Cost of Living in Virginia Cities: These Are the Top 5

Updated On October 6, 2023
Virginia Portsmouth dock

Virginia is a state with a location in the south-eastern region of the territory of the United States.

It is the 35th largest state by dimensions.

Virginia borders Maryland, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and the Atlantic Ocean.

This state is known as The birthplace of a nation, as well as, The Old Dominion State.

Another famous nickname for Virginia is an inspiration for the fact that almost eight presidents were born here – “Mother of Presidents.”

This charming state has many sceneries and tastes for every generation for inspiration and love.

You will be impressed by its natural beauty with beautiful rivers and the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.

However, are you interested to know the cost of living in Virginia?

And which are the top five cities that are the most expensive for living in this Old Dominion State?

Let’s begin.

The Cost of Living in This State

This state scores 99 on the living cost index, based on an American standard of 100.

In other words, compared to the national standards, the living cost of Virginia is almost equal to national living costs.

But, if we look at other east coast states, Virginia is economical with fair prices for living.

The cost of living in Virginia makes this state in 12th place for the highest expenses.

Virginia has eight metropolitan areas, and one, the most expensive – Charlottesville metro area.

In this area, the cost of services and goods is around 1% higher than the national standards.

Housing Costs

These expenses are the first thing of every mind when we speak about the cost of living in general.

The regular home cost here is $300,000.

Just as an illustration with the standard home costs – $230,500, the housing prices are much above the standards.

Housing costs are the biggest payments in Virginia.

In some cities, the regular home prices can be even higher – about $1,200,500.

On the other hand, there is the exact situation with renting.

Thus, a one-bedroom apartment is from $890 up, while the national standards for those bedroom apartments are much less than $800.

As so, the rental market in Virginia is kind of costly.

Here is a shortlist of the most expensive cities in this state and the regular rent price for one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.

In Chesapeake, the rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $990, and for a two-bedroom apartment – $1,225.

Norfolk, on the other hand, has much fewer high prices.

Here the rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,500, and for a two-bedroom apartment – $1,690.

Utility Costs

Beyond, we have discussed the expensive housing costs in Virginia.

But here is some happy news- the utility costs here are pretty affordable.

Therefore, the regular utility costs in this city are around $330 per month, with included electricity, natural gas, water, internet, and cable.

In detail, the electricity bill is roughly $130, natural gas – $60, water bill $50, internet and cable – all together – $90.

Having a one-bedroom apartment in this state will make your utility costs much lower- just $150 per month.

Food Costs

On the living cost index for food, Virginia is much lower.

With an exception, in some expensive cities, the food and grocery prices are 5% higher than national standard prices.

For example, in Richmond, the food and grocery expenses are 5.5% more expensive.

Generally, the regular single adult in Virginia spends around $3,120 on food or $260 per month.

This price can get even higher for a family of five – $15,600.

Virginia is a state where the nightlife is also one of the most satisfactory.

There are a lot of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops – all of that for a high price.

For one meal at an inexpensive restaurant, you will spend roughly $16.

Having a diner with a desert for two persons at a mid-range restaurant is more than $70.

Healthcare Costs

We all know that having a healthy lifestyle is always the main priority no matter where we live.

In this Old Dominion state, healthcare prices are also below the national standard healthcare services prices.

Hence, the regular citizens here pay $475 per month, which is pretty near the national line of costs – $500.

One visit to the doctor in this state usually costs around $110-$130.

The prescription medication is roughly $500.

Transportation Costs

Public transportation in Virginia is relatively available.

The main transportation facilities are railroads, airports, and roads.

In fact, Virginia has another nickname – ”Bridge” state because it is between the northeastern and southeastern regions.

The usual transportation fees are around $4,990 for one person per year.

In that matter – it is good to know the gas prices in this state.

The typical price of a gallon of gas is $3.00.

The Most Expensive Cities in Virginia


This capital city is one of America’s oldest capital cities.

Like any additional capital city – also this city has it all.

It is home to the spectacular Maymont park, adorable communities, and great nightlife.

Old Buildings, large green areas make Richmond a mix of ancient and modern.

Even more, this city is notable for its history and role in the CIliv War.

With having museums, statues, and more, many visitors enjoy visiting these beautiful attractions such as Civil War Museum, Virginia War Memorial, Hollywood Cemetery.

But entrances prices vary from $15- to enormously $35.

Consequently, the standard monthly cost of renting a studio is $1,550.00.

This price is a much bit lower for people who prefer to live outside of Richmond’s city center area – $1,230.00.

The standard charge for two people to have a diner in Richmond is $69 without any included alcohol.

The usual utility costs in the capital city are $190 per month, including internet, cable services, electricity, heating, and cooling.

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach, known as Neptune City, is one of the largest cities in this state.

This city, located on the Atlantic Ocean, has many things to be seen while enjoying your vacation here.

For instance, The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is the largest children’s museum in the whole state.

And did you know that in Virginia Beach are more than 400 city parks?

But, here are the prices for living in this city.

Meal for two people is much more than $80.

One domestic beer in the pub in the city center is from $5 up.

You can enjoy eating tasty and fresh seafood, but for a pretty fancy price.

The checklist of excellent seafood restaurants here is practically endless- but one lunch for you can cost you $30.

The utility and transportation costs are the same as in the capital city.


This city is very known for incredible and large shopping malls.

But the prices for clothes in this city are enormously high.

In fact, other prices for usually living are identically the same as in all five cities, but the shopping prices are the most costly here.

E.g., one pair of jeans are found at about $60, while leather business shoes could have a price of $300.


The housing prices in Arlington are the most expensive thing.

They are much more than 100% higher than the national standard prices.

The regular home price is enormously $700,500, while the rent prices are from $2,300 up, just per one month.

As for leisure activities, here is an example -the monthly gym membership is $70, which is honestly a high price.


Also, this historic city on the water is one of the most expensive cities in Virginia.

Although it has enjoyable mild temperatures, fantastic public art, and a food scene, not everyone can afford these high prices.

In short – the standard monthly cost of living in Norfolk ranks between $3,100 to $3,500.

As you can see, that is why Norfolk ranks as one of the most expensive cities in this state.

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