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 for the USA as a whole.

Those weighing up a move to Jacksonville should bear in mind a number of different 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. 

Below is a broad breakdown of the expenses new arrivals should expect to incur when living in Jacksonville.


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.

In general, housing prices are quite a bit lower in Jacksonville than both the American national and Florida state averages. Across the board, the standard of accommodation is high so new arrivals are bound to get good value for money.


Cost of education in Jacksonville

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

The cost of attending a public school is next to nothing, whereas private schools set their own fees. These are generally 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, extra-curricular activities and field trips.


Cost of healthcare in Jacksonville

Jacksonville is home to a number of 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 systems. 

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 own 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 as this will allow for significant saving 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 opt to purchase a STAR Card. That said, the public transport network doesn’t sufficiently cover areas beyond the city centre.  For this reason, the vast majority of long-term Jacksonville residents will 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. On the flip side, maintaining a car won’t come cheap in Jacksonville. Petrol (gas) prices are some of the highest in the USA. When one considers the long distances locals drive daily, it makes sense that these expenses can add up. Similarly, car insurance premiums in Jacksonville are also above average. 


Cost of entertainment and eating out in Jacksonville

Lifestyle expenses really do depend on an individual's taste, preferences and priorities. Jacksonville residents can spend as much or as little as they like when it comes to keeping themselves entertained. On one hand, the city has its fair share of fine dining restaurants, fancy wine bars and exclusive cocktail lounges for those who are looking to splash some cash. 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 good weather presents opportunities to get outdoors by hiking and biking along various trails or exploring one of the city’s many parks and gardens.


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 February 2022.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 1,200

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,000

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 1,800

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,500

Shopping

Eggs (dozen)

USD 2.30

Milk (1 litre)

USD 0.95

Rice (1kg)

USD 3

Loaf of bread

USD 3

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 9.30

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

USD 8

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

USD 8

Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 2

Cappuccino

USD 4.60

Local beer (500ml)

USD 5

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

USD 60

Utilities

Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

USD 0.08

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

USD 71

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

USD 145

Transportation

Taxi rate (per kilometre)

USD 1.20

Bus/train fare in the city centre

USD 1.60

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

USD 0.75