Columbus 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 index8991100
Goods & Services index9696100
Groceries index9099100
Health care index9796100
Housing index7875100
Transportation index8395100
Utilities index96101100
Here we can see a simple outline of the cost of living in Columbus, OH. As you can see, with the average cost of living in Columbus, OH being 89, that puts it 2% lower than the average of Ohio and 11% lower than our nation's average. This simple outline of the cost of living index was formulated using prices of: goods and services (weighted 33%), housing prices (weighted 30%), groceries (weighted 13%), utilities (weighted 10%), transportation (weighted 9%), and health care (weighted 5%). Thus, goods/services, along with housing influences the majority of the cost of living index. The price of daily goods and services is a valuable and reliable number to be aware of when considering the general price of the city's goods. In the case of Columbus, OH, the price of goods and services are equal to the average of Ohio as well as 4% lower than the nation's average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Columbus is 2% lower than the Ohio average.
  • The cost of living in Columbus is 11% lower than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Columbus is 22% lower than the national average.
  • Ohio general sales tax is 13% higher than the national average.
  • Ohio state income tax is 76% lower than the national average.

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Salary Calculator

This is how much you would need to earn in
Price difference in compared to
Cost of living index
Goods & Services index
Groceries index
Health care index
Housing index
Transportation index
Utilities index
Use the salary calculator to compare your current salary in Columbus, OH 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 Columbus, OH, then you would need to earn more income in order to maintain the same standard of living. To use the Columbus, OH 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)
If you want to find a good determining factor for the cost of living and the general affordability of housing in Columbus, OH, 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 Columbus, OH, the median monthly income is $66,256 for those who own their own homes. Under the standard rule, that income level would allow for $1,546 to be budgeted for housing expenses each month, at the most. Renters, on the other hand, earn about $31,452, per the median income in the area. That would allow for renters to spend up to $734 on monthly rental expenses.

Ohio Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

Ohio Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
When considering the overall cost of living expenses in Columbus, OH, it's important to take into account the sales tax for Ohio, as well as the rate for income tax in Ohio. Goods and services sold to consumers in any state have some form of sales tax. Each state has its own tax code, which means that sales tax rates vary from state to state, ranging from over 7% in some states to as low as 0% in others. The maximum surtax for Ohio is 8%, and the sales tax in the state of Ohio is 5.75%. Alternatively, the tax imposed on your income by the state government is known as income tax. The rate for this tax also varies from state to state, and your rate is affected by your tax bracket, which is determined by your level of income. Income tax rates might be as high as 9%, down to as low as 0%. The range for income tax rates in Ohio starts from 0.528% and goes up to 5.333%.

Goods & Services

ItemColumbusNational avg.Difference
Haircut $11.20$14.5923.3%
Beauty Salon $33.20$34.684.3%
Toothpaste $1.78$2.4728.0%
Shampoo $0.91$1.0211.0%
Movie $9.31$9.875.7%
Bowling $4.25$4.393.2%


ItemColumbusNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.73$4.485.7%
Fried Chicken $1.17$1.4620.1%
Milk $1.88$2.3620.2%
Potatoes $2.37$3.0622.6%
Pizza $9.99$9.248.1%
Beer $7.99$8.637.4%

Health Care

ItemColumbusNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $59.90$99.7840.0%
Doctor $111.67$105.036.3%
Dentist $94.00$88.706.0%
Ibuprofen $7.49$9.4120.4%
Lipitor $267.15$298.5010.5%


ItemColumbusNational avg.Difference
Home Price $128,900.00$175,700.0026.6%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $836.00$1,081.0322.7%
Apartment Rent $822.00$920.0010.7%


ItemColumbusNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $1.75$2.0916.6%
Tire Balancing $36.75$45.2918.8%


ItemColumbusNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$161.00$170.805.7%
Phone $27.99$28.260.9%
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.
Urbancrest, OH1,02480-20%
Whitehall, OH18,38383-17%
Lincoln Village, OH8,99484-16%
Brice, OH15285-15%
Lockbourne, OH25985-15%
Columbus, OH811,94389-11%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
San Francisco, CA829,07218989%
Indianapolis, IN835,09788-12%
Jacksonville, FL837,53398-2%
Fort Worth, TX778,57396-4%
Charlotte, NC774,80799-1%
Columbus, OH811,94389-11%
Source: The Columbus, OH cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.