What Is The Cost Of Living In West Palm Beach, FL?
The first distinction worth noting about West Palm Beach, is that it differs from famed Palm Beach, home to billionaires and five-star hotels. While Palm Beach offers Atlantic beaches, West Palm Beach is situated on the Intracoastal Waterway.
The cost of living index in West Palm Beach is 108.1, making it more expensive than the average U.S. city. The median household income of West Palm Beach residents is $54,334, with a median rent of $1,548, and a median home cost of $272,381.
The minimum wage in West Palm Beach is $8.56 per hour, and the livable wage is $15.62 an hour. You may have a range below or above this that will help you live in West Palm Beach. Though the cost of living is lower than that of Los Angeles or New York, costs add up.
West Palm Beach is also home to many cultural institutions including the Norton Museum of Art, Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, and the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. The city is very family-friendly with excursions such as the Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society, and the South Florida Science Center & Aquarium.
We’ve compiled this article to help you figure out what you can expect to pay in West Palm Beach for basic costs of living, including housing, utilities, transportation, taxes, education, entertainment, and more.
Housing Costs in West Palm Beach
Your home is typically your biggest cost, no matter the city you live in. The median price of a home in West Palm Beach is $272,381, and according to Zillow, home values have risen 7.5% over the past year.
The median rent in West Palm Beach is approximately $1,548 per month, which is significantly higher than the national average rent price of $1,078 per month and the Florida median gross rent of $1,238. The most affluent neighborhoods in West Palm Beach include Downtown, Flamingo Park, El Cid, River Walk, Southland Park, and Prospect Park.
These neighborhoods include centrally-located properties in close proximity to shopping and restaurants, as well as waterfront estates with stunning views. The median sales price in these neighborhoods ranges from $500,000 to $1.55 million.
|Location||Median Home Listing Price||Homeownership Rate||Average Rent|
|West Palm Beach||$272,381||48.8%||$1,548|
Property Taxes in West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach is the county seat of Palm Beach County with a population of about 110,000 residents. The average effective property tax rate in Palm Beach County is 1.06%, which sits slightly below the United States average of 1.1%, and the average in Florida is .94%.
West Palm Beach, FL Rent Prices
The average rent in West Palm Beach is $1,548, and in 2020 the area experienced an annual increase of 5% in rental prices. The average rent price in the city center for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,438, which varies vastly from rental prices outside of the city center where the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment of similar size is $1,183.
The most popular neighborhoods to rent in are Briar Bay, Pinewood Park, and Progressive Northwest with the average rental price ranging from $1,285-$1,860. The most expensive neighborhoods to rent in include Southwest Palm Beach and Vedado with average rental prices of around $2,300.
Cannongate – Dillman Heights, Garden Hills, and Pine Jog are the most affordable neighborhoods in West Palm Beach, with an average monthly rent of approximately $1,171. The average monthly rent in West Palm Beach is less than the average monthly rent in the surrounding larger cities.
|Florida City||Average Rent|
|West Palm Beach||$1,548|
Average Cost of Utilities in West Palm Beach, FL
The average cost of basic utilities in West Palm Beach is $123 per month, and the cost of internet is $62.72 per month.
Taxes in West Palm Beach, FL
Florida has no state income tax which attracts many professionals to relocate to Florida. Florida is one of just 9 states that doesn’t have state income tax. Sales tax in West Palm Beach is 7%, which includes a 6% Florida state sales tax and a Palm Beach County sales tax of 1%.
The gas tax in Florida is one of the highest in the nation at 42.3 cents per gallon. As mentioned above, the average effective property tax rate in Palm Beach County is 1.06%.
|Location||Sales Tax||Gas Tax||Property Tax||Income Tax|
|West Palm Beach||7%||42.3 cents per gallon||1.06%||0%|
|Florida||6%||42.3 cents per gallon||0.83%||0%|
|United States Average||7.12%||52.64 cents per gallon||1.1%||14.6%|
West Palm Beach, FL Food Prices
Groceries are 6% more expensive than the national average in West Palm Beach. The cost of an inexpensive meal is around $15 per person. At the grocery store, a gallon of milk costs about $3.84, and a dozen eggs is approximately $3.11.
|West Palm Beach, FL Food||Average Cost|
|A 12-ounce bottle of water||$1.75|
|Loaf of bread||$3.00|
|1 pound of beef round||$5.36|
|Bottle of domestic beer||$3.82|
West Palm Beach, FL Education Costs
West Palm Beach is home to educational institutions including Palm Beach Atlantic University, Northwood University, Keiser University, and Palm Beach State College.
The tuition for 4 years at Palm Beach State College is $9,776 for Florida residents and $34,928 for out-of-state students. For the 2019-2020 academic year, full-time tuition at private Palm Beach Atlantic University was reported at $31,920.
West Palm Beach offers 11 private schools throughout the area. The School District of Palm Beach County is the tenth-largest school district in the nation based on enrollment.
Driving Costs in West Palm Beach
Gas prices in West Palm Beach range from $2.49 to $2.67 per gallon depending on where you purchase it. Drivers in the U.S. use an average of 656 gallons of gas per year, so you could expect to pay around $1,633 annually for fuel.
The average cost of car insurance in Florida is $180/month for full coverage. Florida’s annual average payment is higher than the national average.
Transportation in West Palm Beach, FL
Public transportation in West Palm Beach is not widely accessible, but there are some options available if you do not have a car. The Palm Tran bus offers 30 routes that operate between West Palm Beach and Palm Beach for just $2 per ride. The West Palm Beach Trolley is a charming way to tour the city, but the transportation area is limited to downtown, and it does not travel to Palm Beach.
West Palm Beach, FL Flights
The closest airport is Palm Beach International Airport, but you also have convenient access to Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood Airport, and Miami International Airport for easy jet setting. Almost all major airlines service this area.
Entertainment in West Palm Beach, FL
Attractions in West Palm Beach include Norton Museum of Art, Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, and the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. There are also many family-friendly excursions such as the Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society, and the South Florida Science Center & Aquarium.
West Palm is ideally located near some of the most desirable cities in the U.S. including Boca Raton (28 miles), Fort Lauderdale (47 miles), and Miami (76 miles). To reach famed Palm Beach, simply drive over one of three bridges: Flagler Memorial, Royal Park, or Southern Boulevard.
A fitness club membership for one adult costs around $28.27 per month, and the average movie ticket costs $12 per person. Some businesses offer discounts for residents over 60 and children under 12.
|West Palm Beach, Entertainment||Average Cost|
|Gym membership||$28.27 per month|
|Norton Museum of Art||· General – $18|
· Seniors (60+) – $15
· Students with a valid school ID – $15
· Children under 12 – Free
|Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society||Adults $24.95Seniors (60+) $22.95Children (3-12) $18.95Toddlers (0-2) Free|
The Cost of Child Care
If you have a family, you know that child care is expensive but a necessity. It is a part of daily life that many people don’t talk about and can be a considerable expense and a giant chunk of your paycheck.
In West Palm Beach, the average cost of full-time daycare per week is:
|Age||Cost Per Week|
|2.5 to 5||$607|
You can expect to pay between $550 a month to $700 a month per child. However, if you are looking at a private daycare that may also teach your children or prep them for school, you will end up paying much more. It all depends on what you want and what you are looking for.
How much do you need to live comfortably in Florida?
You will need a salary of approximately $27,948 to live comfortably in West Palm Beach. This means you would need to make $2,329 a month to live on your own in West Palm Beach. Costs of living depend on location and the size of your family; the bigger your family is, the more you will need to make.
Is West Palm Beach Safe?
West Palm Beach has a high crime rate compared to towns of similar sizes throughout the United States. Your chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime are 1 in 128, which is more than double the rate throughout the state of Florida, which is 1 in 264. Property crime is also almost double in West Palm Beach compared to the Florida average.
Is West Palm Beach Prone to Natural Disasters?
Unfortunately, West Palm Beach is affected by hurricanes and tropical storms. In 2019, Hurricane Dorian hit Florida with hurricane-force winds, and just missed West Palm Beach by 60 miles.In 2016 and 2017, Hurricanes Matthew and Irma came within 20 and 30 miles respectively of West Palm Beach. The most disastrous hurricane to hit West Palm Beach was in 1928, when the Lake Okeechobee Hurricane caused a deadly storm surge that killed 2,500 people.
What is the typical salary in West Palm Beach?
The average net monthly salary after tax in West Palm Beach is $3,034.62, and the minimum wage salary is $1,466.40 per month. The median household income of West Palm Beach residents is $54,334, which is lower than the national average of $68,703 reported in 2019.
While renting is more expensive in West Palm Beach, most other costs are relatively in line with national averages including the median home price and property taxes. A nice bonus of living in Florida is that there is no state income tax.
West Palm Beach, Florida is a desirable city for its proximity to the Intracoastal Waterway and the pristine ocean beaches of neighboring Palm Beach. The area is a diverse community, home to many young professionals and families from all different backgrounds.
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