Birmingham 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.
IndexBirminghamAlabamaNational
Cost of living index8289100
IndexBirminghamAlabamaNational
Goods & Services index8996100
Groceries index9897100
Health care index8787100
Housing index5873100
Transportation index9192100
Utilities index101104100
A general summary of the cost of living index in Birmingham, AL is shown above. Compared to the state average of Alabama the cost of living index in Birmingham, AL is 82, which is 8% lower than the average in Alabama and compared to the national average it is 18% lower 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 Birmingham, AL goods and services come in at 8% lower than the average in Alabama and are 11% lower than compared to the nationwide average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Birmingham is 8% lower than the Alabama average.
  • The cost of living in Birmingham is 18% lower than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Birmingham is 42% lower than the national average.
  • Alabama general sales tax is 21% lower than the national average.
  • Alabama state income tax is 10% 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 Birmingham, AL 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 Birmingham, AL, then you would need to earn a higher salary in order to enjoy the same standard of living. To use the Birmingham, AL 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$43,421$3,618$1,013$1,303
Renters$21,355$1,780$498$641
If you want to find a good determining factor for the cost of living and the general affordability of housing in Birmingham, AL, all you must look at is the percentage of monthly income that should be spent on housing expenses, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Generally speaking, no more than 28 percent of your total gross income should be spent on your housing expenses and not more than 36 percent of your gross income on total expenses, including debts. In Birmingham, AL, the median monthly income is $43,421 for those who own their own homes. Under the standard rule, that income level would allow for $1,013 to be budgeted for housing expenses each month, at the most. Renters, on the other hand, earn about $21,355, per the median income in the area. That would allow for renters to spend up to $498 on monthly rental expenses.

Alabama Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
Alabama4%10%

Alabama Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
Alabama2%5%
The Alabama sales tax and Alabama income tax rates should definitely be considered when determining the overall cost of living in Birmingham, AL. Sales taxes are taxes that are imposed onto goods and services sold. Sales taxes do vary by state and can range from no tax at all to upwards of 7%. The Alabama sales tax is 4% and the maximum surtax is 10%. Income tax is the tax imposed on income by the government. The income tax rates will vary by state and will also increase or decrease depending on the corresponding tax bracket. State income tax rates can range from anywhere from no tax at all to more than 9%. The Alabama income tax rates range from 2% to 5%.

Goods & Services

ItemBirminghamNational avg.Difference
Haircut $15.22$15.562.2%
Beauty Salon $31.39$36.1113.1%
Toothpaste $2.41$2.472.4%
Shampoo $0.89$0.967.4%
Movie $10.38$10.132.5%
Bowling $4.79$4.741.2%

Groceries

ItemBirminghamNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.21$3.985.6%
Fried Chicken $1.31$1.417.1%
Milk $2.67$2.0629.4%
Potatoes $4.31$2.9844.5%
Pizza $10.00$9.475.6%
Beer $7.57$8.7913.9%

Health Care

ItemBirminghamNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $117.45$101.0416.2%
Doctor $94.06$107.4412.5%
Dentist $70.00$90.4222.6%
Ibuprofen $6.86$9.2826.0%
Lipitor $417.02$426.502.2%

Housing

ItemBirminghamNational avg.Difference
Home Price $86,100.00$175,700.0051.0%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $830.92$1,133.2326.7%
Apartment Rent $728.00$920.0020.9%

Transportation

ItemBirminghamNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $1.84$1.997.7%
Tire Balancing $40.67$45.7611.1%

Utilities

ItemBirminghamNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$184.28$163.8112.5%
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.
Cardiff, AL2172-28%
Mount Olive, AL35874-26%
McDonald Chapel, AL51475-25%
Lipscomb, AL2,33177-23%
Mulga, AL95277-23%
Birmingham, AL211,70582-18%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Boise, ID211,65596-4%
Richmond, VA211,063100-0%
Rochester, NY210,46189-11%
San Bernardino, CA213,0441066%
Spokane, WA210,14297-3%
Birmingham, AL211,70582-18%
Source: The Birmingham, AL cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2016.