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Cost of living in Lakeland

We’ve broken down the cost of living in Lakeland, Florida, comparing it to other states and the US national average.

A photo of downtown Lakeland overlooking Lakeland Electric and Lake Mirror.

The overall cost of living in Lakeland is lower than the national average.

Photo by LALtoday

Table of Contents

With Lakeland constantly growing and undertaking multiple high-profile developments this year, we figured it was time to talk about the cost of planting some roots in Swan City.

The median household income in Polk County is $51,535 according to the US Census Bureau. State-wise, Florida is 37 in the country for median income at $57,703 per household.

A chart showing Lakeland's overall cost of living compared to national averages

The overall cost of living in Lakeland is lower than the national average.

Screenshot via

The overall cost of living in Lakeland is lower than the national average, and lower than the rest of the state.

In Lakeland, the cost of healthcare is lower compared to other parts of the state + the US. The cost of groceries, housing, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses in Lakeland also have lower average costs than other cities in Florida and the country overall.

Breaking down the numbers

Hypothetically speaking, if you live in a household that brings in $50,000 annuallyaccording to experts — you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your monthly gross income on rent and utilities. Don’t worry, we did the math for you — your max monthly budget would be $1,250. The average monthly rent for an apartment in Lakeland is $1,505 — putting you over budget.

According to a recent study by Attom Data Solutions, it’s actually more affordable to buy a home in Polk County than to rent.

Take a look at the chart below to see how Lakeland’s cost of living compares to that of Orlando, Florida.

A chart comparing Lakeland's cost of living to that of Orlando, FL.

The cost of living in Orlando is higher than in Lakeland, FL.

Screenshot via

Interested in seeing Lakeland’s cost of living compared to cities in other states? We played around on’s cost of living calculator, where you can put in any city along with your current pre-tax household income to find out what other cities you could actually afford to live in.

We took a look at the cost of living in Lakeland compared to Orlando. Here’s what we found:

  • The cost of living is 5.7% higher in Orlando.
  • To maintain our standard of living, we would need to bring in $52,850 to our Orlando household.
  • The median cost for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,937, which is $432 more than Lakeland.

Lakeland also has entities such as the Lakeland Housing Authority + other government-funded programs to help develop more affordable units.

There are also a number of local development firms working on apartments seemingly all the time — from Green Mills Group’s Parker Pointe on Bella Vista Street to the affordable housing development from Blue Sky Communities at Swan Lake Village.