What's it like to live in Melbourne, FL?


Vivian Vuong

Profile written by local expert:

Vivian Vuong

Troves of urbanites, families, professionals and retirees enjoy Melbourne, Florida, one of the Space Coast's most populated metro areas. It's no accident that residents here love anything that produces lift. On clear days, you can see sky-rumbling satellite launches and spacecrafts containing cargo en route to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral.

But it's not all about outer space; the region has down-to-earth attractions too. Melbourne's Eau Gallie Arts District features a blend of museums and galleries, while the historic downtown area features a mixture of restaurants, bars and shops. Meanwhile, the population has access to water-centric activities on the 155-mile long estuary, Indian River Lagoon, which separates the Space Coast from the Atlantic Ocean. Surfing, watching manatees, kayaking, boating and fishing are all regular pastimes.

The Space Coast is committed to blending the arts, science and economic development into its energetic community. Most people are generally warm and welcoming, and given that Melbourne attracts new residents from all over the country, you are sure to meet interesting folks from all different walks of life.

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Melbourne, Florida is ranked:

#29 in Best Places to Live

#23 in Best Places to Retire

6.8

Overall

Scorecard

Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
    6.8
  • Value
    6.2
  • Job Market
    6.4
  • Quality of Life
    7.1
  • Net Migration
    8.3

Read how we rank places

Melbourne, FL Quick Stats

  • 560,683

    Metro Population

  • $46,520

    Average Annual Salary

  • 81.9° / 62.8°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 47.0

    Median Age

  • $163,042

    Median Home Price

  • 52.0 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 4.3%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $936

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 24.2 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What's the cost of living in Melbourne, FL?

In Florida, there is no state income tax and the sales tax is lower than average. The median home sale price in Melbourne is lower than the national median. However, necessities like gas and groceries tend to be higher than average here.

Value Index

Index Score: 6.2 /10

How we calculate this.


Melbourne offers a lower value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs this Year


Melbourne
$163,042

USA
$222,408

Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Melbourne, FL.

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What's the weather like in Melbourne, FL?

Springtime yields tropical plants and vegetation like fresh avocado and mango around the start of the rainy, hurricane season from June through November. Melbourne is near the central coast of Florida, so to protect businesses and homes, many people purchase insurance to cover extreme weather conditions like flooding and wind.

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)

62.0°F


Winter

70.9°F


Spring

81.3°F


Summer

75.2°F


Fall

Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

2.6 in


Winter

3.3 in


Spring

7.7 in


Summer

7.6 in


Fall

Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around Melbourne, FL?

A 24-minute average work commute encourages many to drive, while access to highways that criss-cross the area make it easy to get around by car. Public transportation is available by the Space Coast Area Transit (SCAT), which operates bus routes around Melbourne and other Brevard County towns, including Titusville, Palm Bay and Cape Canaveral.

Unless you live downtown, it's difficult to rely on walking or bicycling, as there are only a handful of designated sidewalks and bike lanes.

Melbourne International Airport (MLB) connects residents to major Southeastern hubs and to international locations, including the Caribbean. The airport, which sits less than 3 miles northwest of downtown Melbourne, is serviced by Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. The nearest Amtrak train is a little over an hour's drive away in Orlando.

Commuting in Melbourne, FL

Means of Transportation
Driving
90%
Above national average

Bicycling
1%
Equal to national average

Walking
1%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
1%
Below national average
Average Commute Time

24.2 minutes

1.9 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Melbourne, FL?

Melbourne's population skews older due to the large number of retirees who move here for the sun and warm weather. More than 22 percent of Melbourne's population is over the age of 65, and the area features a number of 55-plus communities near Palm Bay. 

Then there are the flocks of snowbirds – generally people from Canada and other cold-weather areas – who come south for the winter. The busy season generates noticeable traffic and the local retail economy relies heavily on tourism.

People in Melbourne aren't particularly religious, with less than 40 percent claiming affiliation. The majority of those who do identify as Catholic, Baptist or Methodist.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown


About the same number of single people in Melbourne as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

What is there to do in Melbourne, FL?

Melbourne is an easygoing metropolitan area with serious small-town appeal. Residents don't hesitate to take advantage of the area's beaches. There are also plenty of outdoor recreation areas that offer hiking opportunities, such as the Viera Wetlands and the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.

Residents also enjoy golfing on public courses like Baytree National Golf Links and the Mallards Landing Golf Course, as well as private courses like Suntree Country Club.

The Maxwell C. King Center on Eastern Florida State College's campus hosts musical acts and award-winning plays, among other performances. Eau Gallie Arts District, or EGAD, hosts a monthly First Friday where shops and galleries (as well as the Foosaner Art Museum) stay open late for the public, while local artists sell their work and play live music on the sidewalks near the park's Rotary Band Shell.

Meanwhile, Melbourne is just a 90-minute drive to Orlando's big attractions like Walt Disney World and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. An hour's north drive leads to Kennedy Space Center, Port Canaveral and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.