A low cost of living, beautiful weather and great quality of life are just a few things that attract new arrivals to Jacksonville. But, as is the case with any new destination, both advantages and disadvantages must be weighed up before deciding to move. 

Below are some of the broad pros and cons of living in Jacksonville. 

Accommodation in Jacksonville

House in Florida by Arian Fernandez from Pexels

+ PRO: Lots of choices and diverse neighbourhoods

There really is something for everyone in Jacksonville, from young professionals looking to be close to the action of downtown Jacksonville, to families who need access to good public schools, and retirees looking for communal living options close to the sea. Regardless of whether prospective residents are looking for a spacious family home, a modern apartment or luxury condo, there is a wide range of housing options in Jacksonville. 

- CON: It can get expensive

There is no doubt that there is a lot of investment potential when it comes to property in Jacksonville. While it is certainly possible to find affordable housing in the city, those looking to live in sought-after locations near downtown Jacksonville can expect to fork out for the privilege. Riverside living and ocean views don’t come cheap, either. 

Getting around in Jacksonville

+ PRO: Public transport is cheap

Getting around doesn't cost much for those living close to the city centre. Anyone who uses public transport regularly can save money by buying a weekly or monthly STAR card, which offers a further discount. 

- CON: Driving is a necessity

Although public transport in Jacksonville is affordable, the system in place isn’t efficient for a city this size. Buses rarely run on time, and services outside central areas are downright slow. Public transport isn’t a viable option for anyone living a little further away from the downtown area. Having a car makes life infinitely easier and allows residents to explore at their own pace.

- CON: Traffic is a nightmare

Jacksonville is home to over a million people who are all trying to get somewhere. With a growing population, construction and roadworks are also a constant presence. This all means that traffic is a major headache for Jacksonvillians. Those looking to move to the city for work should try to negotiate for flexitime work hours to avoid rush hours, or get ready to sit tight, as travelling always takes a while.

Working in Jacksonville

Working stock image by Fauxels from Pexels

+ PRO: Jacksonville’s economy is on the up

Jacksonville is one of the USA’s ‘boomtowns’; the city’s rapid expansion has created new jobs. The fact that many established companies have seen value in the city has meant the area's economic prospects are going from strength to strength. Unemployment is low and prospective residents with experience in finance, logistics and manufacturing should have no real difficulty finding a job.

- CON: Lower salaries

Although Jacksonville residents have job security, salaries are lower than those in bigger economic hubs such as Los Angeles, Miami and Atlanta. While it is a great place for those starting out in their career, experienced professionals with sought-after skills might find that employment packages here aren’t as lucrative. Although salaries are low, so is the general cost of living in Jacksonville, which means that people can still afford to live comfortably. 

Cost of living in Jacksonville

+ PRO: One of the most affordable places to live in Florida

The Sunshine State draws new residents from other parts of the US and beyond every year. The all-year-round good weather and the excellent lifestyle benefits are part of what draws people to Florida. Unlike other Floridian cities, Jacksonville's size has meant it can accommodate all these newcomers without increasing prices. So everyone can enjoy all the best elements of the Floridian lifestyle without the hefty price tag. 

- CON: Some expenses can’t be avoided

A car is necessary for most people living in Jacksonville. While cars themselves are reasonably priced, petrol (gas) prices in Jacksonville are some of the highest in the US and, when one considers the long distances people have to travel on a daily basis, this is an expense that can easily mount up. 

Education and schools in Jacksonville

+ PRO:  Good public schools

Jacksonville is home to some of America's best public schools. Be warned, though, that admission (often area-based) won’t be easy, so parents who want to take advantage of the quality of schools must ensure they live in close proximity to top-performing institutions.

+ PRO: Lots of alternative learning paths

The attitude towards education in Jacksonville is pretty progressive. Students who aren’t academically gifted in the traditional sense will find that systems are in place to support them should they be more suited to an alternative path. Magnet schools nurture children who have shown an aptitude for sports, performing arts and music, and the support for those with disabilities and learning difficulties is also excellent.

- CON: No international schools

The expat community in Jacksonville is relatively small, so parents won’t find schools here that follow the curricula of foreign countries. That said, several public and private schools offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. Foreign residents of Jacksonville may also want to explore options in wider Florida.

Lifestyle in Jacksonville

Jacksonville Beach by Lance Asper

+ PRO: Lots of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors

It isn’t just Florida’s great weather and idyllic beaches that draw people to Jacksonville. Those who want to explore the city’s amazing surrounds can hit one of the many hiking and biking trails, and being based along the St John’s River means that Jacksonville is great for a whole array of water sports, including boating and fishing.

+ PRO: Vibrant music scene

Jacksonville is said to be the birthplace of Southern rock. The city also has a strong jazz and blues tradition. Those who enjoy live music will love living in Jacksonville. From music festivals to classical concerts, the options are endless. The Jacksonville Jazz Fest is one of the USA’s largest music events and is not to be missed. 

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Medical insurance specifically designed for expats. With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider.

Get a quote from Cigna Global - 20% off

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo logo

International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!