Berkeley 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.
Cost of living index182137100
Goods & Services index115109100
Groceries index131118100
Health care index117111100
Housing index330189100
Transportation index129130100
Utilities index107112100
A general summary of the cost of living index in Berkeley, CA is shown above. Compared to the state average of California the cost of living index in Berkeley, CA is 182, which is 33% higher than the average in California and compared to the national average it is 82% higher than. The cost of living index is made up of several categories. These are transportation at 9%, utilities at 10%, goods and services at 33%, housing at 30%, groceries at 13%, and health care at 5%. The bulk of the cost of living index comes from the categories of goods and services and housing. If you look at everyday goods and services they can be a good indicator in a certain city of the general costs of goods there. In Berkeley, CA goods and services come in at 5% higher than the average in California and are 15% higher than compared to the nationwide average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Berkeley is 33% higher than the California average.
  • The cost of living in Berkeley is 82% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Berkeley is 230% higher than the national average.
  • California general sales tax is 47% higher than the national average.
  • California state income tax is 55% lower than the national average.

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Salary Calculator

This is how much you would need to earn in
Price difference in compared to
Cost of living index
Goods & Services index
Groceries index
Health care index
Housing index
Transportation index
Utilities index
The salary calculator allows you to compare how much your current salary in Berkeley, CA would be worth in another city. In other words, the salary calculator will adjust the figure you enter for cost of living so that you can determine how much more or much less you would need to earn while maintaining your current quality of living. If you are considering relocating to a more expensive city than Berkeley, CA, the calculator will tell you how much more you need to earn so you can assess job offers more accurately. The Berkeley, CA salary calculator is easy to use. All you do is enter the name of another city, then move the slider to your current income. After that, the salary calculator will crunch the numbers for you and give you the information you need about the place you are considering going. Additionally, it will show a detailed breakdown of the cost of living.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
The affordability of the housing market in Berkeley, CA 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 Berkeley, CA homeowners, the median income is $122,163. This indicates that a monthly maximum of $2,850 should be spent by homeowners on all housing related costs. Renters have a median income of $38,539. This indicates that renters should have a maximum of $899 used for their rent related monthly costs.

California Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

California Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
For those who live in Berkeley, CA and want to know what the true cost of living is, they ought to look at both the California income tax rate and the California 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 California, the sales tax is 7.5%, while the most you'll pay in surtax is 10%. 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 California, the income tax rate ranges between 1% to 12.3%.

Goods & Services

ItemBerkeleyNational avg.Difference
Haircut $16.52$15.566.2%
Beauty Salon $68.42$36.1189.5%
Toothpaste $3.21$2.4729.7%
Shampoo $1.11$0.9614.7%
Movie $12.69$10.1325.3%
Bowling $5.75$4.7421.5%


ItemBerkeleyNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $3.92$3.981.7%
Fried Chicken $1.51$1.417.1%
Milk $3.08$2.0649.4%
Potatoes $3.69$2.9823.7%
Pizza $11.00$9.4716.1%
Beer $9.63$8.799.5%

Health Care

ItemBerkeleyNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $119.20$101.0418.0%
Doctor $129.20$107.4420.3%
Dentist $113.36$90.4225.4%
Ibuprofen $11.72$9.2826.3%
Lipitor $396.41$426.507.1%


ItemBerkeleyNational avg.Difference
Home Price $719,500.00$175,700.00309.5%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $2,671.73$1,133.23135.8%
Apartment Rent $1,338.00$920.0045.4%


ItemBerkeleyNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.75$1.9938.0%
Tire Balancing $49.52$45.768.2%


ItemBerkeleyNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$203.40$163.8124.2%
Phone $24.33$28.3914.3%
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.
Pacheco, CA4,2951088%
San Pablo, CA29,51611616%
Rollingwood, CA2,83211616%
Montalvin Manor, CA3,05511717%
North Richmond, CA3,92612121%
Berkeley, CA115,68818282%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Peoria, IL115,71890-10%
Norman, OK115,52189-11%
Ann Arbor, MI115,9851088%
El Monte, CA115,24313131%
Provo, UT114,80497-3%
Berkeley, CA115,68818282%
Source: The Berkeley, CA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2016.