Cost of Living in Columbus, OH, United States

Updated On June 23, 2023

How Much Does It Cost to Live In Columbus, OH?

Columbus is the capital of the American state of Ohio and the home of Ohio State University.

Many describe Columbus as a big without the big city attitude – the people are friendly and familiar that it just doesn’t feel like a capital city.

As for the cost of living, the city has a mid-west price range, it’s really green and beautiful, has plenty of job opportunities, decent public transportation, and makes it easy to make new friends.

The entire country of Ohio, in fact, has the 19th lowest cost of living in the United States.

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


In Columbus’s lovely downtown area, you’ll find many restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops scattered around it.

Here, you can have a gorgeous meal at an inexpensive restaurant for only 15$.

However, you should still keep in mind that eating out will definitely empty your wallet faster than if you cook for yourself.



This is likely to vary depending on how much you cook at home and how often you eat out.

The major supermarket chains in Chicago are the regular ones: Kroger (available throughout Columbus, and don’t forget to ask for a discount card), Giant Eagle, and Whole Foods Market.



The COTA bus service in Columbus can take you to the most important places in the city (though any important place you might need can be only about 5 blocks away from the city center).

This service costs 2.75$ for an express bus and 2.50$ for a local/crosstown bus.

Fuel costs depend on your distance from the highway but are generally cheaper than average.



Utilities are a bit more expensive in Columbus than in other cities of Ohio.

For an apartment of a larger structure (85m2), all basic utilities – including electricity, along with heating and cooling, water, gas, and garbage services – cost around 227$.

Internet is pretty pricey though, amounting to 70$.

Sports and leisure


Columbus is rich in nature and you can always put on a backpack and walk through the woods or hike and stay fit while saving some money on a gym or fitness club.

But if you’re interested in these, becoming a member of a gym or a fitness club will cost you around 43$ a month.

Clothing and shoes


Easton Town Center in Columbus is a mixed-use shopping and entertainment district on Columbus’ northeast side.

It has been one of the most successful shopping districts in the nation and the prices here are not too high, either: a pair of quality jeans like Levi’s costs 59.44$, and a pair of quality running sneakers like Nike are around 83.67$, while simpler items of clothing like shirts cost around 30$.

Rent per month


Housing, in particular, is reasonable in Columbus compared to other parts of the country, but it’s still pricey.

However, since this is a capital, it puts home ownership available to many people who couldn’t hope to buy a home in more expensive regions.

You can find a nice apartment for less than 1,449.00 $.

It’s a great place to invest in real estate, as well.

Taxes, however, are pretty high.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Columbus, OH

*Note: All prices are indicated in USD.
Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)$15.0
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)$5.00
Water (0.33 Liter)$1.71
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter)$0.83
Loaf Bread (500g)$3.06
Eggs (12)$3.49
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket$2.50
Monthly Pass$62.00
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)$227.06
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local$0.18
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)$70.95
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult$43.11
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)$23.75
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release$12.00
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)$59.44
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)$44.11
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)$83.67
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center$1449.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center$1091.0
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center$3036.67

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Columbus, OH?

Rent is the biggest expense of anyone living in Columbus, along with food and groceries.

This goes to show that rent is definitely one of the most expensive aspects of living in this country, if not the most expensive one.

Apart from food and rent, people spend a lot of money on transportation and restaurants – since there are many people who are used to eating all three meals in restaurants.

Utilities are also a big expense for an average person living in Columbus – as this is something that just has to be paid, like it or not.

Average Costs Breakdown


Columbus, OH: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Salaries in Columbus are definitely high and make living in this city a very pleasant and comfortable experience, though they are significantly lower than in many other major cities.

Still, the minimum wage of Columbus, which amounts to around 1400$ is still a reasonable amount of money that just goes in line with the high standard of living here, especially taking into consideration that the prices here are lower than the country’s average.

Though it certainly isn’t the most expensive place to be, people in Columbus are certain there’s room for improvement.

Average Salary$4064.80
Minimum Wage$1439.03
Mortgage Interest Rate6.37%

Columbus Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Columbus Safety Review

Safety Index:

Cost of Living by City in Columbus, OH

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
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

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