USA does not have universal healthcare, so expats and new arrivals moving to Miami must secure private health insurance to affordably access the city's healthcare facilities. Miami boasts excellent healthcare and practitioners, but costs are high. 

Some expats may be fortunate enough to have their health insurance covered by employers. Those who do not can compare different health insurance providers and choose the most appropriate cover for their needs.  

Cost of living in Miami chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for December 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)
Three-bedroom apartment in city centreUSD 5,400
Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centreUSD 3,700
One-bedroom apartment in city centreUSD 2,900
One-bedroom apartment outside of city centreUSD 2,100
Eggs (dozen)USD 5
Milk (1 litre)USD 1.17
Rice (1kg)USD 5
Loaf of white breadUSD 4
Chicken breasts (1kg)USD 15
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)USD 9
Eating out
Big Mac MealUSD 12
Coca-Cola (330ml)USD 3
Cappuccino USD 5
Local beer (500ml)USD 7
Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurantUSD 110
Mobile phone monthly plan with calls and dataUSD 54
Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) USD 68
Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)USD 167
Taxi rate (per kilometre)USD 0.89
Bus/train fare in the city centre USD 2.25
Petrol/gasoline (per litre)USD 0.93

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