Last Updated on October 14, 2022 by Filip Poutintsev

If you are considering relocating to South Florida, FL, you are in the right place. This article highlights the pros and cons of living in South Florida. South Florida is the southernmost region of the United States and is home to diverse cities with a great deal to offer. A few of the most popular cities in South Florida include Miami, Florida Keys, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and several other popular cities.

Read on to learn about the important factors about South Florida that you should take into consideration before relocating and making a life-changing decision. A few of these factors include weather conditions, entertainment, crime rates, natural disasters, and more.

pros and cons of living in south florida

Pros and cons of living in South Florida at a glance

Pros

  • Weather
  • State income tax
  • Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Retirement

Cons

  • Cost of living
  • Humidity
  • Natural disasters
  • Crime and poverty rates
  • Traffic and transportation

Pros of living in South Florida

Weather

It is no secret that the weather is one of the best aspects that South Florida has to offer. After all, Florida is referred to as the Sunshine State. The weather in this region is warm and sunny almost all year round. The average temperature in South Florida is approximately between 72 to 77 degrees despite the season.

The change of season does not have a very big difference in South Florida. Whether it is winter or summer, the weather conditions are relatively the same in this region of the state. South Florida has a subtropic climate, so the weather conditions are typically warm and humid. The winters in a subtropical climate are quite mild, and it is very unlikely that it will snow in South Florida.

No State income tax

One of the most well-known benefits of living in Florida is that residents are not required to pay state income taxes. Meaning residents of the cities located in South Florida will not have to pay state income taxes.

Without the requirement of paying state income tax, Florida is one of the states with the lowest tax burdens in the United States. However, Florida residents are still required to pay other taxes such as sale tax, local sale tax, corporate income tax, etc.

Entertainment

South Florida is home to cities with a wide range of entertainment suited to Floridians of all ages. Whether you are looking for entertainment for a young child or a senior in their retirement, South Florida has it all.

A few popular entertainment attractions in South Florida include Jungle Island in Miami, Busch Gardens in Tampa, Lion Country Safari in West Palm Beach, and many more attractions.

Sports

Another benefit of living in South Florida is playing a wide variety of sports all year round because of the region’s warm weather conditions. Baseball, football, hockey, basketball, and football are just a few popular sports in this region. There are also several famous professional South Floridian sports teams that you can catch at games in a few cities. These teas include the Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins, Miami Marlins, and Orlando Magic.

Retirement

Florida is one of the most popular states most seniors choose to settle in during their retirement. Usually, seniors prefer to settle in cities situated in South Florida for retirement because of the great deal each of these cities has to offer.

One of the most popular cities where seniors enjoy retiring is South Florida in Tampa. The city is a great choice for retirees who want to have easy access to beaches, water activities, and a city lifestyle. Tampa has a large community of seniors and good quality healthcare.

Another city situated in South Florida, which is a popular location for seniors to retire, is Fort Lauderdale. This city is filled with many activities seniors enjoy during retirement, such as golf courses, beaches, and resorts. A few other South Florida cities that are popular choices for retirement include Fort Myers, Key West, and Palm Beach.

Cons of living in South Florida

Cost of living

Quite a few cities in South Florida have a higher cost of living compared to other cities in the United States of America. A few of these cities include Miami, which has one of the highest costs of living in the country.

The cost of living in Miami is 11.6% higher than the national average. Fort Lauderdale is another popular city with a high cost of living, with the annual average cost being approximately $28,300. The cost of living in Fort Lauderdale is approximately 21% higher than the national average.

Other cities in South Florida with a higher cost of living than the national average include West Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Jupiter, and Southwest Ranches. The cost of living in these cities seems to be inflating due to factors such as population growth and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Humidity

The humidity in South Florida is one of the disadvantages of having sunny days and warm weather almost all year round in this region of the Sunshine State. Most of the cities in South Florida are quite humid due to the combination of these cities being surrounded by water and having warm weather conditions.

The average percentage of humidity in South Florida ranges between 93% in the morning and goes down o approximately 74% in the evening. Humidity leaves the air quite heavy, which can even leave you feeling lethargic, especially if you are moving to a state with much cooler weather conditions.

Natural disasters

The likelihood of natural disasters occurring in the city where you plan on living is one of the most important factors that should be considered. South Florida is quite prone to experiencing natural disasters due to the region’s location.

South Florida is close to the tropics and experiences windy conditions. The most common natural disasters which occur in South Florida include hurricanes, wildfires, flooding, tornadoes, and thunderstorms.

Miami and Key West are South Florida cities that are the most prone to experiencing hurricanes in the state. Other South Florida cities, such as Tampa and Miami-Dade, are more prone to experiencing flooding. That being the case, if you are considering relocating to any of these South Florida cities, you must be fully prepared for these natural disasters.

Crime and poverty rates

Despite quite a few cities in Florida being quite safe to reside in, the crime rate in a few cities in South Florida is quite high and should be considered before you plan on relocating there. While Florida is a relatively safe state of living with quite a few cities with crime rates lower than the national average.

Three of the most dangerous cities to live in Florida are situated in South Florida. These cities include Lake Park, a part of Palm Beach County, and Opa-Locka and Florida City, both located in Miami-Dade.

South Florida has quite a high poverty rate. Approximately 15.4% of this region’s residents live below the poverty line. In the last 20 years, the year’s poverty rates in the region have been increasing significantly.

Traffic and transportation

South Florida is home to quite a few cities that have the worst traffic congestion in the country. The county with one of the worst traffic conditions in South Florida and around the world is Miami-Dade. Residents are known to sit in hours of traffic during rush hour.

This is especially the case if you are traveling from Jupiter to Homestead. Miami-Dade residents experience approximately 69 hours of traffic congestion in a year. The reason traffic is the problem in this city is a result of the county’s large population, as well as quite a few people visiting cities in this county.

There are various public transportation options available in South Florida, such as the Metrorail, Metromover, and the Florida bus service. However, these forms of transportation are not always the safest. This is why quite a few residents choose to purchase a car or use car services or Taxi cabs which can be expensive.

FAQ Section

What is South Florida best known for?

South Florida is most popular for its vibrant cultural scene, entertainment, nightlife, music, sports events, and water parks. This region of Florida is also well known for its almost year-round perfect weather and beautiful beaches. This makes this region a popular destination for tourists from around the world.

What is the best city to live in in South Florida?

South Florida is home to several cities that are unique, lively, and have a lot to offer. However, few cities in South Florida are considered the best cities to live in this region. The top three cities to live in in South Florida include Gardenview Heights, Boca Raton, and Palmetto Bay.

Final thoughts

South Florida is a diverse region of Florida filled with vibrant cities that each has a great deal to offer. There are several pros to living in South Florida, such as the warm weather, no state income tax, entertainment, sports, and retirement.

However, there are also cons of living in South Florida that should be considered if you consider relocating to the region. The cons of the region include high cost of living, humidity, natural disasters, crime, and traffic.

Now that you know both the benefits and setbacks of the region have the information you need to decide whether this is the part of Florida you want to live in.

Author

Filip Poutintsev, the Chief Editor of Honest Pros and Cons, is a long term business writer, who has been featured in various online publications such as Forbes, CoinTelegraph and HackerNoon. Now he writes exclusively for Honest Pros and Cons.