Cost of living in Tampa Bay, FL

We’ve broken down the cost of living in Tampa Bay, Florida, comparing it to other states and the US national average.

Tampa Skyline

Tampa’s skyline (seen here from the Riverwalk) continues to evolve as the city grows.

Photo by @growgavan

Table of Contents

With Tampa Bay constantly growing and announcing multiple high-profile developments, we figured it was time to talk about the cost of planting some roots in the Bay.

The median household income in Hillsborough County is $60,566, and the median household income in Pinellas County is $56,419, according to the US Census Bureau. State-wise, Florida is 37th in the country for median income at ~$57,703 per household.

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The overall cost of living in Tampa Bay is higher than the national average. | Screenshot via

The overall cost of living in Tampa Bay is higher than the national average, and higher than the rest of the state.

In Tampa, the cost of healthcare is slightly higher compared to other parts of the state + the US. However, the cost of groceries, housing, and other miscellaneous expenses have higher average costs than other cities in Florida and the country overall.

Breaking down the numbers

Hypothetically speaking, if you live in a household that brings in $50,000 annuallyaccording to experts — you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your monthly gross income on rent and utilities. Don’t worry, we did the math for you — your max monthly budget would be $1,250. The average monthly rent for an apartment in Tampa is $1,915 and $1,975 in St. Petersburg — putting you over budget.

According to a recent study by Attom Data Solutions, it’s actually more affordable to buy a home in Hillsborough or Pinellas County than to rent.

Take a look at the chart below to see how Tampa’s cost of living compares to that of St. Petersburg’s.

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Tampa has more affordable health care than St.Petersburg. | Screenshot via

Interested in seeing Tampa Bay’s cost of living compared to cities in other states? We played around on nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator, where you can put in any city along with your current pre-tax household income to find out what other cities you could actually afford to live in.

We took a look at the cost of living in Tampa compared to Raleigh. Here’s what we found:

  • The cost of living is 5% higher in Raleigh.
  • To maintain our standard of living, we would need to bring in $52,370 to our household.
  • The median cost for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,328, which is $308 more than Tampa.

Tampa also has entities such as the Affordable Housing Services + other government-funded programs to help develop more affordable units.

There are also a number of local development firms working on apartments seemingly all the time — from Armature Place Apartments in North Tampa to the affordable housing development from Catholic Charities called Mercy Oaks.

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