Orlando vs Miami Which City is Better for Living?

Orlando vs Miami: Where Should I Live?

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There have always been concerns for people moving to Florida if they should live in Orlando or Miami, two of the most popular cities. Each has its strong and weak points, making each ideal for a different set of people. When deciding where to live between Orlando and Miami, essential aspects include housing, cost of living, job market, education, transportation, food, leisure activities, and weather, among many options.
Both cities are hotspots for tourists, bringing them from around the world. Orlando has many family destinations like the water parks, Disney World, and Universal studios, while Miami is a beach heaven, with parties and many fun things to do. It is also close to Biscayne bay and has many hotels like the Kimpton Surfcomber hotel. Read on to find out how these cities compare against each other.


Housing has always been a significant difference between Orlando and Miami. While they both offer great architectural designs and excellent neighborhoods, with art deco buildings in both cities, Miami takes the crown for its presence. On average, housing in Miami costs 34.5% more than in Orlando. Monthly rent in Orlando averages around $1,736, while Miami is around $2,239, which is significantly higher than the US average of $1,681.
Purchasing houses also costs significantly more in Miami. The median cost of a single-family home in Orlando cost about $294,400, $398,100 in Miami, and $291,700 in the US. There are only a limited number of low-cost houses in Miami, as most of them are more inclined toward high-end luxury apartments. Luxury apartments in Miami can cost as much as $25 million, while it ranges between $200,000 and about $1 million in highly desirable areas like College Park in Orlando.
We recommend Orlando because of its low-cost housing, which is not readily available in Miami. However, if you have more than enough money to pay and want to be close to the beachfront, Miami is the place for you.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Orlando is slightly higher than the average cost of the US, while Miami is significantly higher than the US. Miami is 18.3% more expensive to live in than Orlando. The utilities in Orlando cost more than in Miami. However, other determinants of the cost of living, like Food & Groceries, health, transportation, and housing, cost significantly more in Miami.
Orlando is more family-friendly, with most of its determinants of the cost of living close to the average cost of living in the US. Miami is more on the high end, with its cost of living significantly more than the average in the US. Excluding rent, a family of four would spend about $3,433.77 in a month in Orlando.
We recommend living in Orlando concerning the cost of living, as it is generally lower than in Miami. The standard of living $5,334.59 affords you in Orlando will require $6,700 in Miami.

Job Market

The job market in Miami is favorable and has been positive over the past few years. In the last ten years, the job market in Miami has grown by 17.9%. On the other hand, Orlando has also seen a growth of about 15.7%, which is significantly higher than the US average of 6.3%. The unemployment rate in Miami is estimated at 8.3%, and Orlando at 5.8%, which are both higher than the US average of 6.0%. The average household's income in Miami is $33,999, while Orlando has $45,436. These are both low when compared to the US average of $57,652.
We recommend Orlando's job market over Miami. Although Miami has a higher employment rate, its household income is lower than in Orlando.


The education in Miami is a little more expensive than in Orlando, which probably explains why there are more graduates in Orlando than in Miami. Miami spends $8,725 on education per student, which is about 1.1% higher than Orlando, which spends $8,003. Miami has a ratio of 17.4 pupils to one teacher, about 9.5% higher than Orlando at 15.9, bearing in mind that a lower ratio is better.
In Orlando, 10.7% of the population are two-year college graduates, and 35.8% are four-year college graduates. Miami has a slightly lower percentage: 7.0% are two-year college graduates and 26.3% are four-year college graduates. Miami has 3.1% of its population with a professional degree, while Orlando has only 2.6%.
We recommend education in Orlando because students have higher odds of graduating from college than in Miami. It also has a lower cost of educating a student, and fewer students to a teacher, for easy assimilation.

Transportation Options

Transportation options in the cities include driving alone, carpooling, mass transit, bicycle and walking, with driving alone being the most common. About 78.3% of the commuters drive alone in Orlando and 70.0% in Miami. The average commute time in Orlando is 25 minutes and 28 minutes in Miami. Miami has 10.9% of its commuters taking mass transit schemes and 4.2% in Orlando.
Miami's transportation costs significantly more than in Orlando. Miami transport in a month costs $112, which is about 124% more than the $50 it costs in Orlando. A single transport ticket costs $2 in Orlando and $2.50.
We recommend both Orlando and Miami in this case. While Orlando is recommended for its low transport cost, the longer commute time in Miami can give you enough time to enjoy the beauty of Miami streets if you can bear the traffic.

Cuisine & City Culture

These cities' cuisine and culture are diverse and apply to different audiences. Orlando is more dedicated to native American cuisine, with restaurants like Cork & Fork Americana Kitchen, Yard Café, and Five Guys Burgers at the forefront.
Miami does not come close to Orlando when American cuisine is concerned. Miami is more inclined towards Latin American cuisine, with most of its cuisine being Cuban food or inspired by Latin culture. Miami is popularly called the Heart of Latin America, and visitors can get the best of Latin food at Versailles restaurant. The city culture in Miami is also greatly influenced by Latin culture, with entire neighbourhoods like Little Havana dedicated to Cuban culture. Some of its signature dishes are stone crabs, grilled fish sandwiches, Arepas, ceviche, the Cuban sandwich, Key lime Pie, and Mofongo.
In this case, we recommend both Miami and Orlando, depending on your preference. Miami is the place to go for a little cultural mix between Cuba and Latin America. Orlando is more native American. Also, in terms of accessibilities and affordability when it comes to fast food, Orlando tops the chart.

Leisure Activities & Nightlife

Orlando and Miami become increasingly different when leisure and nightlife are concerned. Orlando is a more family-friendly destination with many theme parks, the most prominent being Disney World and Universal Orlando resort, which contains the famous Universal studios, and Volcano bay, among others, making it the world's theme park capital.
Miami, on the other hand, is known for its vibrant nightlife and beautiful beaches. People visit Miami to enjoy the beautiful beaches like Miami beach and South beach, among many others. Many art museums and street art are also spread across the city. When night falls, the city comes alive with its vibrant nightlife, where its inhabitants and visitors can enjoy entertainment at the beach and clubs.
We recommend Miami for people interested in beaches and nightlife and Orlando for quality family time. The highlight of visiting Orlando happens in the daytime in its numerous theme parks, while those who visit Miami look forward to its beaches and nightlife.


The weather in Orlando and Miami is similar, as they are both located in South America. They have warm summers with no snow and a more tropical climate than the rest of the US. Orlando is generally cooler than Miami, with lower sunshine intensity and temperatures, except during the peak of summer. Miami and Orlando have significantly higher yearly rainfall than the average in the US. Orlando experiences 52.1 inches, and Miami witnesses 59.3 inches, higher than the average of 38.1 inches US experiences.
The cities experience significantly higher sunshine in summer than other parts of the US. The high sunlight brings visitors to explore the parks in Orlando and beaches in Miami. They also get lots of visitors due to their warm weather in winter.
We recommend both cities in this case, as they both have similar weather conditions and favour outdoor activities.


Safety is just around the average and is more violent than the average violence rate in America. On a scale of 1 to 100, 1 being the least violent and 100 being the most violent. The average violence rate in the US is about 22.7, with Orlando being 44.1 and Miami being 48.8. Both cities have high property crime and citizens of both of them worry about homes being broken into. The US average is 35.4, Orlando is 81, and Miami is 62.7.
The odds of being a victim of violent crime in Orlando is 1 in 121, while 1 in 167 people are victims of violent crimes in Miami. As for property crimes, 1 in 34 people are victims in Miami, and 1 in 27 people are victims in Orlando.
We recommend Miami in terms of safety. Although the odds of being victims of a crime in these cities are relatively high, Miami is a little safer compared to Orlando.

The Overview of Orlando vs Miami: Pros & Cons

The age-long debate about a better place to visit or stay between Orlando and Miami cannot be answered in one shot. Orlando and Miami appeal to different sets of individuals and depending on your category, each of these cities may appeal to you. Miami is a better choice for young couples and friend groups for nightlife and beach. Orlando is more family-friendly with its numerous theme parks.

Orlando Pros

The pros of choosing Orlando include
  • Affordable cost of living
  • Tropical climate, including warm summers and winter
  • Numerous theme parks for all family members
  • A sizable economy and favorable job market

Orlando Cons

  • Driving in this city can be tiring, with many drivers and tourists on the road, causing traffic and leading to higher commute time.
  • The wildlife here thrives, and there are bugs and insects all around.
  • If you do not like engaging with tourists or new individuals, living in Orlando may be a little tasking.

Miami Pros

  • Miami is active at night, with parties at renowned clubs and on the beach.
  • Miami has excellent weather all year round, including winter.
  • It has lower taxes and can save its occupants thousands of dollars annually.
  • Many restaurants have food influenced by Latin America, giving you a taste of many cultures in one place.

Miami Cons

  • The average accommodation cost is higher than the average in Florida and the US.
  • Miami has a slim job market and has a lower average salary than Orlando.
  • Traffic is a huge concern here, as it welcomes many tourists worldwide.

The Verdict: Is It Better to Live in Orlando or Miami?

Orlando offers an affordable cost of living, a favorable job market, and a higher salary range than Miami, making it a better place to live. Orlando is better for family life and raising children.
While Miami is a better choice for parties and nightlife. It is an excellent place for visitors to have fun at the beach and nightclubs. It is also a great place to have food from Mexico without visiting the country. Bear in mind that you’ll need to obtain a Miami ESTA visa to visit this city and see why it’s so praised and popular.
On the other hand, traffic in these cities can be quite unbearable, they have a higher crime rate than the US average, and the sun may become excessive in summer.


Orlando and Miami are both excellent places depending on what you want. Orlando boasts a superb environment ideal for family and includes attractions like Disney springs. Miami is better for parties and nightlife.
Orlando is better for kids. It has many parks for families to visit, with premium entertainment and fun activities for kids.
By landmass, Orlando is bigger than Miami. Miami has a land area of 143.1km², while Orlando has 308.4 km².
In the peak of summer, Orlando is usually hotter than Miami by a few degrees. However, at other times, Orlando is generally cooler than Miami.
The average household in Orlando makes more money than in Miami. Orlando makes about 20% more than Miami.

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.

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