Cost of Living in United States

Updated On February 16, 2023

How Much Does It Cost to Live In United States?

If your dream country is America and you are thinking about moving there, you are not alone in your thoughts – lots of people are struggling to find their happiness there.

Even though the cost of living in America is remarkably high, especially when compared to some less developed countries, the incomes of its citizens in many of its major cities are satisfying and this seems attractive to people who earn much less in their countries.

Cost of Living Index:
* Based on Research & User Data


Life in the USA is pretty pricey, especially if you are a frequent visitor to its restaurants and bars.

There are still some places where you can find meals for $17, but the majority of them are more luxurious and highly expensive.

Alcohol also has pretty high prices here.



If you are a savvy person who does not spend money in restaurants but prepares meals at home, your living costs would be a reasonable price tag.

Food is expensive, but you can always purchase it at lower prices after you have searched for the places that offer discounts.



Transportation here takes pretty much money as the place of living is not close to your work and commuting is obligatory.

Americans tend to drive a car and that is part of their way of life, but you should know that owning and using it daily can make a huge hole in your budget.



The amount you pay for rent is a big driver of your overall cost of living, and utilities are not included in it.

Actually, you will need to add at least $200 to the rent to provide for basic bills.

In general, these costs depend on numerous factors but it can be said that Internet access is pretty pricey.

Sports and leisure


No matter where in America you choose to live, entertainment is important after busy days at work, especially for younger generations.

Compared to the average salaries, it is estimated that sports and leisure activities are not so expensive, as a fitness club rent is around $42 and cinema tickets are $12.

Clothing and shoes


Whether you will have enough money for apparel depends on whether you could pay all the bills and put some money aside.

People with minimum wages will struggle to get clothes that are pretty expensive and that is the reason why only 2% of monthly income is given for that.

Rent per month


When you come to the USA, you will need to rent an apartment and your housing costs would represent 30 percent of your monthly expenses.

You can choose to rent a place out of the city center for lower rent, but it is advisable not to be far away from your work, as you will need to pay higher commuting costs.

Cost of Living Averages Table for United States

*Note: All prices are indicated in USD.
Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)$17.21
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)$5
Water (0.33 Liter)$1.81
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter)$1.02
Loaf Bread (500g)$3.26
Eggs (12)$4.02
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket$2.50
Monthly Pass$70
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)$182.16
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local$0.16
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)$69.35
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult$41.9
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)$18.44
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release$12
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)$46.3
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)$36.46
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)$79.99
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center$1705.50
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center$1374.26
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center$2842.85

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in United States?

The comparison between income and expenses varies widely between a single person and two parents with kids, but it is still good to explore the costs and expenses of living in advance and be somehow ready for what awaits you and then, based on your own, specific needs see how much you need to earn.

Rent and food are the main expenses and take up two-thirds of your monthly budget.

Be ready to pay quite much for transportation, while utilities do not cost too much.

Average Costs Breakdown


United States: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Due to the fact that the U.S. economy is the largest in the world, people believe that they will not struggle to survive there and would be able to afford comfortable living conditions for themselves and their families.

However, you will need to earn at least the average amount of money monthly, so as to be able to live a decent life there.

The minimum wage for a newcomer who needs to rent an apartment would not be enough for the rent.

Average Salary$4196.85
Minimum Wage$1256.7
Mortgage Interest Rate5.37%

United States Safety Overview

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Safety Index:

Cost of Living by City in United States

CityCost of Living Index
Albany, NY72.4
Albuquerque, NM72.4
Anchorage, AK72.4
Ann Arbor, MI72.4
Arlington, TX72.4
Asheville, NC72.4
Atlanta, GA72.4
Austin, TX72.4
Bakersfield, CA72.4
Baltimore, MD72.4
Bellevue, WA72.4
Bellingham, WA72.4
Berkeley, CA72.4
Birmingham, AL72.4
Boise, ID72.4
Boston, MA72.4
Boulder, CO72.4
Brooklyn, NY72.4
Buffalo, NY72.4
Burlington, VT72.4
Charleston, SC72.4
Charlotte, NC73.33
Chattanooga, TN72.4
Chicago, IL72.4
Cincinnati, OH72.4
Cleveland, OH72.4
Columbia, SC72.4
Columbus, OH72.4
Dallas, TX72.4
Dayton, OH72.4
Denver, CO72.4
Des Moines, IA72.4
Detroit, MI72.4
El Paso, TX72.4
Eugene, OR72.4
Everett, WA72.4
Fayetteville, AR72.4
Fort Myers, FL72.4
Fort Wayne, IN72.4
Fort Worth, TX72.4
Fresno, CA74.2
Gainesville, FL74.2
Grand Rapids, MI74.2
Greensboro, NC74.2
Hartford, CT74.2
Honolulu, HI74.2
Houston, TX74.2
Huntsville, AL74.2
Indianapolis, IN74.2
Irvine, CA74.2
Jacksonville, FL74.2
Jersey City, NJ74.2
Kansas City, MO74.2
Knoxville, TN74.2
Las Vegas, NV74.2
Lexington, KY74.2
Little Rock, AR74.2
Long Beach, CA74.2
Los Angeles, CA74.2
Louisville, KY74.2
Lubbock, TX74.2
Madison, WI74.2
Memphis, TN74.2
Miami, FL74.2
Milwaukee, WI74.2
Minneapolis, MN74.2
Nashville, TN74.2
New Orleans, LA74.2
New York, NY74.2
Oakland, CA74.2
Oklahoma City, OK74.2
Olympia, WA74.2
Orlando, FL74.2
Peoria, IL72.4
Philadelphia, PA72.4
Phoenix, AZ72.4
Pittsburgh, PA72.4
Portland, ME72.4
Portland, OR72.4
Raleigh, NC72.4
Reno, NV72.4
Richmond, VA74.2
Rochester, NY74.2
Sacramento, CA74.2
Saint Louis, MO74.2
Saint Paul, MN74.2
Saint Petersburg, FL74.2
Salem, OR74.2
Salt Lake City, UT74.2
San Antonio, TX74.2
San Diego, CA74.2
San Francisco, CA74.2
San Jose, CA74.2
Santa Barbara, CA74.2
Santa Rosa, CA74.2
Seattle, WA74.2
Spokane, WA74.2
Springfield, MO74.2
Syracuse, NY74.2
Tacoma, WA74.2
Tallahassee, FL74.2
Tampa, FL74.2
Toledo, OH74.2
Tucson, AZ74.2
Tulsa, OK74.2
Vancouver, WA74.2
Virginia Beach, VA74.2
Washington, DC74.2
West Palm Beach, FL74.2
Wichita, KS74.2

Where to Next?

See these related locations:

Or, browse the country/city indexes:

Cost of Living - Country Index Cost of Living - City Index

4 Reviews on United States

  1. Living in the US varies more greatly than anywhere else in the world probably. I moved from California to Arizona a few years ago and the amount of money I’m saving is crazy! I spend so much less money on rent, gas, and food. California is full of opportunity but most just can’t make it.

  2. S
    Savannah says:

    Life in DC has become pretty rough these last few years, prices have skyrocketed and I’m not sure how much longer I want to live here. It would be nice if the family could get on board with a move, I want to live in Virginia which is much cheaper and has more job prospects for me. Hopefully some day!

  3. S
    Sam Waltman says:

    The US is the place to be if you want to live the best life and earn the best money. You have to work hard and make the right choices, though. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t. I chose a bad career path where there’s very little work and now I struggle. Thankfully I live in a small village in Alabama where everyone looks out for each other.

  4. A
    Anonymous says:


    Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) utilities are MUCH higher than showing, heating or cooling alone goes over the amount shown!

United States Rated 4.25 / 5 based on 4 user reviews.

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