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Last Updated: May 29, 2022

Cost of Living in the US

Living in the US can be an expensive affair depending on various factors for foreign nationals especially. Candidates who get employed in the country and those who seek academic excellence in the country will all have different living expenses based on where they live and the lifestyle they have opted for. Living expenses will also be subject to variation from time to time due to inflation. People who stay alone in the country and those who have brought their families with them will all have different expenses to deal with which can cause significant changes in the numbers when compared to average expenses in the country.

The main expenses one will have while living in the country include accommodation and utility expenses, transportation expenses, food, healthcare, entertainment, education, etc. This is dependent on the purpose for which the candidate is living in the country. Candidates who have enrolled in universities will find that their living expenses are comparatively lower than working people within the same age group. The average costs that one can have while living in the country are highly dependent on the state they are living in and the locality within the state they are staying at.

Average Grocery Expenses in the US

Grocery expenses are of importance mainly for families that live in the country. For an average student population and single-working population, the chances of eating out and that of buying minimal groceries are extremely high. At the same time, one will be able to purchase groceries and basic food items with different food plans. Candidates will be able to buy food with a thrifty plan, low-cost plan, moderate-cost plan, and a liberal plan. Based on the lifestyle of the person they will be able to estimate their monthly grocery bills to be anywhere between $270 to $500.
Grocery ItemPrice Range
Milk per litre$0.80 to $1
Butter per kg$10 to $15
Beef Fillet$6 to $8
Potato per kg$1
Onion per kg$1 to $1.5
Tomato per kg$1
Apple per kg$2 to $3
Banana per kg$1.2 to $1.6
Cheddar Cheese per kg$8-$10

Accommodation and Utility Expenses

Accommodation expenses in the country are largely dependent on the state and locality in which one is living at. The rent for apartments increases with their proximity to the city center. Most states will have student localities depending on the number of universities and colleges that are present in the state. These locations will have the most affordable accommodations that young people will be able to afford.

As expected, the size of the apartment will also play a definitive role in deciding the rent of the place. Places like Arizona, New York, Florida, etc. have seen an increase in the average rent rates with Florida having a 28% increase in rental rates in 2022. The highest rent rates in the country are in Hawaii where one will have to pay around $2,400 per month for a typical unit. The lowest rent rates in the country are seen in places like North Dakota, Iowa, and Arkansas.

The monthly average rent rates and utility rates for a single person living in a 1-bedroom apartment is as follows-
LocationAverage RentUtility Expense
Olympia, Washington $1,300$160
St. Paul, Minnesota$1,500$220
Salt Lake City, Utah$1,500$120
Concord, New Hampshire$1,200$180
Boise, Idaho$1,500$200
Lincoln, Nebraska$1,000$100
Richmond, Virginia$1,300$150
Madison, Wisconsin$1,300$120
Boston, Massachusetts$2,500$180
Tallahassee, Florida$1,200$200

Transportation Expenses in the US

Transportation is the next most expensive factor one has to consider while living in the country. Travel plans that one has to make daily will be dependent on their schedule and the city they are living in. While most places will require people to have a vehicle of their own, some places can have efficient public transport that they can opt for. This depends on whether one is a student or an employee since traveling hours can significantly vary based on their status.

Most students will find that cities are bike-friendly here, especially in localities that are situated close to universities and other educational institutions. This can substantially decrease the budget one has to set aside for transportation. Even in such cases, one will have to occasionally spend on a monthly pass or a one-way ticket if they wish to travel around the city that they are living in.

People apart from students especially with family in the country prefer having their own private vehicle which will require additional expenses like vehicle maintenance, insurance, gas, etc. On average, one will have to spend around $800 per month in such scenarios. This can go up to $1,000 per month if one lives in a city like California.

The cost of a 30-day unlimited public transit pass can be relatively cheaper though it is only beneficial for those who travel on a daily basis.
LocationMonthly Pass Price
New York City, NY $129.5
Olympia, Washington$112
St. Paul, Minnesota$85
Salt Lake City, Utah$85
Iowa City, IA$32
San Francisco, CA$91
San Jose, CA$70
Durham, NC$34

Cost of Education in the US

The cost of education in the country is dependent on the type of funding the educational institution receives. Candidates who attend public, private non-profit, private for-profit institutions will all have different fee structures and additional expenses. The average fee for 4-year institutions in the year 2019-2020 were as follows-
Type of InstitutionAverage Tuition Fee
Public Institution$9,400
Private Non-Profit$36,700
Private For-Profit$19,100
Students will be able to get both merit-based and need-based scholarships both from their educational institutions and from other organizations. They will be able to apply for most scholarships through the FAFSA while studying here and they will also be able to get financial aid based on ethnicity and other factors as long as they apply for the same.

Healthcare Cost in the US

Heathcare services in the country can be extremely expensive when compared to most other countries. One will require a comprehensive health insurance plan in order to not incur high debts from the healthcare sector. Despite the insurance, they will have to pitch in for check-ups and the like. The average costs are-
Health ServiceAverage Cost
Antibiotic Prescription$20
Cold Medicine$10

Cost of Living in the Top 100 Cities in the US

The cost of living index for 100 popular cities in the US are as follows-
CityCost of Living Index
Akron, OH 89.1
Albany, GA 87.3
Albany, NY 100.1
Albuquerque, NM 92.9
Alexandria, LA 86.2
Asheville, NC103.3
Atlanta, GA100.3
Augusta, GA 91.6
Austin, TX106.6
Baltimore, MD107
Baton Rouge, LA91.1
Binghampton/Broome, NY93.3
Birmingham, AL90.7
Bismarck, ND93.1
Bloomington, IN92.4
Boise, ID100.3
Boston, MA132.6
Boulder, CO 118.7
Bozeman, MT 125.3
Branson, MO 89.5
Brownsville, TX 87.8
Buffalo, NY74.69
Burlington, NC 91.8
Carbondale, IL83.5
Carson City, NV 103
Charleston, SC 101.7
Charleston, WV 83.9
Charlotte, NC 97.9
Chattanooga, TN 91.2
Chicago, IL100.1
Cincinnati, OH92.4
Cleveland, OH 90
Cleveland, TN 89.5
Columbia, MO 89.8
Columbia, SC 91.9
Cumberland, MD 90.9
Dayton, OH88.4
Denver, CO112.1
Detroit, MI93.2
Durham, NC99.8
El Paso, TX 88.6
Evansville, IN87.2
Fayetteville, AR90.4
Fayetteville, NC89.5
Findlay, OH 91.1
Fort Collins, CO109.2
Fresno, CA105.9
Gettysburg, PA 98.2
Greensboro, NC 91
Greenville, NC 89.8
Greenville, SC 95
Houston, TX 95.8
Huntsville, AL 91.3
Idaho Falls, ID 91.7
Indianapolis, IN 90.2
Jacksonville, FL99
Jefferson, MO 86.3
Kansas City, MO 91.6
Knoxville, TN 91.6
Lafayette, LA 89.6
Las Vegas, NV 100.7
Lexington, KY 91.9
Lima, OH87.2
Little Rock, AR 88
London, KY 84.6
Lubbock, TX 88.8
Madison, WI 99.5
Manhattan, KS 89.6
Memphis, TN88.2
Milwaukee, WI 93.8
Minot, ND 90.7
Nashville, TN 100.1
New Bern, NC 90.2
New Castle, PA 88.1
New Haven, CT 107.7
New Orleans, LA 92.4
New York, NY128
Oklahoma City, OK 87.3
Orlando, FL 101.4
Philadelphia, PA 103.4
Phoenix, AZ 104.3
Pittsburgh, PA 93.1
Portland, OR 116.5
Portsmouth, OH 84.7
Raleigh, NC 99.7
Reno, NV107.4
Richmond, VA 99.2
Rochester, NY96.6
Sacramento, CA 120.3
Salem, OR 105.8
Salt Lake City, UT 105.9
San Antonio, TX 92.7
San Francisco, CA 178.6
San Jose, CA 173.5
Seattle, WA 124.6
Syracuse, NY 95.1
Toledo, OH 87.5
Tucson, AZ 97.7
Tampa, FL 101.4
Washington, DC 120.1
Youngstown, OH 86.4

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