Breaking down the cost of living in Lakeland

Compare the cost of living for Lakeland, FL with national averages + understand how expenses in Lakeland stack up against other cities.

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

How much does it really cost to live in Swan City?

Photo by LALtoday

Table of Contents

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

The median household income in Polk County is $60,901 according to the US Census Bureau. State-wise, Florida is 37 in the country for median income at $63,062 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.

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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 and groceries are lower compared to other parts of the state, but higher compared to the US. The cost of 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 $60,000 annually, your max monthly budget for rent and utilities would be about $1,500 (30% of your monthly gross income). The average monthly rent for an apartment in Lakeland is $1,524 — putting you over budget.

Meanwhile, if you’re wondering how much you can currently afford to spend on buying a home in Lakeland, try using SmartAsset’s cost calculator. Factors like your marital status, annual pre-tax income, down payment, and monthly debt will help determine that figure. According to BestPlaces, the median home cost in Lakeland is $282,500.

While we’re crunching numbers, let’s also take a look at the chart below to see how Lakeland’s cost of living compares to that of Tampa.

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

Lakeland has less affordable healthcare than Tampa, but the overall cost of living in Lakeland is lower.

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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 afford to live in.

We took a look at the cost of living in Lakeland compared to Denton, TX, which we recently learned was comparable to our city. Here’s what we found:

  • The cost of living is 3.6% higher in Denton.
  • To maintain our standard of living, we would need to bring in $62,172 to our Denton household.
  • The median cost for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,705, which is $181 more than Lakeland’s average apartment cost.

Local housing + developments

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 development firms working on apartments seemingly all the time — from Carter’s upcoming Prospect Lake Wire to the affordable housing development Parker Pointe from Green Mills Group on Bella Vista Street.

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