Cost Of Living In The United States: Is The US Really Expensive?

Cost Of Living In The United States: Is The US Really Expensive?

The United States of America is a federation of states that make up a single country. It is the world’s third largest country in both area and population with a land area of 9,826,675 square km (3,879,653 sq. mi).

In terms of population, it is the third most populous whose population exceeds 324 million people. The major regions that it comprises of a total of fifty states, there are thirty-eight single states and twelve conterminous ones. The climate, culture, holidays and cuisine are celebrated differently in various states.

A lot of people think about moving to the United States of America, the land of dreams and opportunity and a melting pot for cultures from all over the world. Compared to other developed countries, the cost of living in the United States is not so high as to discourage residents from living there.

Millions of people in other countries would love to be able to take advantage of the lower prices in this country. However, the average American earns $74,000, which is more than what people in many other countries make on average.

Every year, numerous individuals relocate to the United States. Some are moving for work or study opportunities, while others are seeking a new place to call home.

Whatever the reasons behind your decision, you would want to make certain that you are relocating to an area where living and overall cost of living expenses are manageable. One good way of gauging this is by comparing the cost of living from one city to another.

The cost of living in the United States is one of the biggest concerns for people who are thinking about making their home here. While it’s certainly possible to live comfortably in the U.S. on a small budget, it’s also possible to live like a king and still have money left over at the end of each month if you’re careful with your spending, and don’t mind working.

Is The US Expensive To Live In?

The Cost of Living in the United States is consistently one of the most researched pieces of information on the web. It varies greatly from state to state, city to city, and even neighborhood to neighborhood.

The United States is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Many factors make it so. The average American spends about $1,500 per month on rent alone and even more on groceries and other necessities.

New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago are some of the cities with relatively high living costs. When deciding if you should go abroad to study or if you want to move away from home and find work, values are important.

The cost of living in the US is higher than most countries in North America and Europe combined. The average cost of living in America is $60,000 per year, while in Europe it is only $48,000 per year.

This means that if you want to move to the US, you will have to make sure that your income can support this type of lifestyle. If it does not then there are ways to lower your costs by living with roommates or renting an apartment close to work so that you do not need to spend so much on transportation costs every day.


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Taxation is another reason why it is expensive to live in the US compared with other countries around the world. The tax system here is quite complicated – there are federal taxes as well as state taxes (which vary from state to state). You will also have to pay sales tax when buying anything new such as furniture or appliances for your home or car insurance each month (if you own one).

You will want to know the living costs and calculate how much you can save and live comfortably.

ExpensesEstimated Monthly Cost [USD]
Transportation457.15 $
Clothing90.16 $
Leisure and Sports209.31 $
Markets1,539.11 $
Utilities (Monthly)287.94 $
Rent Per Month1,963.73 $
Restaurants660 $

Over the past two decades, the United States has become one of the most desirable locations for individuals and businesses seeking global success. US’ lower cost in terms of real estate, taxes, transportation, and entertainment makes it one of the highest-ranking locations in terms of living costs.

The cost of living in the United States varies significantly based on where you live and your lifestyle. The average monthly rent for an apartment in the U.S. is $1200, but it varies from city to city.

In New York City, for example, it’s over $2000 per month, it’s $1,300 per month in Detroit. The average household size is 2 adults and 2 children have an estimated monthly cost of $5,193.93. if you have more than that, add about $1000 to those numbers per person per month.

Health insurance premiums for a family of four are around $1,600 per month; if your employer offers coverage and you don’t want to pay out of pocket, this number may be lower or even zero if your employer pays part or all of the premium costs for you (as an employee benefit).

On top of that, there are out-of-pocket expenses such as doctor visits and prescription drugs. If you have any chronic conditions such as diabetes or asthma, expect these costs to increase substantially over time due to increased frequency of doctor visits and prescription drugs

This article will give you a rough idea of how much things cost in the USA. Whether you want to live in America because of its vibrancy and positive atmosphere, or whether you want to earn a higher salary in the US, there are numerous reasons that you would like to live in the country but what are some of the actual costs?

Cost Of Living: What Are the Living Expenses Like In The United States?

People often do not know the true cost of living in the United States if they are new to the country. They usually come with a misconception that America is more expensive than their home country which is not always the case. Here is a list that outlines how much these basic expenses cost in the USA.

Cost Of A Meal & Restaurants Food Prices In The United States

Restaurant food can vary wildly from $10 which is the price of the “Buffet” at the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas and up to $1,000 (yes, you read that correctly, $1,000) for a plate of sushi on the exclusive Ocean Floor restaurant on top of the Hotel Park Avenue in New York.

The average cost of a restaurant meal in the U.S. is $38 according to consumer spending. If you are trying to determine the cost of living in the U.S., then check out our food costs. Examples of the prices on many different kinds of food in restaurants, show how it’s cheaper to live in the USA than in other countries.

Eating OutPrice in United States Dollars ($)
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant15.00 $
Three-course Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant65.00 $
McMeal at McDonald’s (or Equivalent Combo Meal in a Food Chain Restaurant)8.00 $
Domestic Beer (0.5L)5.00 $
Imported Beer (0.33L)6.00 $
Regular Cappuccino4.50 $
Coke/Pepsi (0.33L)2.04 $
Water (0.33L)1.62 $

Cost Of Groceries & Consumer Goods In The US

As a normal business person and potential expatriate, you may be interested in the market prices of consumer goods in the USA. This calculator provides approximate figures for how much it would cost you to live there.

The market price of consumer goods is constantly changing as it is influenced by different factors. The following chart will tell you the average price of products in the United States in USD.

GroceriesPrice in United States Dollars ($)
Regular Milk (1L)0.91 $
Loaf of Fresh Bread (500g)2.90 $
White Rice (1Kg)4.04 $
Regular Eggs (12)3.06 $
Local Cheese (1Kg)11.38 $
Chicken Fillets (1Kg)10.62 $
Beef Round (1Kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)13.63 $
Apples (1Kg)4.72 $
Banana (1Kg)1.59 $
Oranges (1Kg)4.09 $
Tomato (1Kg)4.39 $
Potato (1Kg)2.64 $
Onion (1Kg)2.66 $
Lettuce (1 head)1.73 $
Water (1.5L)1.86 $
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)12.00 $
Domestic Beer (0.5L)2.94 $
Imported Beer (0.33L)3.02 $
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro)8.50 $

Cost Of Transportation and Commuting In The United States

The U.S. transportation system is so vast, complex, and technologically advanced that it supports the lives of millions of Americans. Transportation in the United States is a necessity and a luxury all at once. It’s critical to our economy and culture — yet, if it was a nation, U.S. transportation would be the world’s seventh largest economy as it represents three trillion dollars of GDP (That’s one-fourth of our overall GDP by the way.)

The cost of transportation in the United States is relatively low compared to other developed countries. Gasoline or petrol is the most expensive part of transportation expenses. It costs about $6 per gallon (3.8 liters) in most states, although it can be found much cheaper in some parts of the country.

Taxi fares vary from city to city but are generally inexpensive. A taxi ride from New York to JFK airport costs around $30, for example. Taxis are also a good option for shorter trips as well. A ride from Manhattan to Broadway is around $10 at night and around $25 during rush hour; there are also shared taxi services that offer fixed fares on these routes for those who don’t mind sharing their car with other passengers for a cheaper rate than a private cab fare would be.

Air travel within the US is generally very affordable compared to Europe or Asia; domestic flights can cost anywhere between $ 250 – $ 880 depending on distance and time of day/night (peak hours have higher rates). International flights are more expensive but still usually cheaper than flying internationally on other continents.

TransportationPrice in United States Dollars ($)
One-way Ticket2.50 $
Monthly Pass (Local Transport)70.00 $
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)3.25 $
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)1.62 $
Taxi 1 hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)30.00 $
Gasoline (1 liter)1.28 $
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)24,000.00 $
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car)22,514.72 $

Cost Of Basic Utilities In The US

High electricity, gas, water, and garbage bills are something most of us can relate to at one point or another. Nothing stings more than getting an unexpected bill amounting to several hundred dollars from your local utility company.

 Utility bills, however, tend to vary little with only a few exceptions for certain states. This is due to the nature of a utility bill itself: its costs are determined by the size of your home and the amount of electricity, water, etc. you use to live there rather than where you live. Utility costs in the United States vary widely by area. In some communities like Decatur, Alabama, utilities such as electricity are less expensive than in neighboring California.

Whether you’re a tenant or a homeowner, paying your utility bills in the US can sometimes feel like a monthly death sentence. That’s because energy companies are generally allowed to set their rates and fees, meaning that prices vary widely from state to state — and sometimes even city to city and utility provider to utility provider. Utilities typically issue bills and collect payments three times per month (though bills aren’t always issued on the same day of the week). Some bills you’ll have to look after includes’

UtilitiesPrice in United States Dollars ($)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 45m2 Apartment203.96 $
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment140.00 $
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans)0.15 $
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)67.93 $

Cost OF Entertainment In The US

Entertainment costs in the United States are some of the highest in the world. Movie theatre ticket prices and cable bills put other countries to shame since there is fierce competition among TV and radio stations and multiplexes.

Entertainments and recreation in the USA are easily affordable. The American cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, Las Vegas, and Miami provide highly competitive entertainment with their lavish shows, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Staying at a luxury resort or five-star hotel is the ultimate way to experience all that the USA has to offer.

Entertainment costs money, but with entertainment, in the United States, you definitely get what you pay for. The most expensive cities in the US can offer a wide array of choices like theater, art museums, and professional sporting events, as well as world-class nightlife and music.

Leisure & SportsPrice in United States Dollars ($)
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult37.32 $
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend)17.24 $
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat12.00 $
Luxury Hotels, Five-star, Fee per Night890.99 $
iPad, Wi-Fi, 128GB515.99 $

Cost Of Childcare and Education In The US

The United States is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the world, with hundreds of thousands of students enrolled. It also spends the most money on its education system, with public expenditure per student amongst the highest globally. The public school system in the United States is the oldest, continuously operated system of public education in the world. In the past decade or so, American education has changed significantly. The population is growing and students have become more diverse, thanks largely to the influx of immigration from Asian and Latin American countries as well as Africa.

It provides nearly universal education to citizens and permanent residents that is mandatory from ages six to sixteen (with some exceptions). Education is divided into kindergarten (ages 5) through 12th grade, which is called grades (6–12). Schooling provides children, adolescents, and adults with basic intellectual, social, and other skills that they will need to participate in the workforce.

The United States of America is the home of innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as one of the most developed countries in the world. However, its education system has received both praise and criticism from around the globe. As we continue to invest in the rehabilitation of our educational system, let’s explore the prices of schools in America using statistics and facts.

SchoolingPrice in United States Dollars ($)
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child1,039.84 $
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child15,890.58 $
International High School, Yearly for 1 Child19.277.81 $
 Colleges and University12,320.15 $
The Average Living Expenses for Students (rent, food, utility, entertainment, transport, and insurance)1,500 $

Cost Of Clothing, Wears & Accessories In The United States

The price of clothing is a complex topic because it depends on many factors, including the type of clothing, its country of origin, the material it’s made from, and where it’s sold.

In general, women’s clothing costs more than men’s clothing. This is partly because women’s fashion designers tend to use more expensive fabrics and materials in their designs than men’s designers. Men also tend to wear more basic styles that are easier to produce at a lower cost. Women’s clothing also tends to be more versatile so that it can be worn for many different occasions or seasons of the year.

The price of both casual and formal clothes varies by brand name and also by whether they are sold through department stores or specialty retailers such as outlet stores or discount outlets like T.J Maxx or Marshalls and Ross Dress for Less. Some brands even offer custom sizing options that allow consumers to design their clothes online before having them made by hand or shipped directly from overseas factories at discounted rates.

Clothing & AccessoriesPrice in United States Dollars ($)
1 Pair of Jeans (Levi’s 501 Or Similar)44.91 $
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …)35.65 $
1 Pair of Running Shoes (Adidas, Nike…)77.94 $
1 Pair of Men’s Leather Business Shoes99.09 $

Cost Of Personal and Health Care In The US

Healthcare in the United States is considered by many to be the best there is. That’s a pretty bold statement since many countries have what we would consider some pretty amazing health care systems. However, Americans indeed pay more for healthcare than most other countries and access is becoming an issue with increasing numbers of people having no coverage at all.

 The U.S. is the only wealthy nation in the world that doesn’t have universal healthcare coverage. While it’s not free (you have to pay for it) health care in the U.S. is affordable by international standards so affordable that some Americans spend thousands on healthcare every year and still can’t afford all the medical services they need.

The United States spends more on healthcare per capita than any other developed country. If you or your family members weren’t born in the US, you may think that healthcare is a service that only US citizens can enjoy. While it is true that many foreigners living in the country travel abroad for surgery, kidney transplants, and more, some treatments are available for free to all US residents.

Americans tend to take their healthcare for granted. That’s because, in most of the country, a trip to the doctor is free — thanks to Medicare and other government programs. But that healthcare is not free at all. It costs about $10,000 for an American and over $3 trillion for a year. That money comes from our taxes. We pay for the healthcare of everyone else in the country through our taxes.

Care ProductsPrice in United States Dollars ($)
Medications for Cold (Tylenol, Coldrex…)8.00 $
Box of Antibiotics (12 doses)18.00 $
15 mins Visit a Private Doctor132.00 $
Box of 32 Tampons (Tampax…)8.86 $
Deodorant & Roll-on (50mL – 1.5oz.)4.31 $
Hair Shampoo 2-in-1 (400mL – 12oz.)5,71 $
4 Rolls of Toilet Paper4,22 $
Tube of Toothpaste2.09 $
Standard Men’s Haircut in the City25.99$
Standard Men’s Haircut in the Suburb15.99 $

Cost Of Housing and Accommodation In The United States

The state of housing in the United States is something that affects everyone. From millennials trying to move out on their own, families searching for the ideal location, and retirees moving to warmer locations. Where should someone go if they want to move somewhere in the U.S. and have a good chance of affording an apartment or home? And for many people, renting a home or an apartment might be the most expensive part of their living costs.

Renting an apartment in the United States is not as affordable as you might think. The cost of renting in the United States is much higher than it is in other developed countries. It’s considerably more expensive to rent an apartment in the United States than it is to buy a home.

Mississippi has some of the cheapest suburbs to live in the country. There are a lot of homes available in Mississippi, from Jackson to Brandon, Tupelo, Columbus, and Starkville. In addition to lower housing costs, other factors contributing to Mississippi’s relatively low cost of living include lower taxes and prices for goods and services. Overall, Mississippi offers a good balance of affordability and quality of life for those looking to live in the state.

The cost of accommodation in the USA is sometimes exaggerated – provided you watch for scams and don’t go for too luxurious locations. Say you’re in Atlanta, GA. Some apartments are less than $500 a month for a studio in an average area, $1700 for a two-bedroom in an average area, and $3200 for a 3-bedroom suite

In New York, your low end will be around $400 (just saying), and your high end will be around $6400, with the same variables making them exemplary. These factors will impact your outcome the most, so choose wisely!

RentPrice in United States Dollars ($)
Monthly Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment in the City1,678.18 $
Monthly Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment in the Suburb1,244.01 $
Monthly Rent for a 2-bedroom Apartment in the City1,942.92 $
Monthly Rent for a 2-bedroom Apartment in the Suburb2,434.86 $
Monthly Rent for a 3-bedroom Apartment in the City2,764.72 $
Monthly Rent for a 3-bedroom Apartment in the Suburb2,171.55 $

The cost of living in the USA can vary from state to state. The median list price for a home in California is $425,000, but if you live in Oklahoma the median list price is only $125,000. Below you’ll find details about average apartment costs for cities across the USA.

ApartmentCost In USD
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre4,503.08 $
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre2,395.97 $

What Is The Average Living Cost In The United States?

In 2019, the average cost of living in the US is $62,000 per year, but it can vary widely depending on what city you live in and whether you rent or own a home.

This includes basic expenses like food and housing but excludes entertainment and other luxuries like travel. If we are to compare prices across countries, then the US is more expensive than most European countries including France [$50,800], and Germany [$51,064]. and Sweden [$58,424].

The US is also more expensive than many other countries in Asia or Europe. It’s roughly on par with Australia ($56,760) and Canada ($49,900), though both those nations have higher costs for food and transportation than the US does.

If you’re moving to the USA and need to know the most expensive cities, you’ve come to the right place. If you have already been to these cities, then get ready for some shock as these prices are out of this world. 

While living in the United States, you’ll get a chance to enjoy first-class education, world-class public health facilities, and the finest entertainment money can buy. Most people love America because it is a genuine melting pot of different cultures and lifestyles which makes for excellent experiences in day-to-day life.

The United States of America is a nation of immigrants who have helped shape its history, society and economy over the years. While most cities in the states are affordable compared to those in other developed nations, that doesn’t stop them from being home to some of the most expensive cities in the world.

CityCost Of Living IndexLocal Purchasing Power Index
Santa Barbara, CA103.0382.71
Honolulu, HI101.8391.05
New York, NY100.00100.00
San Francisco, CA95.77136.57
Oakland, CA91.36130.49
Seattle, WA89.57152.35
Anchorage, AK87.64116.76
Boston, MA84.53120.72
Washington, DC84.42122.02
Sacramento, CA82.09102.03
Santa Clara, CA80.67163.68
Pittsburgh, PA80.55103.65
Denver, CO79.96134.18
Nashville, TN79.9598.99
San Jose, CA79.56157.82
Miami, FL79.4188.88
Portland, OR78.81102.20
San Diego, CA78.46123.53
Plano, TX77.47114.20
Saint Paul, MN77.45106.29
Chicago, IL77.23112.72
New Orleans, LA77.0081.83
Asheville, NC76.7581.73
Los Angeles, CA76.58109.39
Philadelphia, PA75.98126.00
Birmingham, AL75.7672.50
Baltimore, MD75.39116.16
Omaha, NE75.28103.38
Dallas, TX75.16132.23
Colorado Springs, CO74.83135.96
Minneapolis, MN74.73118.59
Fremont, CA74.55178.31
Tampa, FL74.29112.79
Fort Lauderdale, FL73.7399.93
Buffalo, NY73.55106.28
Phoenix, AZ73.42119.24
Reno, NV73.3982.46
Atlanta, GA73.11122.54
Detroit, MI73.10109.94
Indianapolis, IN72.34123.88
Cleveland, OH71.90117.50
Spokane, WA71.8290.11
Jacksonville, FL71.63123.56
Fresno, CA71.59107.31
Fort Worth, TX71.16115.82
Las Vegas, NV70.97107.06
Columbus, OH70.61126.70
Grand Rapids, MI70.48116.02
Akron, OH70.4179.53
Charlotte, NC70.01134.98
Orlando, FL69.80120.46
Austin, TX69.14144.33
Ann Arbor, MI69.12129.50
Boise, ID69.0575.38
Madison, WI68.95110.44
Tucson, AZ67.8293.61
Albany, NY67.69131.74
Cincinnati, OH66.89113.37
Salt Lake City, UT66.77122.09
Saint Louis, MO66.71108.17
Milwaukee, WI66.53133.41
Houston, TX66.51154.40
Louisville, KY65.93119.78
Raleigh, NC65.63130.12
Kansas City, MO64.67122.29
Mesa, AZ64.5993.88
Albuquerque, NM64.12143.04
Tulsa, OK64.11120.98
Oklahoma City, OK63.92119.44
Knoxville, TN62.85120.60
San Antonio, TX61.62149.93
Memphis, TN61.41146.40
Wichita, KS60.1393.98

A huge concern among the international student community is whether the United States is still an ideal country for employment even though there are a substantial number of job opportunities in the United States for all types of professionals. There is no doubt about it, that because of its huge economic growth over the past 20 years, and stable economy in general means that there are plenty of jobs to be had in the United States, which is why more and more people are being attracted to this country.

The job market in the United States is changing quickly. We have experienced a major shift in jobs and careers that has put an extraordinary amount of job opportunities within our grasp. With more jobs and career opportunities, there comes more choices, which means we need to make better choices. I hope this list helps you choose the best career path for your future.

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