Charleston 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.
IndexCharlestonWest VirginiaNational
Cost of living index9391100
IndexCharlestonWest VirginiaNational
Goods & Services index97111100
Groceries index9295100
Health care index10896100
Housing index7960100
Transportation index99107100
Utilities index10693100
Displayed above is a general overview of the Charleston, WV cost of living index. The overall cost of living index in Charleston, WV is 93, which is 2% higher than the West Virginia average and 7% lower than the national average. The cost of living index is created from the following categories: goods/services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). As you can see, goods/services and housing make up the majority of the overall cost of living index. Everyday goods and services can be a good indicator of the general cost of goods in a given city. In this case, the goods and services in Charleston, WV are 13% lower than the West Virginia average and 3% lower than the national average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Charleston is 2% higher than the West Virginia average.
  • The cost of living in Charleston is 7% lower than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Charleston is 21% lower than the national average.
  • West Virginia general sales tax is 18% higher than the national average.
  • West Virginia state income tax is 35% higher than the national average.

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Compare Charleston, WV Cost of living To Other Cities

Salary Calculator

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Use the salary calculator to compare your current salary in Charleston, WV 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 Charleston, WV, then you would need to earn more income in order to maintain the same standard of living. To use the Charleston, WV 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$65,871$5,489$1,537$1,976
Renters$26,505$2,209$618$795
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 Charleston, WV, 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. Charleston, WV has a median income of about $65,871 for people who own homes. Based on that number, a person should spend a maximum of $1,537 on expenses related to housing. Renters have a slightly different median income, which is $26,505. Based on this average, renters should spend no more than $618 on all of their rental costs if they want to maintain a non-impoverished standard of living.

West Virginia Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
West Virginia6%7%

West Virginia Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
West Virginia3%6.5%
When you are determining the total cost of living in Charleston, WV you will want to make sure you consider both the West Virginia sales tax and the West Virginia income tax rates. Sales tax come in the form of taxes levied on both services and goods that are sold. The sales tax rates are different state to state and range from zero sales tax to higher than 7%. The sales tax in West Virginia is 6%, with the highest surtax being 7%. Tax that is on income by the government is income tax. Different states have different income tax rates and these rates can be higher or lower dependent on the corresponding tax bracket. The state income tax rates are different state to state and range from no income tax to more than 9% income tax. The income tax rates in West Virginia have a range from 3% to 6.5%.

Goods & Services

ItemCharlestonNational avg.Difference
Haircut $13.55$14.597.1%
Beauty Salon $30.96$34.6810.7%
Toothpaste $2.13$2.4713.9%
Shampoo $0.96$1.026.1%
Movie $10.02$9.871.5%
Bowling $4.69$4.396.8%

Groceries

ItemCharlestonNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.29$4.484.2%
Fried Chicken $1.13$1.4622.8%
Milk $1.57$2.3633.4%
Potatoes $3.03$3.061.0%
Pizza $9.21$9.240.4%
Beer $9.35$8.638.3%

Health Care

ItemCharlestonNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $107.26$99.787.5%
Doctor $105.00$105.030.0%
Dentist $105.00$88.7018.4%
Ibuprofen $8.89$9.415.5%
Lipitor $312.47$298.504.7%

Housing

ItemCharlestonNational avg.Difference
Home Price $142,800.00$175,700.0018.7%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $955.01$1,081.0311.7%
Apartment Rent $673.00$920.0026.8%

Transportation

ItemCharlestonNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $1.94$2.097.3%
Tire Balancing $52.00$45.2914.8%

Utilities

ItemCharlestonNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$146.87$170.8014.0%
Phone $37.99$28.2634.4%
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.
Shrewsbury, WV74578-22%
Chelyan, WV83378-22%
Handley, WV28481-19%
Cedar Grove, WV1,08281-19%
Racine, WV21982-18%
Charleston, WV50,91193-7%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Joplin, MO50,90086-14%
Minnetonka, MN50,89711919%
Glendora, CA50,85514545%
DeSoto, TX50,8371011%
Harrisonburg, VA50,8211011%
Charleston, WV50,91193-7%
Source: The Charleston, WV cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.