Tampa vs. Orlando - Which City Should You Pick?

Alcove Team · 7/22/22

Tampa vs. Orlando - Which City Should You Pick?

Though Tampa and Orlando are both beautiful destination spots for their Florida beaches, both have their own unique attributes to offer residents. From their varying costs to the overall energy of the city, there’s a lot to consider when deciding between Tampa and Orlando. 

In this article, we will discuss the similarities and differences between Tampa and Orlando, FL, and how to configure which place is the best fit for you considering:

  • Housing Market

  • Cost of Living

  • Quality of Life

  • Job Market

Let’s begin!

Tampa vs. Orlando: Housing Market

First, we will discuss how expensive it is to reside in each Florida city. Zillow forecasts Tampa as one of the hottest housing markets of 2022, with July’s available inventory at an almost 50% increase compared to last year. 

The median price of single-family homes within Tampa’s Hillsborough County is $428,000–a 27.8% increase from May 2022. Orlando’s median price has also increased, as of April 2022, by 20.9% compared to the year prior. Though Orlando’s Orange County still has a lower median home price compared to Tampa’s, going for an average of $405,000. 

Contrastingly, the Florida rental market gives a different outlook. Listed below are the average rental costs depending on different areas in Tampa vs. Orlando


Highest Rental Rate: $2,667 (Downtown Tampa)

Average Rental Rate: $1,834

Lowest Rental Rate: $1,342 (Sulphur Springs)


Highest Rental Rate: $2,293 (College Park)

Average Rental Rate: $1,820

Lowest Rental Rate: $1,241 (The Willows)

Tampa vs. Orlando: Cost of Living

Now that we have covered the cost to reside in Tampa and Orlando, it’s important to consider the cost of actually living in the cities apart from housing. Factors that affect the cost of living are categories like groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare. To make this easier, we will look at the cities’ rankings on the cost of living index.

This index includes the important categories of living in a calculated score that will then be compared to the national average index of 100. It is also important to note that because the average index includes every area of the nation as a whole, most major cities will rank slightly higher than that average. 

Below is how Tampa vs. Orlando compares by their Cost of Living Indexes:

Tampa: 103.7

Orlando: 103.3

While these indexes are fairly close, the most minor change in a cost of living score can make a big difference. 

Tampa vs. Orlando: Job Market

When it comes to a sustainable job market, Orlando and Tampa both take the cake. Supported by both tourist industries, media, production, and finance, their ability to withstand an unstable global economy is strong as these sectors only continue to grow. 

Some of the biggest employers in Orlando are Lockheed Martin, Orlando Health, Disney, and Universal Studios. In addition to the countless franchise and small businesses that help keep both cities' tourist industries alive. So, no matter what sector you work in, these cities' job markets will likely have something for you.

In terms of average annual salaries, this is how Tampa vs. Orlando stands according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2021 Report:

Tampa: $53,270

Orlando: $50,770

Florida Average: $51,950

It’s also important to take into account the minimum wage when discussing job markets. In 2022, the minimum wage in Florida is $10.00 – which is $2.75 more than the federal minimum wage. 

At the end of the day, choosing whether to live in Tampa or Orlando will depend on your own personal preferences. Whether it be the cost of living, the cost of housing, or your career goals, you’ll have to consider what factors matter the most in your decision between the two. As you think about housing, consider Alcove's co-living options that are cheaper than a normal studio and come with other features including moving help.