Cost of Living in Milwaukee, WI, United States

Updated On July 19, 2023

How Much Does It Cost to Live In Milwaukee, WI?

Milwaukee is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin, United States.

It’s actually the 31st largest city in the U.S.

It’s also ridiculously affordable given the amount of city benefits available: whether you’re looking for cheap drinks or a starter home.

The downside of Milwaukee is that it’s highly segregated, with the exception of the city’s neighborhood called West Bank.

Racism is also evident in other areas of the state with a notable KKK presence in the greater Janesville area.

Generally, though, the people of Milwaukee are friendly and the city has one of the most vibrant performing arts cultures anywhere.

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


Milwaukee has a surprisingly high number and a wide variety of great restaurants.

The food and drink scene is, according to many, legendary, offering breweries, fish fries, supper clubs, German beer halls, intimate corner spots, quirky breakfast places, and much, much more.

When talking about beer, Milwaukee is known for it!

There are many great craft breweries, and it’s the home of MillerCoors.



Food and groceries are on par with all major cities.

There are many grocery stores around.

If you know how to cook, you will find all the ingredients you need here which is great news because you can save a ton of money this way.

You should know that supermarkets keep basically the same prices as all the other stores in the country.



Milwaukee’s bus system, MCTS covers a large portion of the city (85% of Milwaukee County) and the buses are very frequent.

Once you’re on the bus, you must pay cash fares in exact change.

If you don’t have an exact change, you won’t have any choice but to pay extra and will receive no refunds.



Utilities in Milwaukee are really cheap.

The prices of utilities here are much cheaper than in many other cities – up to 50$ cheaper, in fact.

For an apartment around 85m2 (which is definitely bigger than a usual apartment for one or two people), basic utilities like electricity, trash, and water will cost you 220$ approximately.

Sports and leisure


There are many cycling options in Milwaukee, paths, roads, suburbs, etc.

It’s easy to get out of the city on a road bike and enjoy the countryside.

However, if what you’re into is practicing sports inside, becoming a member of a gym or fitness club is very cheap in Milwaukee.

A gym membership will cost you only around 41$ per month.

Clothing and shoes


Milwaukee is one of the best places to shop if you want to buy some Wisconsin-made products.

There are several shopping malls that are located outside of the city and a couple of the inside the city, including the Third Ward and the East Side, as well as other shops offering various brands scattered across the city.

Quality sneakers will cost you around 90$ and lighter pieces of clothing 40$.

Rent per month


You are looking on average at around 1000$ for a decent one-bedroom apartment in a nice area of the city.

And of course, the closer you get to the city center, the more expensive the apartments will be.

You can always go to the suburbs and rent a charming apartment further from the city for some 1,048.46 $.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Milwaukee, WI

*Note: All prices are indicated in USD.
Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)$20.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)$5.50
Water (0.33 Liter)$1.76
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter)$0.80
Loaf Bread (500g)$3.49
Eggs (12)$3.67
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket$2.50
Monthly Pass$75.00
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)$223.74
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local$0.10
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)$68.38
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult$41.25
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)$12.67
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release$13.00
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)$53.08
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)$41.62
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)$92.83
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center$1505.77
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center$1048.46
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center$3094.00

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Milwaukee, WI?

Milwaukee has a very interesting situation expense-wise: exactly the same percentage marks both amounts spent on food, and the amount spent on rent.

This means that the people living in Milwaukee spend the same amount of money on food and on rent: both food and rent take up 31.6% of one’s entire income.

Restaurants and transportation go side by side like in most countries – though transportation is cheap, it’s essential for everyone, every day, and as for the restaurants – it’s the only option for a huge part of the population.

Average Costs Breakdown


Milwaukee, WI: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

The city’s economy is okay, and the people of Milwaukee receive reasonable salaries in comparison to the cost of living in the city.

Job opportunities are there but with a limited amount of open job places.

The average monthly net salary in Milwaukee is reasonably high, above 5000$, so most people can live without any problems, while the minimum monthly wage is considerably less – around 1400$.

However, if you’re the type of person to go out every night, spend money in bars and restaurants, and act comfortably when it comes to pastime and leisure – you’ll probably run out of money and should consider cutting at least some of the expenses.

Average Salary$5010.26
Minimum Wage$1430.00
Mortgage Interest Rate6.46%

Milwaukee Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Milwaukee Safety Review

Safety Index:

Cost of Living by City in Milwaukee, WI

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
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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