Before taking the leap and making the commitment to move to a new place, it's important for prospective residents to consider the cost of living and compare this to their earning potential and the lifestyle benefits that their new home offers.

Those with Jacksonville in their sights will be pleased to learn that the River City's cost of living is one of the lowest in Florida. It also consistently falls below the national average.

Those weighing up a move to Jacksonville should consider several factors when drawing up a budget. These include the cost of accommodation, transport options, healthcare expenses, lifestyle choices and if they have children, the price of schooling. This should all be compared alongside one's earning potential as well as the expenses of physically relocating, which in itself can be a costly exercise.

Cost of accommodation in Jacksonville

Most people relocating to Jacksonville will start by renting property until they find their feet. The fact that the city's rental market is so robust also increases investment potential when it comes to buying a place.

Housing prices are generally lower in Jacksonville than the national and Florida state averages. The standard of accommodation is high, so new arrivals are bound to get good value for money. As Florida is a flood-prone region, home insurance costs in the state are higher than most newcomers may be used to, so this is an extra expense to budget for. 

Cost of education in Jacksonville

The cost of education in Jacksonville varies considerably depending on an individual child's schooling path. The city has many public and private schools, so parents will have much to ponder.

Attending a public school costs next to nothing, whereas private schools set their fees. These tend to be high and increase as the child progresses through the grades. Parents who opt to send their child to a private school should also budget for additional expenses such as uniforms, textbooks, extracurricular activities and field trips.

Cost of healthcare in Jacksonville

Jacksonville is home to several excellent hospitals and healthcare facilities. While the cost of healthcare here is slightly lower than the national average, it is still expensive – this will be especially noticeable to those relocating from countries with free or heavily subsidised public healthcare. 

Foreigners and newcomers relocating from elsewhere in the USA should invest time researching health insurance schemes. There are plenty of competitive packages available, but it'll be up to the individual to find a policy that not only meets their health needs and those of their family members, but also realistically fits into their monthly budget. 

Anyone moving to Jacksonville for a job should try to negotiate a health insurance contribution into their employment contract, since this will allow for significant savings on these expenses.

Cost of transportation in Jacksonville

As the largest city in the continental US, Jacksonville is huge. Public transport in Jacksonville is cheap, especially if commuters purchase a STAR Card. That said, the public transport network doesn’t sufficiently cover areas beyond the city centre. For this reason, most long-term Jacksonville residents opt to drive. 

As is the case throughout Florida, cars are reasonably priced. In fact, used vehicles in the Sunshine State cost around 10 percent less than the national average. Conversely, maintaining a car won’t come cheap in Jacksonville. Petrol (gas) prices are some of the highest in the USA. Considering the long distances locals drive daily, it makes sense that these expenses can add up. Car insurance premiums in Jacksonville are also above average. 

Cost of groceries in Jacksonville

Grocery prices in Jacksonville are fairly affordable, at two percent below the national average. Newcomers looking to purchase imported and luxury goods will naturally spend more on groceries, while those who buy local and store brands will reduce their grocery bills. 

Purchasing local and seasonal produce is another fantastic way to reduce the weekly grocery spend. As Jacksonville is a coastal city, seafood will be more affordable here. 

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Jacksonville

Lifestyle expenses depend on an individual's taste, preferences and priorities. Jacksonville's residents can spend as much or as little as they like when keeping themselves entertained. On the one hand, the city has its fair share of fine-dining restaurants, fancy wine bars and exclusive cocktail lounges for those looking to splurge. On the other hand, there is plenty to see and do in Jacksonville without breaking the bank.

Spending a day with family and friends on one of Jacksonville’s many famous beaches is a popular low-budget activity. After all, holidaymakers travel from all over to get a bit of the Florida sun, while Jacksonville residents have it on their doorstep. The year-round sunny weather presents opportunities to get outdoors by hiking and biking along various trails or exploring one of the city’s many parks and gardens at no cost. 

Cost of living in Jacksonville chart

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Jacksonville in March 2024. 

Accommodation (monthly)
One-bedroom apartment in city centreUSD 1,650
One-bedroom apartment outside of city centreUSD 1,400
Three-bedroom apartment in city centreUSD 2,700
Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centreUSD 2,100
Eggs (dozen)USD 5.15
Milk (1 litre)USD 1.30
Rice (1kg)USD 3.80
Loaf of breadUSD 4
Chicken breasts (1kg)USD 13
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)USD 7.50
Eating out
Big Mac MealUSD 10
Coca-Cola (330ml)USD 2.70
CappuccinoUSD 4.80
Local beer (500ml)USD 5
Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurantUSD 80
Mobile phone monthly plan with calls and dataUSD 40
Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)USD 69
Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)USD 164
Taxi rate (per kilometre)USD 2.50
Bus/train fare in the city centreUSD 3
Petrol/gasoline (per litre)USD 0.91

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