Chester 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.
IndexChesterPennsylvaniaNational
Cost of living index90102100
IndexChesterPennsylvaniaNational
Goods & Services index108103100
Groceries index103105100
Health care index10397100
Housing index5393100
Transportation index96112100
Utilities index114112100
An overview of the general cost of living index for Chester, PA is displayed above for your reference. Residents in Chester, PA enjoy a cost of living index of 90. This index is 11% lower than the Pennsylvania average, and 10% lower than the national average. The following categories are used when determining the cost of living index for any given city: health care (5%), transportation (9%), utilities (10%), groceries (13%), housing (30%), and goods/services (33%). Clearly, housing and goods/services make up the majority of the formula for calculating the cost of living index. Because of this, the general cost of living for any given area can be estimated by looking at the cost of everyday goods in that area. For those living in Chester, PA, the average cost of goods and services is 5% higher than it is in Pennsylvania, and it is 8% higher than the national average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Chester is 11% lower than the Pennsylvania average.
  • The cost of living in Chester is 10% lower than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Chester is 47% lower than the national average.
  • Pennsylvania general sales tax is 18% higher than the national average.
  • Pennsylvania state income tax is 38% higher than the national average.

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Salary Calculator

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Use the salary calculator to compare your current salary in Chester, PA 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 Chester, PA, then you would need to earn more income in order to maintain the same standard of living. To use the Chester, PA 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$43,587$3,632$1,017$1,308
Renters$21,423$1,785$500$643
One can approximate the cost of living and the housing affordability in Chester, PA by the percentage of a person’s income that he or she spends on the monthly housing, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). To stay on the safe side and keep one’s head above the water, a consumer should never spend more than 28 percent of his or her gross income on housing-related expenses and costs and not more than 36 percent of income on all expenses and debts. Homeowners in Chester, PA have a median income of $43,587. Therefore, the amount that a consumer should spend on housing costs should be no more than $1,017 per month to avoid calamity and poverty. The renters in the city have an income of about $21,423, which would make their monthly maximum allowable rental costs $500.

Pennsylvania Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
Pennsylvania6%8%

Pennsylvania Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
Pennsylvania3.07%3.07%
One thing to keep in mind when considering the cost of living in Chester, PA is the Pennsylvania sales tax and Pennsylvania income tax rates. Sales taxes are taxes that are collected on most goods or services sold. Sales taxes can vary by state and can be as high as 7% and as low as 0% as not every state imposes a sales tax. The Pennsylvania sales tax rate is 6% and the maximum surtax that can be charged is 8%. Income tax is the tax imposed on income by both the federal and state government. The income tax rates varies by individual state and will also be higher or lower depending on the applicable tax bracket. The rates of state income tax can vary from 0% to more than 9%. The Pennsylvania income tax rates range from 3.07% to 3.07%.

Goods & Services

ItemChesterNational avg.Difference
Haircut $14.00$14.594.1%
Beauty Salon $40.00$34.6815.3%
Toothpaste $2.22$2.4710.2%
Shampoo $0.91$1.0211.0%
Movie $11.50$9.8716.5%
Bowling $4.50$4.392.5%

Groceries

ItemChesterNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.42$4.481.3%
Fried Chicken $1.56$1.466.6%
Milk $2.14$2.369.2%
Potatoes $3.66$3.0619.6%
Pizza $8.49$9.248.1%
Beer $8.49$8.631.7%

Health Care

ItemChesterNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $118.00$99.7818.3%
Doctor $87.50$105.0316.7%
Dentist $97.50$88.709.9%
Ibuprofen $9.42$9.410.1%
Lipitor $328.49$298.5010.0%

Housing

ItemChesterNational avg.Difference
Home Price $67,200.00$175,700.0061.8%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,153.85$1,081.036.7%
Apartment Rent $810.00$920.0012.0%

Transportation

ItemChesterNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $1.99$2.095.0%
Tire Balancing $45.00$45.290.6%

Utilities

ItemChesterNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$222.61$170.8030.3%
Phone $25.95$28.268.2%
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.
Cheyney University, PA9291066%
Prospect Park, PA28894-6%
Upland, PA3,24893-7%
Camden, NJ77,294100-0%
Marcus Hook, PA2,43094-6%
Chester, PA34,00790-10%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Huntington Station, NY34,00514343%
Vestavia Hills, AL34,06111818%
Cottonwood Heights, UT33,93211616%
Pekin, IL33,92887-13%
San Dimas, CA33,89614343%
Chester, PA34,00790-10%
Source: The Chester, PA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.