Buffalo 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.
IndexBuffaloNew YorkNational
Cost of living index80122100
IndexBuffaloNew YorkNational
Goods & Services index85112100
Groceries index88103100
Health care index89104100
Housing index50149100
Transportation index117122100
Utilities index101102100
A general overview of the cost of living index for Buffalo, NY is displayed above. In Buffalo, NY, the overall cost of living index is 80, which is 34% lower than the New York average and 20% lower 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 Buffalo, NY, the city's goods and services are 24% lower than the New York average and 15% lower than the U.S. average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Buffalo is 34% lower than the New York average.
  • The cost of living in Buffalo is 20% lower than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Buffalo is 50% lower than the national average.
  • New York general sales tax is 21% lower than the national average.
  • New York state income tax is 80% higher than the national average.

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Use the salary calculator to compare your current salary in Buffalo, NY to any other city. The salary calculator will tell you how much you would need to earn in any given city to maintain the same standard of living based on the cost of living in each city. For example, if the cost of living in the city you are looking to relocate to is higher than the cost of living in Buffalo, NY, then you would need to earn more income in order to maintain the same standard of living. To use the Buffalo, NY salary calculator, simply enter in the name of the new city, then adjust the slider to your current income. The salary calculator will do the rest and let you know if you need to earn more or less in the new city. You will also see a complete breakdown of the cost of living.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
Owners$48,859$4,072$1,140$1,466
Renters$21,815$1,818$509$655
A good way to judge both the affordability of the housing and the cost of living is by simply calculating the maximum that a person should spend on housing in Buffalo, NY, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). The safest way to live in the city is to avoid spending more than 28 percent of the gross income that one earns on costs that pertain to housing and no more than 36 percent on all expenses and debts. Buffalo, NY has a median income of about $48,859 for people who own homes. Based on that number, a person should spend a maximum of $1,140 on expenses related to housing. Renters have a slightly different median income, which is $21,815. Based on this average, renters should spend no more than $509 on all of their rental costs if they want to maintain a non-impoverished standard of living.

New York Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
New York4%8.875%

New York Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
New York4%8.82%
When assessing the complete cost of living in Buffalo, NY, the New York income tax and the New York 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 New York maximum surtax is 8.875%, and the New York sales tax is 4%. 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 4% to 8.82% in New York.

Goods & Services

ItemBuffaloNational avg.Difference
Haircut $14.78$14.591.3%
Beauty Salon $24.99$34.6827.9%
Toothpaste $1.49$2.4739.8%
Shampoo $0.87$1.0214.9%
Movie $10.62$9.877.6%
Bowling $2.90$4.3934.0%

Groceries

ItemBuffaloNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $3.74$4.4816.5%
Fried Chicken $1.14$1.4622.1%
Milk $1.82$2.3622.8%
Potatoes $2.19$3.0628.5%
Pizza $8.00$9.2413.4%
Beer $7.73$8.6310.5%

Health Care

ItemBuffaloNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $55.25$99.7844.6%
Doctor $80.50$105.0323.4%
Dentist $78.80$88.7011.2%
Ibuprofen $7.98$9.4115.2%
Lipitor $335.79$298.5012.5%

Housing

ItemBuffaloNational avg.Difference
Home Price $67,800.00$175,700.0061.4%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,155.06$1,081.036.8%
Apartment Rent $696.00$920.0024.3%

Transportation

ItemBuffaloNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.74$2.0931.2%
Tire Balancing $35.11$45.2922.5%

Utilities

ItemBuffaloNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$177.83$170.804.1%
Phone $27.50$28.262.7%
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.
Niagara Falls, NY49,67979-21%
Sloan, NY3,64280-20%
Lackawanna, NY18,03781-19%
Tonawanda, NY15,04882-18%
Blasdell, NY2,56582-18%
Buffalo, NY259,95980-20%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Jersey City, NJ255,86114141%
Fort Wayne, IN255,78484-16%
Lincoln, NE265,81193-7%
Henderson, NV266,24511111%
Chula Vista, CA253,03113434%
Buffalo, NY259,95980-20%
Source: The Buffalo, NY cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.