Bellingham cost of living index

In the event that the cost of living data was unavailable for this city, estimates based upon nearby cities were used. Each cost of living index is based on a national average of 100. If the amount is below 100, it is lower than the national average. If the amount is above 100, it is higher than the national average.
IndexBellinghamWashingtonNational
Cost of living index118112100
IndexBellinghamWashingtonNational
Goods & Services index113104100
Groceries index111102100
Health care index114116100
Housing index144135100
Transportation index118108100
Utilities index6883100
A general overview of the cost of living index for Bellingham, WA is displayed above. In Bellingham, WA, the overall cost of living index is 118, which is 6% higher than the Washington average and 18% higher than the U.S. average. The following categories are used to calculate the overall cost of living index: goods/services (33%), housing (30%), groceries (13%), utilities (10%), transportation (9%) and health care (5%). From the list, it is clear that the categories of goods/services and housing are responsible for the largest portions of the overall cost of living index. As a general rule, everyday goods and services provide an accurate measure of the general cost of goods in any given city. In the case of Bellingham, WA, the city's goods and services are 9% higher than the Washington average and 13% higher than the U.S. average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Bellingham is 6% higher than the Washington average.
  • The cost of living in Bellingham is 18% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Bellingham is 44% higher than the national average.
  • Washington general sales tax is 28% higher than the national average.
  • Washington state income tax is 100% lower than the national average.

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Salary Calculator

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Use the salary calculator to compare your current income in Bellingham, WA to any other city in the country. The calculator will tell you how much income you would need to make in a particular city to live at the same level based on the cost of living in each city. For example, if the cost of living in the city you are looking to move to is higher than that of Bellingham, WA, then you would need to earn a higher salary in order to enjoy the same standard of living. To use the Bellingham, WA salary calculator, enter the name of the new city, then move the slider to your current salary level. The salary calculator will do the rest and let you know if your salary would need to increase or decrease for the new city. You will also see a complete overview of the cost of living.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
Owners$69,667$5,806$1,625$2,090
Renters$27,733$2,311$647$832
The affordability of the housing market in Bellingham, WA as well as the overall cost of living can be indicated accurately by what percent of the monthly income is spent on housing related costs. This is konwn as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). The overall rule of thumb is that no more than 28% of your gross income should ever be used on the overall costs related to housing and no more than 36% of gross income on all expenses and debts. Among Bellingham, WA homeowners, the median income is $69,667. This indicates that a monthly maximum of $1,625 should be spent by homeowners on all housing related costs. Renters have a median income of $27,733. This indicates that renters should have a maximum of $647 used for their rent related monthly costs.

Washington Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
Washington6.5%9.6%

Washington Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
Washington0%0%
For those who live in Bellingham, WA and want to know what the true cost of living is, they ought to look at both the Washington income tax rate and the Washington sales tax rate. By sales tax, we mean the taxes that are included whenever a person is purchasing any goods or services. The amount that is taxed depends upon the particular state, where some states have a sales tax of zero percent while others can have a tax higher than seven percent. In Washington, the sales tax is 6.5%, while the most you'll pay in surtax is 9.6%. There is also income tax to consider, which is based upon the amount of money made in a year. Just like sales tax, income tax depends upon the particular state but also depends upon what tax bracket the person is in. Income tax for the state can be higher than nine percent in some states to zero percent in others. For those that live in Washington, the income tax rate ranges between 0% to 0%.

Goods & Services

ItemBellinghamNational avg.Difference
Haircut $15.66$14.597.3%
Beauty Salon $27.50$34.6820.7%
Toothpaste $3.11$2.4725.7%
Shampoo $1.05$1.022.7%
Movie $11.50$9.8716.5%
Bowling $4.15$4.395.5%

Groceries

ItemBellinghamNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.26$4.484.8%
Fried Chicken $1.69$1.4615.4%
Milk $1.92$2.3618.5%
Potatoes $1.91$3.0637.6%
Pizza $10.00$9.248.2%
Beer $9.05$8.634.8%

Health Care

ItemBellinghamNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $159.00$99.7859.4%
Doctor $121.00$105.0315.2%
Dentist $107.00$88.7020.6%
Ibuprofen $9.76$9.413.7%
Lipitor $281.22$298.505.8%

Housing

ItemBellinghamNational avg.Difference
Home Price $287,100.00$175,700.0063.4%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,507.36$1,081.0339.4%
Apartment Rent $901.00$920.002.1%

Transportation

ItemBellinghamNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.42$2.0915.7%
Tire Balancing $56.49$45.2924.7%

Utilities

ItemBellinghamNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$117.36$170.8031.3%
Phone $18.89$28.2633.1%
Although the cost of living data is updated regularly, this cost of living information is to be used as estimates only as prices can change on an ongoing basis.

Nearby cities with low cost of living

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Acme, WA3101077%
Everson, WA2,5281077%
Nooksack, WA1,5651088%
Ferndale, WA12,04011212%
Birch Bay, WA8,47511313%
Bellingham, WA82,08011818%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Warwick, RI82,06511717%
Troy, MI82,1061044%
Longview, TX82,03094-6%
O'Fallon, MO81,9781022%
Buena Park, CA82,19113838%
Bellingham, WA82,08011818%
Source: The Bellingham, WA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.