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


Isaac Zapata

Profile written by local expert:

Isaac Zapata

Dubbed "The Magic City," Miami is one of the most vibrant metro areas in the U.S., and it's well on its way to becoming one of the largest international business hubs in the world. In Miami, each neighborhood reflects its diverse communities and adds to the character of the metro area and Miami-Dade County.

Miami proper draws working millennials with a multitude of trade and banking careers, while Miami Beach still has a party-hard atmosphere. Meanwhile, suburbs such as Key Biscayne, Coral Gables and Doral are popular locations for raising families. Miami's population is very accepting of nontraditional families, as well. With one of the most outspoken LGBT communities in the country, Miami plays host to some of the nation's largest pride celebrations. 

When they're not partying, Miami residents can be found taking advantage of their coveted weather and spending time relaxing on the beach or enjoying nearby natural areas, including Biscayne National Park and the Everglades.

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 100 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.

Miami, Florida is ranked:

#92 in Best Places to Live

#30 in Best Places to Retire

5.8

Overall

Scorecard

  • Desirability
    6.6
  • Value
    2.9
  • Job Market
    6.3
  • Quality of Life
    6.8
  • Net Migration
    7.9

Read how we rank places

Miami, FL Quick Stats

  • 5,861,000

    Metro Population

  • $45,110

    Average Annual Salary

  • 84.3° / 70.0°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 40.4

    Median Age

  • $232,626

    Median Home Price

  • 61.9 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 5.0%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $1,149

    AVG Monthly Rent

  • 28.1 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

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

The cost of living in Miami is an estimated 11 percent higher than the national average, with the most expensive investment being housing. Gentrification has been a growing issue, with many of the lower-income communities slowly being displaced by new housing and commercial developments in historically poor areas.

Value Index

Index Score: 2.9 /10

How we calculate this.


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

Housing Costs this Year


Miami
$232,626

USA
$211,704

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 in Miami, FL

Finding the right real estate agent or realtor is key when it comes to buying or selling a home in Miami.

A large inventory of homes – particularly condos – makes Miami a buyer's market. Although the average sales price isn't too much higher than the national average, homes in ritzier areas like Coconut Grove can go for well over $1 million. That said, whether you're looking to buy a loft or sell a single-family home, you'll want to find a real estate agent with experience buying or selling that specific type of property in your desired neighborhood.

If you're considering buying or selling a home, see our list of the top real estate agents in Miami.

What's the weather like in Miami, FL?

Residents of Miami bask in warm, sunny weather year-round, though occasional rain storms, flooding and hurricanes are a concern.

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)

69.6°F


Winter

76.1°F


Spring

83.7°F


Summer

79.2°F


Fall

Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

2.3 in


Winter

5.3 in


Spring

9.7 in


Summer

9.9 in


Fall

Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

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

Traffic is one of the most cumbersome aspects of life in Miami. Because of the lack of serious public transportation, 76 percent of people in Miami rely on their cars to get around. The metro area is often considered one of the worst places to drive in the country thanks to the aggressiveness of local drivers. According to one local, using your turn signal on Miami highways is considered a sign of weakness.

The public transportation system (comprising Metrobus, Metrorail and Metromover) has made improvements in timeliness and ease of use. The Tri-Rail train system runs north from Miami International Airport to shore-side communities such as Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach. But for commuters living farther inland, coverage is scarce. Companies such as Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing startups have begun servicing the area, with great acceptance from the public. However, these ride-sharing companies are facing challenges caused by concerns over competitive pricing and the implementation of stricter regulations for passenger safety.

Miami International Airport is a major hub for both domestic and international travel. It is now the second largest airport for international travel in the U.S., behind New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport. 

Commuting in Miami, FL

Means of Transportation
Driving
88%
Equal to national average

Bicycling
1%
Equal to national average

Walking
2%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
4%
Equal to national average
Average Commute Time

28.1 minutes

2.2 minutes more than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

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

Who lives in Miami, FL?

Despite Miami's reputation as a vibrant party town, the metro area's population skews older than you might expect. The median age is 40, slanting older due to the large number of baby boomers and retirees who live in the region. Perhaps less surprisingly, 54 percent of the population is single, and more than 40 percent of residents in the city of Miami live in nonfamily households. On the other hand, roughly 70 percent of Miami-Dade County residents live in family households, with suburban areas like Doral and Key Biscayne drawing families looking for kid-friendly restaurants and parks, good schools and a quieter atmosphere.

Miami is known for its large Hispanic community, many members of which hail from Cuba. During the 1960s, more than 150,000 Cubans sought refuge in the U.S., mainly in the Miami area, during the Cuban revolution. By 1980, the Cuban population in the country had grown to exceed 600,000. This strong cultural identity is most visible in the areas of Little Havana and Hialeah and remains prevalent across the entire region. Miami's diverse population also includes people from the Caribbean and Central and South America, each showcasing their own culture through art, music and cuisine.

Only about 38 percent of Miami's population is religious, with top affiliations including Catholic and Evangelical Protestant. Miami is also home to the 11th largest Jewish community in the U.S.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown


More single people in Miami than
national average

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

What is there to do in Miami, FL?

Residents often enjoy many of the same activities as vacationers, including lounging on the beach. Sports fans fill the metro area's stadiums to cheer on professional basketball, baseball and football teams, while active residents pass the time playing golf, deep-sea fishing and scuba diving.

Miami also has an artistic side, which can be experienced at Art Basel, one of the largest and most prestigious art fairs in the world, as well as in the Wynwood and Design districts. These neighborhoods also encompass antiques stores, craft beer bars and vintage sports car dealers.

Come sundown, Miami residents enjoy nightlife all over town, from the rowdy bars of Miami Beach to the dance clubs of Little Havana.

Find out more about what there is to see and do in Miami, FL