Miami vs. Fort Lauderdale Living  

There is plenty that can draw you to Florida, from the cityscapes to the natural wonderland the comprise this sub-tropical state. When in Florida, you will never be short of fantastic activities to tickle your fancy. That is part of why living in Florida can be so incredibly popular. But when it comes to narrowing down where exactly you wish to make your home, the options can be overwhelming.

In this article we will examine two of Florida’s most popular cities and narrow down what makes each of them an ideal place to put down roots. Miami and Fort Lauderdale both have a lot to offer people that are seeking to move to Florida, but a move is always a big decision and you should make sure that you have your information completely in order before you commit to anything. When it comes to this particular choice, it is important to consider things such as the Cost of Living Miami and Things to Do in Miami, the Cost of Living Fort Lauderdale and Things to do in Fort Lauderdale, Miami Climate vs. Fort Lauderdale Climate, and Demographics of Fort Lauderdale vs. Miami Demographics.

Cost of Living

Perhaps the most important thing to consider when moving into a new city is the cost of living as that is the part that will go towards your budget. The cost of living is typically determined by the prices of housing, food, taxes, and healthcare. This means that there can be quite a bit of fluctuation occurring when you go to calculate the overall cost, based on the time of year. When you consider moving to Miami or Fort Lauderdale, you have to ensure that you have enough in your bank accounts and make enough in your salary that you can safely cover all of your expenses and feel comfortable making the move. Below are some basic compiliations of the sort of prices that one can expect when living in either the city of Miami or the city of Fort Lauderdale.

Cost of Living Miami

The city of Miami is approximately 14% higher that the national average in terms of the cost of living. Miami is a rather well known big city located near to the ocean, so this higher expense should not come as too much of a surprise if you think about it.


The median home price in Miami is around $498,986. If you are seeking to buy a home in Miami, then you might be a little taken aback without proper research and financing. For renters, the monthly average is $1,563. Utilities are slightly more affordable than the national average, with the monthly average for an electricity bill being $$165.31 and the average monthly phone plan being $176.22. Gas is approximately $2.93 a gallon at the time that this article is being written, and has certainly been known to fluctuate.


The grocery prices in Miami are slightly higher than the national average. If we briefly examine the average prices of some common food staples, we will see that a gallon of milk can cost $2.04, a loaf of bread can cost $3.51, a bunch of bananas can cost $3.54, a carton of eggs can cost $1.91, and a hamburger can cost $4.47.


For 2020, the minimum combined sales tax rate in Miami is 7%. 6% of that is from the overall state tax for Florida, while the remaining one percent comes from the Miami Dade County sales. This is not an unreasonable amount of sales tax to be affected by in your day to day life.


Healthcare in Miami is actually lower than the national average. The average doctor visit can cost around $107.39, a dentist visit is $92.26, an optometrist visit is $100.63, and prescription drugs average out to around $427.77. For the furry and feathery members of your household, a vet visit can cost approximately $52.19.

Cost of Living Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is approximately 16% higher than the national average in terms of the cost of living. This means that is also slightly more expensive than the city of Miami, if not as quick to the tongue when one is asked to name a city that is in Florida.


Those that are looking to purchase their own home in Fort Lauderdale might initially be highly taken aback by the median price of $528,481. For individuals that are more interested in renting an abode, Fort Lauderdale rates tend to be around $1,656 a month. utilities are only slightly below the national average, with the monthly rate for electricity bills being $166.15 a month and the monthly rate for a phone plan being $177.11 a month. At the time of this article, gas prices in Fort Lauderdale are averaging out to be approximately $2.82 a month.


Groceries in Fort Lauderdale are slightly higher than the national average. In order to carefully plan your future budget you can take a look at the following list of items and prices: a loaf of bread can cost around $3.41, a gallon of milk can cost around $1.99, a carton of eggs can cost around $1.86, a bunch of bananas can cost around $3.44, and a hamburger can cost $4.35.


For 2020, the minimum combined sales tax rate in Fort Lauderdale is 7%. 6% of that is from the overall state tax for Florida, while the remaining one percent comes from the Broward County sales. This is not an unreasonable amount of sales tax to be affected by in your day to day life.


The cost of healthcare in Fort Lauderdale is slightly less than the national average. You can rest easy knowing that you can go and see a doctor for $107.06, pay a visit to the dentist at $91.97, take a trip to the optometrist at $100.32, and obtain your prescription drugs for the price of $426.45. If you need to take one of your pets to the vet then the visit will only cost you $52.86

Miami Climate vs. Fort Lauderdale Climate

The climate of an area can deeply affect your comfort and desire to live in that area. That is why it is an important detail to keep in mind while you are working on choosing a new place to live. You definitely want to be comfortable in the city that you live in, and ensuring that the surrounding climate is a quick and easy way to do that. In this section we will quickly go over the important details of the climate in both Miami and Fort Lauderdale in order to help you decide which city is better for you.

Miami Climate

Miami is considered to be in a Tropical Monsoon Climate. Located along the coast at sea level, the city is located just north of the Tropic of Cancer along the Gulf stream. Because of this positioning, the summers in Miami are often very hot and humid while the winters are typically warm and dry.

It is incredibly rare for the temperature in Miami to fall below freezing during the short winters, and that’s if the temperature drops below the average range of the low fifties and high forties. On the other end of the spectrum, the highs in winter are often around the seventies.

When the wet season hits in May and brings the summer temperatures, the highes raise to the mid eighties to low eighties. A triple digit high has not been recorded in Miami since July 21, 1942 when the temperature reached one hundred degrees on the Fahrenheit scale. The summers are very humid, but the heat is typically relieved a little bit by thunderstorms and sea breezes. The majority of the rainfall, which reaches an average of 61.9 inches, occurs during these muggy, warmer periods.

Miami is located between two major bodies of water that are known for tropical activity, which means that is one of the most likely cities to be struck by a hurricanee. While the city has not suffered a direct hit sine Hurricane Cleo in 1964, many other hurricanes have had a major affect on the city without beinf a head on strike.

Fort Lauderdale Climate

The Köppen climate classification states that Fort Lauderdale has a trade-wind tropical rainforest. While this locations boasts over three thousand hours of sunshine per year, Fort Lauderdale does not have a true dry season. Most of the rainfall does occur during the warmer period between May and October, but there is a high chance of humidity and rainfall year round.

During the warmer months, temperatures in Fort Lauderdale often sit around the mid eighties to low nineties for the highs. The lows during these hot and humid months are typically in the low seventies. Temperatures in the summer months had reached the triple digits as recently as 2009.

The winter months do feature a drop in temperature and slightly less rain, but the lowest average during this period is in the range of the high fifties to mid sixties. The highs during this cooler period are typically in the range of the mid seventies to low eighites. Brush fires are a larger concern during the winter months rather than the rare frost or snow flurry.

Hurricanes are most likely to strike the state during September and October, but it wouldn’t be impossible for the city to be affected by hurricanes outside of that statistical period. The city was recently directly affected by Hurricane Irma in 2017, after twelve years of not having a Hurrican directly affect the area. Beyond hurricanes, the average yearly percipitation for Fort Lauderdale is approximately 64.2 inches, with the majority of that rain coming during summer.

Demographics of Fort Lauderdale vs. Miami Demographics

Demographic studies of cities are something that many individuals might relate to the nationality and ethnicity end of the spectrum, but in reality there is a lot more that goes into them that makes it an important facet of the decision making process when one is studying cities to move to. Demographics also include age, marital status, income levels, education, and occupation. These extra examples of demographics can definitely make or break a city that you want to live in. After all, if you have a family with small children you hardly want to live in an area thats primarily clubs and college students. In this section we will delve into some of the demographics of Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Demographics of Fort Lauderdale

The population of Fort Lauderdale is approximately 177,175 with a 1.15 percent growth rate at the moment. The poverty rate at the moment is around 19.3 perent with the highest demographic in poverty being females in the age range of 25 to 31. The average household income in Fort Lauderdale at the moment is $52,315 with the number of employees sitting in the number range of 89,799. The average age of Fort Lauderdale residents is about 42 years old.

Demographics of Miami

The population of Miami is approximately 470,911 with a 1.63 percent growth rate at the moment. The poverty rate at the moment is around 25.8 perent with the highest demographic in poverty being females in the age range of 35 to 44. The average household income in Fort Lauderdale at the moment is $41,818 with the number of employees sitting in the number range of 235,956. The average age of Fort Lauderdale residents is about 40.5 years old.

Things To Do

Now that we have managed to get all of the important if a bit tedious information out of the way, we can explore the facets that likely initiatly drew you to the area: activities and attractions that are far more exciting than house shopping or comparing climates and demographics. Florida has a fantastic amount of activities to offer you, and both Miami and Fort Lauderdale are absolutely packed with fantastic opportunities that will draw you in and help you to feel right at home in the city of your dreams.

Whether you happen to be a museum lover of a nature lover, you will certainly find a plethora of opportunities to entertain yourself and any visitors that might travel to see where you have decided to settle for the time being.

Things to Do in Miami

Miami’s location along the cost makes it a fantastic place for water sports nd other beach and ocean activities. However, Miami is also a city that has a rich history of art and culture which means there is a lot more there.

Monkey Jungle Talk a walk on the otherside while you wander these carefully constructed pathways through a grove of trees. Instead of seeing the monkeys in a cage at the zoo, you are essentially caged and confined as you wander a much more natural enclosure and see monkeys in a way that is a lot more similar to how they would be behaving in the wild instead of in captivity. It is certainly an opportunity that you will not want to miss out on as well as one that will no doubt delight any guests you bring.

The Ancient Spanish Monastery Originally constructed in the twelfth century, this monastery was transported brick by brick from Spain to the United States in 1925. Though it took another twenty-five years to be rebuilt in what we now know as Miami, it is a fantastic addition to a city filled with wondrous history. Currently owned by an active church, visitors are more than welcome to wander the grounds most days between ten in the morning and 4:30 in the afternoon and get a first hand experience with this example of fantastic architecture and piece of living history.

Stiltsville This location is truly an experience that you can only find in Miami. Stiltsville is a collection of homes that are built from wood and reinforced concrete stilts that seem to hover about ten feet above the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay. Now totalling seven homes in total, it is commonly thought that the original home in Stiltsville – built by crawfish fisherman Eddie Walker – was built in order to facilitate gambling towards the end of Prohibition. Originally started in the 1930s, these homes have a blend of retro and vintage styles paired with the unique fact that they are found standing above the waters of the ocean.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens This fantastically beautiful mansion was once the home businessman James Deering, one of the founders of the famed manufacturer of agricultural machinery and construction equipment known as Deering McCormick-International Harvester. The estate is now primarily a museum and event space that welcomes visitors to roam the halls of the home and the pathways of the garden. Visitors can tour the over fifty rooms and enjoy the many courtyards and gardens. The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is the perfect opportunity to observe a more opulent side of life.

Wynwood Step into one of the neighborhoods that Miami has become popular for. Miami’s famed Wynwood neighborhood is a formerly industrial neighborhood that rose to fame very quickly as a hot spot for graffiti and street art. Wander the streets and observe the fantastic murals that decorate the sides of building that now contain trendy boutiques, restaurants, galleries, and bars. Wynwood rose from being purely a place of industry to a place where the art is as alive as it is everywhere, making it one of the most inviting neighborhoods in the city.

Coral Castle Over twenty-eight years, Ed Leedskalnin built this fantastic monument to his lover that has today turned into a quirky mystery that showcases everything unique about Miami. Made from 1,100 tons of coral, Coral Castle is known not only for the unique architecture that it possesses, but some interesting wonders of science that border on the downright magical at times. Coral Castle is a must see if you enjoy mysteries, architecture, or any form of story that lingers in your mind long after you first find yourself exposed to the details of it. If nothing else, this wondrous architectural feat will certainly leave an impression on you and anyone that you introduce it to.

Little Havana known as the vibrant Cuban heart of Miami, Little Havana is filled with Latin American art galleries and busy restaurants. Wonder the streets of this neighborhood and watch as cafes with walk-up windows sell Cuban coffee to cigar-smoking patrons. On Calle Ocho, socialize with locals as they discuss politics over dominoes at Maximo Gomez Park, which is also called Domino Park by those that reside within the area. Visit the historic Tower Theater to watch independent and revival films, or delve into some of the area’s clubs that host live Latin music.

The Margulies Collection at the WAREhOUSE So many picture art as the traditional painted canvas and marble statues. This collection introduces visitors to the wild side of the art world with a focus on modern and vintage pieces that create almost a surreal mindscape as you wander through the exhibits torn between awe and trepidation. Pop culture blends perfectly into complex surrealism at the WAREhOUSE and this collection is sure to leave an impression on you. You will definitely have to visit multiple times in order to grasp the full scope of all of the pieces.

Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Known as the “Venice of America,” Fort Lauderdale is filled with stunning boating canals, beautiful beaches, and luxurious locations for shopping and socializing. Fort Lauderdale has a fantastic amount of options to take in, whether you opt for the decadent or the world of natural wonder waiting just outside for you.

Stranahan HouseThe landmark Stranahan House was built in 1901 as the home of one of Fort Lauderdale’s founding fathers, Frank Stranahan. The stunning structure is complete with a wraparound veranda that features a wooden porch where Mrs. Stranahan would sit with the children of the Seminole tribe as she offered them English lessons during the settlement of the region. Today you can stroll the grounds of the historic waterfront Stranahan House along the New River as you thoughtfully mull over the history of the region.

Bonnet Museum and Gardens This historic location is perhaps best known for boasting 35 acres of land on a coastal barrier island. More than that though, the Bonnet House sits on five ecosystems, including the Atlantic Ocean beach, mangrove wetlands and forest. The 20th-century house was home to two American artists and boasts a generous art collection. Roam the halls of the house as you drink in the wonders of the art collection before stepping out onto the grounds and observing how the landscape shifts between the numerous ecosystems that the house has managed to neighbor and coexist with.

Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum This location is an absolute dream for car enthusiasts. The Antique Car Museum hosts a collection of historic automobiles from the Packard Motor Company. Wander through their numerous models and engine pieces as well as their pre-war memorabilia. This location has more to offer than just old cars and fascinating examples of how engines have evolved over time. There is a gallery dedicated to the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the premises if you need to take a break from drinking in the wonders of the automotive industry over the ages.

Hillsboro Inlet Light Explore one of the many lighthouses that help keep the boats on the ocean waves safe from the coast during the night and during storms. Aside from its iconic lighthouse, the Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano is known for its deep sea fishing. You can easily book a charter at the Hillsboro Inlet Fishing Center and go out onto the very waves that the Light safeguards in order to catch Mahi, Wahoo and more. This is truly a unique experience that you can come back to time and time again just for an opportunity to unwind from the hectic day to day that life can become.

Flamingo Gardens This fantastic location is a Tropical Botanic Garden and Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary that spans over sixty acres of land and includes an aviary and zoo. As the name suggests, you can indeed see flamingos at this location along with tortoises, alligators, and other creatures that are typically considered to be exotic but just naturally exist in this environment as it is their original ecosystem. The flora and fauna that you will find in this area are absolutely breathtaking and will leave you filled with absolute wonder during your visit.

Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts This particular museum is dedicated to the type of art that everyone owns examples of but rarely consider to be be actual examples of art. Bowls and vases are only a few of the examples that spring to mind, and those two examples alone have an almost overwhelming range of designs and styles that you can admire when you pay a visit to this particular location. Filled with unique items that are painted, carved, or otherwise designed to be some form of statement piece, this museum highlights all of the thought that goes into even the simplest decoration piece that you might come across.

Bienes Museum of the Modern Book, The Bienes Museum of the Modern Book, previously known as the Bienes Center for the Literary Arts, is the rare book department located on the 6th floor of Broward County’s Main Library. Featuring special collections, rare books, artifacts, manuscripts, and reference materials, this museum is a book lovers absolute dream. The museum got started with the help of a one million dollar donation from philanthropists Diane and Michael Bienes, who also donated a hefty portion of their own private collection to the museum.

F.A.T. Village Arts District This artistically oriented village district hosts a monthly arts walk that will take you through not only fantastically muraled areas of the neighborhood but through rows and rows of kiosks run by local artisans that are displaying and selling their products to interested parties. It is also likely that you will see some examples of outright beautiful cars as you meander through the streets of this artistic neighborhood, and you will more than likely come across a piece or two that you simply can not bear to leave behind and must take home with you.

Hopefully this article has left you feeling secure in your decision, or at the very least helped you consider details that you previously hadn’t considered in regards to your move to Florida. When properly researched, a move can be a fantastic opportunity to change your life for the better. THere are plenty of minute details that go into a move and plenty of small things that build up to make a location be either the ideal dream location or a living nightmare. With the right knowledge and research opportunities however, you will almost always find that you are able to find the perfect location in which to build your life.

Moving to Florida does not have to be a daunting endeavor. It can be simplified into a handful of easy and simple steps that boil down to information that can be quick to find. This article is something of a cheat sheet for the cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale as we have already compiled a lot of the important information for you in order to help you narrow down your search. The final decision on where you wish to live your life in Florida is one that only you can make though, no matter where you happen to read all of your information in preparation for moving.

Chris is a Midwest Transplant that has lived in South Florida since 1999. While he likes to remain active and is an avid sports enthusiast, he's become our go-to provider of reviews of any establishment serving food and booze!