Living in Orlando is more than beaches and warm weather. Learn about its schools, neighborhoods and more.
When you think about living in Orlando, chances are Disney World is the first thing that comes to mind. But Orlando is more than just a tourist attraction, even if it is the top tourist destination in the United States—in fact, 138 new residents move to the city every day. In this guide, we’ll cover what you need to know about living in The City Beautiful.
Living in Orlando: What to expect
“Orlando may be known as a tourist spot, however, it is one of the largest growing areas [in the country and state],” said Omer Reiner, a licensed real estate agent and the president of Florida Cash Home Buyers. “Many young professionals are moving down there, particularly in healthcare, home services and hospitality.”
Orlando offers residents the versatility of urban or suburban living as well as plenty of restaurants, parks and other options for entertainment.
Walkable areas in Orlando
According to WalkScore.com, Orlando has scores of 41, 33 and 57 for walking, transit and biking, respectively. This means the city is pretty car-dependent, with most residents needing a car for running errands. There are some nearby public transit options and the region has some bike infrastructure. The city’s most walkable neighborhoods are South Eola, Central Business District and Lake Eola Heights.
Best public schools in Orlando
The main school district in Orlando is Orange County Public Schools, which has been ranked as the top school district for athletes in Florida as well as the sixth-most diverse school district in the state.
Top three elementary schools
- Orlando Gifted Academy
- Pinecrest Academy Avalon
- Hillcrest Elementary
Top three middle schools
- Arbor Ridge K-8
- Windy Ridge K-8
- Orlando Science Middle High Charter
Top three high schools
- Orlando Science Middle High Charter
- Osceola County School of Arts
- Hagerty High School
Commute time in Orlando
According to the US Census Bureau, the average commute time in Orlando is about 30 minutes, with 6.6% of the population having a commute that is less than 10 minutes, according to 2019 data.
As you might expect, Orlando can be oppressively hot and humid compared to other parts of the country, especially in its long summers. It can also be wet and rainy, particularly from late May to late September. July tends to be the hottest month, with temperatures sometimes topping 90 degrees. If you’re not a fan of winters, however, Orlando could be the place to be. The colder months are mild, with temperatures rarely dipping below 52 degrees or topping 74 degrees from December to February.
Orlando crime rate
Orlando gets an F rating for crime, according to AreaVibes.com. Its total crime rate is 99% higher than the national average and violent crime and property crime are 122% and 94% higher, respectively. In 2020, the city had a total of 2,524 reported violent crimes, including rape, murder, robbery and assault, and 11,158 property crimes, including burglary, theft and vehicle theft.
Orlando city population
As of April 2020, Orlando had a reported population of 307,573, according to the Census Bureau, a jump from 238,300 in 2010.
Cost of living in Orlando
Orlando’s cost of living is 5% lower than the national average, according to PayScale. Housing costs are 11% lower than the national average while utilities and groceries are 11% and 2% higher, respectively. Furthermore, Florida doesn’t have a state income tax and property taxes fall below the national average at 0.97%.
“Not only is Orlando a great place for people to retire in a temperate setting even outside of Florida, but people can stretch their dollars, as it has a surprisingly average cost of living,” Reiner said. “Housing is slightly above average, but the median income in Orlando, Florida, is about 20% higher than in the US.”
Median household income in Orlando
According to the Census Bureau, from 2016 to 2020, the median household income in Orlando was $55,183.
Orlando neighborhood map
Top 5 Orlando neighborhoods by population density
The below five neighborhoods are Orlando’s top neighborhoods based on population density. While the city doesn’t have the best walkability and biking scores, many Orlando neighborhoods have solid ratings, Reiner said. Read on to find out what you’ll find in each of these.
Orlando’s Conway neighborhood offers residents dense urban feel, according to Niche. Most people rent their homes and are young professionals who tend to hold liberal views. Conway is also home to several highly-rated public schools. Families with children make up 20% of the neighborhood’s population, and the neighborhood gets an A rating for ethnic and economic diversity.
Photo credit: Ebyabe via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Park Central is another Orlando neighborhood that offers an urban feel and is primarily home to renters. Residents tend to be young professionals with liberal views. According to Niche, the neighborhood also gets an A rating for ethnic and economic diversity. Families with children make up 16% of the neighborhood’s population.
South Eola is ranked as one of the best places to live in Florida, thanks to its walkability. It also provides abundant entertainment options, including plenty of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and parks and above-average public schools. Most residents are renters who tend to be either young professionals or retirees.
Kirkman North is another highly-ranked neighborhood ranking as one of the best places to live in Florida, according to Niche. The neighborhood is largely made up of families, and residents tend to be liberal. Public schools are also above average, and the neighborhood gets an A rating for ethnic and economic diversity.
Photo credit: Philip Pessar via Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)
The Lake Fredrica neighborhood is another top-rated area primarily made up of renters. The area gets an A rating for diversity and offers above-average public schools. Families with children make up 24% of the neighborhood’s population.
Median home price in Orlando
According to Realtor.com, the median listing home price per square foot in Orlando is $225. The median listing home price is $367,300, and the median sold home price is $365,000.
Average rent in Orlando
According to the Census Bureau, the median gross rent in Orlando was $1,253 per month from 2016 to 2020, compared to the national average of $1,096.
Moving to Orlando
Whether you’ve got a family with children and are attracted to the theme parks and highly-rated public schools, or you’re winter-averse and drawn to the permanent snowbird life, it makes sense that you may be drawn to Orlando. The city has a lot to offer its residents, from entertainment to an affordable cost of living.