Is Miami a Good Place to Live? The Pros & Cons of Living in Miami

Living in Miami Pros & Cons

In this article

Miami is a much sought-after location both for holidays and to live, work and retire to. From the warm temperatures and stunning beaches to the cultural attractions around the historic district, there are many reasons to move to Miami. Apart from that, wages and salaries grew more than anywhere else in the US during 2021.

Living in Miami: The Things You’ll Love & The Not-So-Great Ones

Let’s dive deeper into what advantages Miami has to offer and why it’s such a popular destination. To give you an impartial picture and provide you with a well-rounded answer to the question is Miami a good place to live, we’ll also list some of the city’s shortcomings.
Let’s begin!

The Pros of Moving to Miami

1. A Promising Job Market

There is a low level of unemployment in Miami with many job opportunities for both skilled and non-skilled workers. Miami is a major international port that brings lots of different manufacturing and trade work to the state. In addition, the financial center has an abundance of banks and investment firms which bring many finance professionals to live in this part of the US.
Due to being such a popular tourist destination, there are also many tourism and hospitality job opportunities in Miami. There are also plenty of shopping malls in Miami and surrounding areas where there are high numbers of retail jobs.
The Miami metro area which encompasses Miami-Dade, Broward county, and Palm Beach, has also seen an employment boom in recent years. The construction industry has been growing, particularly in the major cities in the metro area, which include Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Homestead, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, and Hialeah.
The Miami-Dade county unemployment rates are currently much lower than the US national average (2.20% for Miami compared to Florida 2.80% and national average of 3.6%).
The average salary in Miami is $68,000 and the job growth forecast is very positive with an expected average annual job growth of 0.8% from 2023 to 2025.

2. The Fantastic Food Scene

There is much more to life in Miami than the great job prospects. Foodies love living in this part of Florida because of the amazing authentic ethnic restaurants and a wide choice of cuisines. Due to the rich culture and ethnic diversity, the food scene in Miami is one of the best in the world.
From oceanfront restaurants to street food stalls and takeaway options, pretty much every type of good food you could wish for is on your doorstep when you live in Miami.
There are so many great restaurants to choose from and some of the most popular ones in Miami are:
  • La Mar
  • The Surf Club Restaurant
  • Ariete
  • LPM Restaurant and Bar
  • Ghee Indian Kitchen
  • Leku
  • Jaguar Sun
Whether you fancy Brazilian, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Spanish or Colombian cuisine, there are many choices of restaurants for each. Locally, many residents favour the classic Cuban sandwich as a popular food choice.

3. All Year-Round Sunshine

One of the great appeals of living in Miami is the warm and humid weather and the higher-than-average number of sunny days.
There are 248 sunny days per year in Miami on average, compared to the US average of 205 sunny days. Therefore, moving to Miami is a great way to up your vitamin D intake for a healthier lifestyle.
January is usually the coolest month of the year but the average temperature is still around 20-24 degrees C. The summer months are generally very warm in Miami with daily temperatures of around 32-35 degrees C in July, August, and September.
Miami has more days of rain than many other cities in the US, with 141 days of precipitation and 67.4 inches of rainfall falling in Miami annually.

4. Some of the Best Beaches in the World

Miami is one of the top destinations around the world for idyllic beaches and there are plenty of amazing beaches to spend the day at in Miami, such as:
  • Miami Beach
  • South Beach
  • Sunny Isles Beach
  • South Pointe Beach
  • Lummus Park Beach
  • Bal Harbour Beach
  • Crandon Park
  • Haulover Beach Park
  • Biscayne Bay
  • Exciting Outdoor Activities
While you can spend lazy days on the beach and evenings sampling the great restaurants and thriving nightlife, there are also plenty of more adventurous outdoor activities for thrill seekers.
There are a number of national parks in Miami to enjoy all types of activities from hiking and cycling to parasailing and jet skiing.
Biscayne National Park is a top destination for watersports activities and exploring stunning scenery. Oleta River State Park has some great mountain biking trails and kayaking, surfing and sailing are all popular at most of the Miami beaches.
If you are looking for a place to live where you can exercise and enjoy the great outdoors, Miami is a great choice of residency.

5. Lively Entertainment and Nightlife

Miami has a big reputation for being a great place to party and enjoy the local vibrant nightlife. The oceanfront clubs are considered to be very trendy and there is no shortage of dance venues if you want to get your dancing shoes on.
Clubs and venues are legally allowed to serve alcohol 24 hours a day, which is one of the reasons the city has such a big party reputation.
In addition to the wide range of fun nightlife options, there is a long list of other entertainment options such as art galleries, tropical gardens, museums, and performing arts.

6. Cultural Diversity

The city's character is derived from a unique blend of cultural influences from residents that have moved to Miami from places such as South America, the Caribbean, and Cuba.
Due to these different mixes of Latin culture, some wonderful neighbourhoods have been established around Miami such as Little Havana and Coconut Grove.

7. No State Income Tax

Miami is regarded as a tax haven due to no state requirement to pay personal income taxes. Miami residents can save a significant amount of money if they have a fixed income and there is also no tax on Social Security, inheritance, or retirement benefits.
If all of the other reasons listed above do not persuade you to move to Miami then the potential to save thousands of dollars in taxes might encourage you to contact the Miami real estate agents.
Residents are still required to pay federal income taxes but the savings on personal income tax ensures that the average monthly salary stretches a lot further than in other areas of the US.

8. So Many Fun Things to Do

In addition to the nightlife, beautiful beaches, and cultural scene that Miami has become famous for, there are so many more fun activity options including theme parks, sports events, festivals, museums, and shows

9. Great Transport Links

Living in Miami is made much easier by the great transport options in Magic City. The MetrorMetromover and Metrobus all provide low-cost transport around Downtown Miami and other central areas.

10. Unique Art Deco Architecture

The unique architecture of the Art Deco buildings in Miami is another reason that the city is such an attractive place to live. The Art Deco Historic District is amazing to walk through to view the extraordinary art deco design.

Cons of Living in Miami

Like most locations in the world, there are also some downsides to living in Miami, such as:

1. Expensive Healthcare

Like living in any other part of the US, healthcare in Miami is expensive compared to other countries around the world.

2. Not in the Highest Wages Bracket

Although the average salary in Miami is higher than the national average, there are many cities in the US with a higher average salary, such as San Jose, San Francisco and Boston. For a major city, Miami's salaries are not in the top range for high salary potential.

3. Hot and Humid Weather

Due to the location near the Gulf of Mexico, Miami can experience extremely humid and high temperatures which can be uncomfortable to live in.
However, if you enjoy the hot weather then you will probably be happy to cool down at the beach or invest in a good air conditioning system.

4. Tropical Storms

Along with the humid heat, another factor to consider if you are contemplating moving to Miami is that tropical storms can be common between August and November.
In extreme cases, hurricanes can be very dangerous and even the less intense thunderstorms can cause huge disruption, with flooding very common.

5. Bad Traffic

Unfortunately, Miami can get very congested, which is partly down to the peninsula shape with so much traffic entering just a few expressways. All of South Florida has quite bad traffic issues.
How much the traffic affects you will depend on which neighbourhood you live in and whether you need to commute to work.

6. Relatively High Cost of Living

Compared to the national average, the cost of living is relatively high in Miami. According to the stats, living costs in this city are 17% higher than the national average.
Dining out and energy bills tend to be higher, and in the summer when you are relying on air conditioning, electricity bills can spike. Renting apartments is more expensive than in most US cities too, so you require a good salary to live comfortably in Miami, although you can find cheaper accommodation in some parts of Miami.

7. High Housing Costs

Housing costs are higher in Miami than in most other US cities, but it will depend on where you choose to live. You may also want to consider factors whether there are private schools nearby or whether you need to be near to your workplace.
Some of the best neighborhoods to live in are:
  • Coconut Grove
  • Pinecrest
  • Bal Harbour
  • Key Biscayne
  • Coral Gables
Property taxes are slightly higher in Miami Dade County at 1.02% compared to the rest of Florida (0.97%).

8. Busy with tourists

With Miami and South Florida being such popular areas with tourists, the city can get overcrowded at times, which is another reason the traffic is so bad in South Miami and other areas.

Travel Authorization Required to Visit Miami

If Miami’s sandy beaches and everything else this magnificent city has to offer (and that’s a lot!) sound attractive, the next step is obtaining the right travel documents. So, what are the requirements to legally reach Miami?
In short, if you’re a non-US citizen, ESTA is required in order to visit Miami. In fact, any non-US citizen who wants to enter the US must have a specific kind of travel authorization: an ESTA or a visa, in addition to a valid passport.
Why was the ESTA introduced? Its purpose is to make it easier to enter the US, and overall, it’s a faster and less complex way in comparison to the traditional visa application process.

Final Thoughts: Is Living in Miami Worth It?

There are so many different pros and cons to living in Miami but it all comes down to personal preference. If you want to enjoy hot weather and no income tax, plus great beaches and entertainment, Miami could be the perfect place for you.
With the right guidance, the process of obtaining the necessary visas and making the move can be much easier.
However, if you prefer somewhere quieter and with less humid weather, no traffic issues, and more affordable housing, you might be better looking at alternative locations to live.
Miami has experienced massive population growth and the population continues to grow, with lots of people moving to Miami in recent years to experience the unique Miami lifestyle.

FAQ

Overall, Miami is a very safe place to live with a relatively low crime rate. Areas such as Coconut Grove and Coral Gables are the safest areas to live. However, Overtown and Liberty City are the areas of Miami to avoid, as there are higher levels of violent crime here.
Taking all of the factors into consideration, most Miami residents will tell you that Miami life is great. You will need to decide whether it is the right place for you and your family based on the pros and cons listed above. There are so many positive aspects of living in Miami, which is why so many people who can afford to live in Miami choose to do so.

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.