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

Gary McKechnie

Profile written by local expert:

Gary McKechnie

When travelers say they're going to Orlando, the question is, "Which one?" There's downtown Orlando, the seat of Orange County government and a center for nightclubs, restaurants, concerts and post-game celebrations. There's residential Orlando, which developed during the 1920s' "City Beautiful" movement to feature canopied oaks and lakefront bungalows. And then there's the Orlando that tourists know: the Orlando that's home to seven of the world's top theme parks and that welcomes about 68 million travelers each year, making it one of the most popular vacation destinations in America.

But when you get right down to it, every facet of Orlando combines to create one of Florida's most appealing areas for business, living and recreation. For many residents, the theme parks are a point of pride. When you tell someone you're from Orlando, chances are you'll hear all about that person's vacation to the area – even if it was 40 years ago. The theme parks' special pricing for local residents along with the widespread employment that the parks offer have largely endeared them to the community.

See all the best places to live in Florida.


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.

Orlando, Florida is ranked:

#63 in Best Places to Live

#22 in Best Places to Retire

#8 in Best Places to Live in Florida

#8 in Fastest Growing Places

#16 in Most Expensive Places to Live




Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Job Market
  • Quality of Life
  • Net Migration

Read how we rank places

Orlando, FL Quick Stats

  • 2,390,859

    Metro Population

  • $44,410

    Average Annual Salary

  • 82.8° / 62.8°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 36.9

    Median Age

  • $233,050

    Median Home Price

  • 50.7 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 3.2%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $1,107

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 28.2 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What is there to do in Orlando, FL?

Orlando's theme parks aren't its only attractions. The metro area has experienced extraordinary growth in the past decade, introducing a new arena for the Orlando Magic and touring shows, and the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center.

Orlando has four professional sports teams – Orlando Magic (basketball), Orlando City (soccer), Orlando Predators (arena football) and Orlando Anarchy (women's football).

The city also has plenty of outdoor recreation, shopping areas, concerts and festivals to offer.

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

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

The cost of housing in Orlando is slightly higher than the national median sale price, and everyday expenses such as food and health care are generally on par with those of other similarly sized metro areas. Part of the appeal of living in Orlando is that Florida has no state income tax because those dollars are largely offset by lodging taxes covered by the state's more than 110 million annual visitors.

Value Index

Index Score: 5.1 /10

How we calculate this.

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

Housing Costs 2018



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 Orlando, FL.

What's the weather like in Orlando, FL?

For many residents, the best thing about living in Orlando is the weather. High temperatures allow locals to enjoy the metro area's numerous lakes year-round. Summers do bring a lot of rain, however.

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)









Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

2.6 in


3.8 in


7.6 in


6.1 in


Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

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

Largely due to its size, Orlando is a place that requires a car to get around. Although there are plenty of places to walk, including lakefront paths and wooded trails, Orlando is too spread out to be walkable. It's not really bikeable either, although there are rental bikes downtown.

Orlando has a regional bus transit system called Lynx and a commuter rail system called SunRail. When SunRail's first phase opened in 2014, its 31 miles connected Volusia County to Orange County. Ongoing expansions will increase its distance to 61 miles and extend south into Osceola County.

Getting in and out via air travel is another advantage of life in Orlando. Orlando International Airport accommodates the lion's share of air traffic in Florida. With more than 43 million passengers a year, it is the second-busiest airport in Florida after Miami International Airport.

Commuting in Orlando, FL

Means of Transportation
Above national average

Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Public Transit
Below national average
Average Commute Time

28.2 minutes

1.8 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 Orlando, FL?

The Orlando metro area – which includes the nearby communities of Kissimmee and Sanford – houses upwards of 2 million residents. And while Florida has a reputation for being a retirement hot spot, more than two-thirds of Orlando's residents are of working age.

One sign of the region's tolerance and progressive outlook is its acceptance of the LGBT community. Events such as Gay Days at Disney World have nudged Orlando's progressive path.

Meanwhile, Orlando can be devoutly religious or casually spiritual. A noted local attraction is a Bible-based theme park that is not too far from a supersized Baptist church.

Orlando is also culturally diverse. The metro area is home to residents originally from countries across the world. Some are long-term residents, while others take advantage of the warm winters.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown

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

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