No doubt this comes as little surprise, but it really does cost a lot to live in the Bradenton-Sarasota area.
How much, you might ask?
A family of four spends almost $80,000 per year to live in the Manatee-Sarasota statistical area, according to the Family Budget Calculator released by the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive Washington-based think tank.
At $79,230 per year, that makes the two-county area one of the least-affordable regions in Florida.
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By county, the average is $77,800 in Manatee and $80,613 in Sarasota.
That total includes housing, health care, transportation, taxes, food, child care and other necessities.
Costly indeed, especially when compared to surrounding areas.
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater: $77,064;
- Lakeland-Winter Haven: $71,046;
- Pasco County: $77,255;
- Charlotte County: $73,639;
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers: $78,867.
Even Orlando ($78,440) and Jacksonville ($74,437) are less expensive.
“It’s clear from our analysis that, even in less expensive areas, many families will struggle to meet their basic needs,” Economic Policy Institute research assistant Zane Mokhiber said in a statement.
Mokhiber also said it’s unclear whether costs are higher this year than in previous years, thanks to a new methodology.
Not surprisingly, the most-expensive regions are in South Florida – Monroe County ($104,037), Broward County ($86,896), Palm Beach County ($85,619), Miami-Dade County ($84,972) and Collier County ($83,990).
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the median family income in Florida is $56,000 – far below the national average of nearly $68,000 – and the median cost of living in the Sunshine State is about $69,000.
Information from the Miami Herald was used in this report.