Florida is a popular place for both young and old Americans to move to, and one of the premier destinations in Florida is Orlando. Orlando continues to be one of the most popular tourist destinations for Americans and international guests, and there is no shortage of activities to enjoy in the city.
But is Orlando, Florida a good place to live, and is it right for you? We will help give you all the data you need to decide to move to this famous Florida locale.
Facts About Orlando
Orlando is nicknamed “the City Beautiful” and is the county seat of Orange County. It is the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States. The statistics used here will refer only to the city of Orlando, and not its greater metropolitan area.
Population and Demographics
The 2020 U.S. Census counted the population of Orlando at 307,573 people. This is a sharp increase from the population in the 2010 census of 238,300, demonstrating that Orlando is a city on the rise.
Orlando is decidedly younger than the rest of Florida at large. The median age of Orlando residents is just under 34 years old, while Floridians at large are closer to 42 years old. That said, about 10 percent of the population is over 65 years old, so seniors or retirees will find friends in Orlando.
Orlando has a sizable Hispanic and Black community. Estimates calculate that 32.7 percent of the population identifies as Hispanic or Latino, and 24.2 percent identify as Black or African American. White people make up 57.4 percent of the population.
Orlando is also home to many Spanish speakers, as 26.7 percent of the population speaks Spanish at home. The frequency of a language other than English being spoken in the home is about 10 percent more in Orlando than in the rest of Florida.
Median Income and Employment
The median income in Orlando falls shortly behind the rest of the state. The median in Orlando stands at $55,183, while the rest of the state has a median income of $57,703. Married-couple families have a median income of $83,277, while nonfamily households bring home $46,973. The poverty rate in Orlando is 16.1 percent, about three percent higher than the rest of the state.
Prospective movers looking for work will be in luck, as the employment rate in Orlando is far higher than in the rest of Florida. The employment rate has risen in the 2010s and stood at 68.4 percent in 2020. This is much higher than the rate throughout Florida, which stood at 55.4 percent.
Nearly 76 percent of employees in Orlando work in the private sector, while 8.5 percent work in the government. 4.5 percent of residents are self-employed. Those seeking work at private businesses will have plenty of options in Orlando.
The most popular industry in Orlando is labeled as “arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services” by the 2020 Census. Other popular industries include education, waste management, retail, and finance.
Renters will find that Orlando has a median rent that is on par with the rest of Florida. In Orlando, almost 50 percent of people pay between $1,000 and $1,499 for rent monthly. The median rent payment is $1,253.
Those wishing to own a home may not find the market as welcoming as it is for renters. Only 37.3 percent of residents own a house in Orlando, far below the statewide rate of 66.2 percent. Over 50 percent of residences are worth between $200,000 and $499,999 per the 2020 Census.
The vast majority of houses in Orlando are two or three-bedroom units, making up 63.7 percent of housing units. A little over 12 percent of houses have four or more bedrooms, while 24 percent of domiciles are either one bedroom or no bedrooms.
As you might expect from central Florida, Orlando has a very hot and humid climate. From May until October is a hot and rainy season, while November through April represents a warm and dry season.
During winter months like December and January, the high temperature will rest in the lower 70 degrees, leading to enjoyable days. The low temperature will fall around 50 degrees, so you shouldn’t expect to need a heater or to see any snow.
The summer months are sweltering and wet. Temperatures peak in June and July when the high eclipses 90 degrees. The daily lows in the summer are typically above 70 degrees. June sees the most rain, with an average precipitation of 8.05 inches.
Aside from the heat, prospective movers should consider the risk of hurricanes. While not as prevalent as hurricanes in southern Florida, hurricanes still have hit the city and caused damage.
Anyone considering moving to Orlando should prepare for hot and wet summers with hurricane risks. Those who enjoy cooler climates should consider elsewhere.
The 2020 Census reports that 77 percent of people drove to work alone, and 8.1 percent carpooled. Only 2.9 percent of residents took public transportation to work.
Though the numbers for public transportation are low for commuting, Orlando does include several methods for getting around.
Bus transportation is performed through the LYNX Bus Service. LYNX serves residents not just in the city, but throughout areas in Orange, Lake, Osceola, and Seminole Counties. Roughly 90,000 passengers ride the buses each day.
SunRail is the commuter rail service that services central Florida. There are four stations in the city and 16 across central Florida.
Orlando is also the home of the Orlando International Airport for all domestic and intercontinental travel.
While having a vehicle may be practical in the city, Orlando is still a city for those without cars.
39.9 percent of the population in Orlando have earned a Bachelor’s Degree or higher, nine percent higher than the rest of Florida. Public compulsory education is handled by the Orange County Public School system, though many private schools offer classes in Orlando.
At the university level, Orlando has plenty of schools to choose from. There are three state universities, the University of Central Florida, Florida A&M University College of Law, and Florida State University College of Medicine. Outside of those schools, Orlando has many state colleges and private universities.
Younger people who would like to attend college or parents of college-aged children will have options for schools in Orlando.
Entertainment and Activities
As a popular tourist city, Orlando has no shortage of activities for residents and visitors to take part in. The most obvious is Walt Disney World, and many Disney employees live in Orlando. Living in Orlando is a wonderful choice for those who would like a season pass to Disney to visit the parks throughout the year.
For sports fans, Orlando has a few options. There is only one team from one of the four major sports, the Orlando Magic of the NBA, but there are several teams from smaller leagues. Orlando City SC from MLS plays in the city, and the Orlando Predators of the NAL opened up shop in 2019.
Aside from these attractions, Orlando is home to many theaters, performing arts centers, and art galleries. Those who enjoy a vivid nightlife will find plenty of bars throughout the city.
FBI statistics for 2014 state there were 2,340 total violent crimes per 100,000 people. There are 15 homicides, 167 rapes, 620 robberies, and 1,538 aggravated assaults per 100,000 people. The property crime rate stood at 16,515 per 100,000 people.
Pros and Cons of Living in Orlando, Florida
As with any city, there are plenty of pros and cons.
- Wide range of employment opportunities
- A plethora of entertainment options
- Several universities and education choices
- An acceptable public transit system
- Warm and comfortable winter months
- The median income is lower than the rest of Florida
- Fewer homes to own than other areas
- Summers may be too hot and wet for some
- Too many tourists
- Hurricane risk
Best Neighborhoods for Retirement
There are a number of great neighborhoods that prospective retirees might consider when looking for someplace to live. Belle Isle is a beautiful neighborhood with a back-country feel despite its proximity to Orlando.
You could also consider Lake Mary is a tight-knit community of residents with community events held throughout the year. Plus, it’s very close to the medical pavilion and community center.
Finally, there’s Winter Park which has a little more energy compared to the other neighborhoods discussed here. There are plenty of local businesses to visit and eat at as well as a range of gardens to visit.
Who Is Orlando a Good Fit For?
Orlando is a young city, perfect for younger professionals or older families with children. If you want to own a home, Orlando lags behind many other areas of the state. Renters will find rates on par with the rest of Florida.
If you are someone who doesn’t mind extreme temperatures, Orlando is a fine choice to make your home. Those interested in home repair may want to consider other cities with more available housing to own.
If Orlando is not to your liking, you may find you enjoy other places in Florida more, such as Seminole or Lakeland.
Conclusion: Is Orlando, Florida a Good Place to Live?
Orlando is a magical place to live for the right people. It has a sizable population of Spanish speakers, university graduates, and artistic individuals. There is never a shortage of entertainment options in the city, and it has an avid nightlife. If you can handle the heat, Orlando just might be a dream destination.
Before you move, be sure to check out our sinkhole map to ensure you find the best property to make your home.