Bethesda 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 index186115100
Goods & Services index9291100
Groceries index113112100
Health care index8688100
Housing index388154100
Transportation index108108100
Utilities index10199100
A general summary of the cost of living index in Bethesda, MD is shown above. Compared to the state average of Maryland the cost of living index in Bethesda, MD is 186, which is 61% higher than the average in Maryland and compared to the national average it is 86% 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 Bethesda, MD goods and services come in at 1% higher than the average in Maryland and are 8% lower than compared to the nationwide average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Bethesda is 61% higher than the Maryland average.
  • The cost of living in Bethesda is 86% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Bethesda is 288% higher than the national average.
  • Maryland general sales tax is 18% higher than the national average.
  • Maryland state income tax is 10% lower than the national average.

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Compare Bethesda, MD Cost of living To Other Cities

Salary Calculator

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Use the salary calculator to compare your current income in Bethesda, MD 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 Bethesda, MD, then you would need to earn a higher salary in order to enjoy the same standard of living. To use the Bethesda, MD 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)
The affordability of the housing market in Bethesda, MD 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 Bethesda, MD homeowners, the median income is $182,485. This indicates that a monthly maximum of $4,258 should be spent by homeowners on all housing related costs. Renters have a median income of $84,991. This indicates that renters should have a maximum of $1,983 used for their rent related monthly costs.

Maryland Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

Maryland Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
When assessing the complete cost of living in Bethesda, MD, the Maryland income tax and the Maryland sales tax percentages should unquestionably be taken into consideration. Sales taxes aren't just levies imposed onto sold goods, but they also include taxes that are charged when services are provided for a fee. The rates are different from state to state and can run has high as 7 percent. Some states have no sales tax at all. The Maryland maximum surtax is 6%, and the Maryland sales tax is 6%. By contrast, income tax is an unfortunate obligation that is charged by the government against earnings. Just like sales taxes, the rates for income taxes differ from state to state. They also decrease or increase according to the individual's tax bracket. Tax rates can run as high as 9 percent, with a minimum of zero. Income tax rates range from 2% to 5.75% in Maryland.

Goods & Services

ItemBethesdaNational avg.Difference
Haircut $15.75$14.597.9%
Beauty Salon $47.00$34.6835.5%
Toothpaste $2.18$2.4711.9%
Shampoo $0.99$1.023.1%
Movie $11.94$9.8721.0%
Bowling $5.30$4.3920.7%


ItemBethesdaNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $2.99$4.4833.2%
Fried Chicken $1.59$1.468.6%
Milk $2.65$2.3612.4%
Potatoes $3.69$3.0620.5%
Pizza $8.00$9.2413.4%
Beer $8.59$8.630.5%

Health Care

ItemBethesdaNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $71.67$99.7828.2%
Doctor $64.00$105.0339.1%
Dentist $81.75$88.707.8%
Ibuprofen $10.83$9.4115.1%
Lipitor $293.64$298.501.6%


ItemBethesdaNational avg.Difference
Home Price $821,000.00$175,700.00367.3%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $2,313.93$1,081.03114.0%
Apartment Rent $1,869.00$920.00103.2%


ItemBethesdaNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.28$2.099.0%
Tire Balancing $48.00$45.296.0%


ItemBethesdaNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$178.68$170.804.6%
Phone $26.86$28.264.9%
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.
Cottage City, MD1,07099-1%
Belle Haven, VA37695-5%
Capitol Heights, MD4,4521055%
Silver Hill, MD5,3351055%
Seat Pleasant, MD4,6561055%
Bethesda, MD62,02418686%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Santa Cruz, CA62,04517575%
Eden Prairie, MN62,09612121%
Daytona Beach, FL61,91393-7%
Waltham, MA61,90815151%
Dundalk, MD62,18696-4%
Bethesda, MD62,02418686%
Source: The Bethesda, MD cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.