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Florida vs California: In-Depth Comparison of 2 States and the Winner

Comparing Florida vs California when determining which is better can spark intense debates. They both have thriving economies, large and varied populations, and interesting tourist destinations. Let’s contrast the two states to find out what makes them unique!

Florida VS California

Quick Comparison

There is no wrong option when choosing between Florida and California, as both states vary in interest depending on one’s preference. Here is how they compare.

  • Florida has a Median Income of $26,539, but you will be impressed by California, which has $57,660
  • The Average Home Price in Florida is $312,600 in California, which stands at $252,900
  • Florida has an unemployment rate of 8.2%, while California’s is at 11.1%.

There are many other reasons to live in either state, weather, education, and culture to name a few. Continue reading to find out more!

Read also: Texas vs Florida: 7 Important Distinctions to Know

Comparative Analysis of Living in California vs Florida

I conducted a comparison investigation to conclude the best state for you to call home. Here are eight comparisons of life in California vs Florida.

Comparison Chart



Cost of living 


Job availability




Crime rate




Income tax




Median home cost


I will look into each for better understanding and clarification. For now, let’s look at the pros and cons of both states. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in Florida

Pros of living in Florida include:

Pros of living in Florida
  • There is plenty of sunshine in Florida, which is why it is nicknamed the Sunshine State. 
  • From November through March, rain and thunderstorms are a minor concern.
  • Spectacular beaches like Vero Beach, Key West, Miami Beach, Sanibel Beach, and many more.
  • Driving is convenient here. The city’s excellent roadways provide a flat, straight path free of potholes, making it a haven for visitors. Anyone, regardless of age, may drive safely and comfortably.
  • Neither retirees nor working people will have to worry about handing over a portion of their income to the state or local government through income tax. 
  • The state safeguards the people’s assets. 

Now let us look at the downside of living in Florida. 

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Disadvantages of Living in Florida

The cons include:

Cons of living in Florida

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  • High cost of living in terms of housing, food, and transportation.
  • The high crime rate, especially the property crime rate, at 2,302.4 per 100,000 residents.
  • Humidity and sunshine combine to make winter weather unpleasant.

And now, let us shift to California and see what it offers.

Pros of Living in California

Some advantages you might enjoy while in California include the following:

Pros of living in California

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  • You can appreciate nature by visiting any of the state’s nine national parks. You can also visit the ghost town of Bodie, located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
  • You can go sightseeing in San Francisco, near beaches like Santa Monica, mountains, forests, or deserts. 
  • There are more than 260 sunny days per year, and pleasant temperatures are typical throughout the four seasons.
  • There are twelve airports in the state.
  • Numerous employment opportunities exist in California.
  • Tacos Villa Corona, a Mexican restaurant, is just one of over seven thousand restaurants and cultural centers offering delicious cuisine. 

Several disadvantages come with living in California. 

See Related: New York City vs Chicago: Which is the Best State to Live In

Disadvantages of Living in California

The cons are quite a number: 

Cons of living in California
  • Taxes in California are incredibly high. 
  • California is home to several deadly creatures, such as snakes and alligators.
  • Almost everything is expensive, and overpriced cities like San Francisco are undoubtedly a major drawback for this state. 
  • Since the epidemic, the Population has increased, which lowers the quality of life.
  • Be especially wary of drivers in their 60s and 70s. They frequently experience accidents as a result of their poor vision.

Now that I have highlighted both states’ pros and cons let us look at an overview of California vs Florida.

Comparison of Life Between California vs Florida

Let’s begin with a quick overview of these two states’ most notable features.

  • With nearly 39 million people calling the Golden State home, California is the most populous state in the United States. 
  • Florida is the third largest state, yet it has just about 22.6 million residents, which puts it well behind California and Texas.
  • Since each has welcomed more than 2 million inhabitants over the past ten years, they have experienced rapid growth.

Here is a summary chat.



A population of 22.6 million

Population of 38,940,231

Size of 170,312 km²

Size of 423,970 km²

The five largest cities in each state, together with their respective populations, include:

California Cities and Its Populations

California is the most populated state, and people are distributed as follows:

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  1. Los Angeles: 3,898,747.
  2. San Diego: 1,386,932.
  3. San Jose: 1,013,240.
  4. San Francisco: 873,965.
  5. Fresno: 542,107.

Florida Cities and Its Populations

Florida’s population, on the other hand, is distributed as follows in the major cities:

  1. Jacksonville: 949,611.
  2. Miami: 442,241.
  3. Tampa: 384,959.
  4. Orlando: 307,573.
  5. St. Petersburg: 244,769.

Winner: Florida wins as it is not overpopulated.

What other distinctions are there between California vs Florida? Let’s find out!

The Difference in Time Zones Between Florida vs California

Because Florida is three hours ahead of California, the time difference between the two states causes those who vacation there to go to bed earlier. When the clock strikes twelve in California, it is three in the morning in Florida. 

The Difference in Time Zones Between Florida vs. California

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Average Cost of Living in Florida vs California

To create the comparison table of the cost of living, I used data from A score of 100 represents the national average. When trying to save money, a lower score is better. And vice versa as well.










Groceries and food



Median home value















From the data presented above, it is clear that California offers a more affordable lifestyle. But depending on where in the Golden State you’d choose to call home, Florida sometimes may offer more reasonably priced urban areas than California.

Winner: California has a lower cost of living.

Job Market and Economy in Florida vs California

It’s important to consider more than just the cost of living while deciding between California and Florida. I shall examine both states individually. Let’s start with Florida.


You should check the job market and the economy of each state. According to U.S. News and World Report, Florida has the eighth-greatest economy in the United States, with annual job growth of 2.4%, much above the national average of 1.4%.

However, at roughly $50,000 annually, household income is below the national median of around $57,000.

Economy in Florida


While the state’s 1.2% job growth was below the national average of 1.4%, U.S. News and World Report nevertheless ranked California as the 10th greatest economy in the country.

However, California has a median household income of nearly $67,000, significantly more than the $57,000 national average.

Economy in California

Winner: The winner here is California, which has a higher median household income.

California and Florida State Income Tax Rate

Let’s take a look at the income tax rate of both states: 

California and Florida State Income Tax Rate
  • State income tax: Florida has no state income tax (a total state and local tax of roughly 8.9%). California’s maximum state-level sales tax is 8%, and the state-level income tax is 13.3%. Due to the state’s low tax rate, launching a company in Florida is quite simple. 
  • Social taxes: In Florida, residents are exempt from paying taxes on their Social Security, pensions, and income. Florida also does not impose a tax on inheritances. 
  • Property tax rates: Although California has some of the highest taxes in the country, its effective property tax rates on property are quite low. California has an 11% tax burden, but Florida only has a 6.56%. The intriguing thing about Florida’s economy is that the higher your income, the less tax you have to pay. 

Winner: Without a doubt, the winner is Florida. 

Which State Is Safer, California vs Florida?

It’s crucial to research potential new places to call home before making a final decision. Find out how dangerous your area is and take measures to protect yourself and your family. Which state is safer? Let’s find out!

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Florida has a very high property crime rate, at 2,302.4 per 100,000 residents. Theft via larceny accounts for 76.7% of property crimes, burglary for 14.8%, and auto theft for 8.5%. The five safest places to live in Florida include:

The safest neighborhoods in Florida
  • Sebastian,
  • Satellite Beach,
  • Weston,
  • Marco Island,
  • Parkland.


It is generally safe to live and travel in California. California has about 430 murders and 430 assaults per 100,000 residents. According to the statistics, aggravated assaults account for 60% of crimes, robberies for 30%, rapes for 9%, and homicides for only 1%. 

There are about 2,272 incidents of property crime per 100,000 residents. Among the safest cities in California include the following:

The safest neighborhoods in California
  • Palos Verdes Estates,
  • Hillsborough,
  • Rancho Santa Margarita,
  • Beverly Hills,
  • Moorpark.

Winner: California has lower crime rates compared to Florida. 

The Weather in Florida vs California  

You should consider the weather conditions when deciding which state to settle in. It is best to choose a state with tolerable weather conditions. Let’s look at the two state’s deeper:

Weather in California

Although the state’s summers are quite hot and its winters are quite mild, residents of California do get to experience four distinct seasons: 

  • Winter,
  • Summer,
  • Monsoon,
  • Spring. 

Northern California gets snow, so you can take a break from the beach whenever you choose. October through April are peak earthquake and flood months in California.

Weather in California

Coastal California experiences hot and dry summers and chilly and rainy winters, with average temperatures hovering around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezing temperatures of winter can even freeze water in puddles.

Weather in Florida 

Florida enjoys sunny weather. Temperatures in Florida average around 38 to 40 degrees year-round, earning the state its classification as a “humid subtropical” climatic zone. The humidity in Florida is much higher. Florida’s subtropical climate features:

  • Warm, sunny summers.
  • Mild, rainy winters. 

The months of June through November are peak hurricane seasons in Florida. The weather in Florida is more humid and rainy, while California’s is normally drier. 

Weather in Florida 

Winner: California’s weather is better than Florida’s.

Culture in Florida vs California 

The two states have different cultures, which I will highlight. 

Florida’s Culture and Miami Beach

Florida is bordered on the north by Georgia, on the south by the Straits of Florida, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by the Gulf of Mexico, and on the northwest by Alabama:

  • The state of Florida is a popular relocation destination due to its subtropical climate and proximity to some of the world’s finest beaches, like Manhattan Beach and Sarasota Beach, which is a clearwater beach.
  • The Gulf Coast’s sugar-white sands and balmy waters make for picture-perfect paradise settings any time of year.
  • It takes less than two hours to drive from any large city to one of these beautiful stretches of coastline.
  • Several cities, such as Tampa, Jacksonville, and Miami, are located directly on the coast.
Florida's Culture

Florida is also well-known for its relaxed atmosphere and abundance of scenic outdoor destinations, such as its national parks, lakes, and beaches.

Read also: Hot Springs San Diego: 7 Places in Southern California Bliss

California’s Culture 

The laid-back attitude of Southern San Diego, California’s surf culture, and the hip, hi-tech way of life in Northern California give California its distinct personality.

  • It is widely considered among the most progressive states in the United States due to its liberal culture.
  • California beaches are quite spectacular. They include Malibu, which is considered to be a romantic, luxurious beach.
  • The state of California also has a significant culinary tradition. In California, you may get some of the best examples of ethnic foods, including Asian and Mexican.
  • California is home to several basketball teams, including Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Lakers, San Francisco 49ers, San Diego Padres, and San Francisco Giants.
California's Culture 

But beware of the seemingly endless traffic that clogs up every major roadway in California. In 2019, for instance, commuters in Los Angeles spent about 5 full days sitting in traffic, proving this is not simply a myth.

Winner: It’s a tie. Florida has the best beaches, while California is considered the most progressive state.

Major Attractions and Other Entertainment Options

Let’s discuss what you can do for fun in the two states.


Tourists flock to Florida yearly to see its famous attractions, including:

Florida`s famous attractions
  • The Daytona 500 International Speedway,
  • Disney World,
  • Sea World.

There are beautiful destinations, including:

The Florida Keys and Tampa cultures are also distinctive within the United States. Florida is home to many professional sports franchises, including:

  • The Miami Heat,
  • Jacksonville Jaguars,
  • Miami Dolphins,
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

What about California? Well, let’s see.


It has various terrain, including hills, valleys, mountains, beaches, vineyards, and cliffs. The numerous mountain ranges and the diverse landscape in California provide citizens access to several of the best:

California's outdoor activities
  • Skiing,
  • Hiking,
  • Mountain biking trails worldwide (including the Hollywood Hills, a popular destination for hikers).

Famous wine farms that can be found in California include:

  • Sonoma Valley,
  • Napa Valley.

California is also home to famous landmarks such as:

California`s famous landmarks
  • The Golden Gate Bridge,
  • The Hollywood sign.

Walt Disney World Florida versus Disneyland California

Anyone, young or old, can realize their childhood dreams by traveling to Disneyland or Walt Disney World. There are:

  • Countless rides range from nostalgic classics to heart-pounding thrill rides at both parks.
  • Delicious snacks that are worth waiting in line for.
  • The undisputed star of the film is Mickey Mouse.
  • Countless opportunities for unforgettable memories.

There are also notable differences that I am going to highlight.


Disneyland in nearby Anaheim, California, is a fantastic vacation destination. Disneyland has only 500 acres of land. Disneyland has three theme parks: 

  • Disneyland Park,
  • Disney California Adventure Park, 
  • Downtown Disney. 
Disneyland California

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Disney World

Walt Disney World is located in Orlando, Florida, and is a perfect vacation destination. Disney World occupies 43 square miles.

Disney World has various parks and resorts, including: 

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom,
  • Magic Kingdom,
  • ESPN Wild World of Sports Complex,
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Disney World Florida

There are a lot of rides to choose from after you arrive at Disneyland, including the Matterhorn, the Bobsleds, and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. On the other hand, Disney World is home to the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Spaceship Earth, and dozens of other thrilling attractions.

Read also: Disneyland vs California Adventure Park: Which is the Best

Universal Studios: The Golden State vs The Sunshine State

Both amusement parks are fantastic options for family vacations because of their fame and popularity. There are some key differences between the two theme parks, despite the fact that they share a name, a general theme, and several attractions.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Anyone interested in visiting a working film studio and thrilling parks should check out Florida Universal Studios Hollywood. It is situated in Los Angeles County in San Fernando Valley area.

Only Hogsmeade can be found in Hollywood. 

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios park

In Orlando, Florida, there is a theme park called Universal Studios. Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade can be found here.

Having fun in Orlando will cost extra money because of the city’s more expensive cost of living. It features both a volcano and a water park.

Universal Studios park Florida

Winner: It’s a tie. Both states have great entertainment venues.

Which State Is Better, California vs Florida, in the Final Analysis?

Which state, California vs Florida, you decide to call home depends entirely on your way of life and individual tastes.

I recommend you choose Florida if:

  • You want to save money, especially income tax money. 
  • You prefer to be near beautiful Florida beaches.
  • If you want to start a business, Florida has low corporate taxes and robust infrastructure.

California may be the most excellent choice if:

  • You want to live in a state with cultural diversity.
  • You would like access to quality higher education.
  • You are looking for a job opportunity in film and Tech.
  • You value safety. California has low crime rates.
  • The availability of respectable, well-paying employment opportunities.


Which Is Better for Living, Florida or California?

Florida is better for living if you’re searching for the nicest beaches and don’t mind the heat and humidity. But if you seek a more varied climate, access to the mountains, and the possibility of decent, well-paying work, California might be the place for you.

How Is Florida Different From California?

Florida is different from California in that it is clear that Florida is a warmer and more humid state. Florida lacks California’s geographic variety, but it has miles of stunning beaches and culture around the ocean.

Is California or Florida Cheaper?

California is cheaper than Florida. The average cost of living in California in 2023 is $47,801 per year, while that of Florida is $50,689.

Is It a Good Idea to Move From California to Florida?

Yes, it is a good idea o move from California to Florida. The warm climate, beautiful beaches, excellent surfing, and exciting nightlife California is known for can all be found in Florida. 


In general, it is difficult to determine which state offers the superior standard of living between Florida and California. California is more diverse and has more high-paying occupations than any other state, but it is an expensive city, and taxes are quite high.

On the other hand, Florida is laid-back, inexpensive, and home to some of the world’s best beaches; nevertheless, the state also experiences record-breaking high temperatures year-round and has fewer attractions than other states. 

Whichever decision you make between California and Florida depends solely on your lifestyle, and there is no bad decision. 

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Florida VS California