Denver 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.
IndexDenverColoradoNational
Cost of living index107106100
IndexDenverColoradoNational
Goods & Services index103101100
Groceries index10098100
Health care index106104100
Housing index124122100
Transportation index9899100
Utilities index9388100
The above illustration supplies generalized information for the Denver, CO cost of living index. Compared to other cities in Colorado and cities across the country, the cost of living index in Denver, CO is 107, which is 2% higher than the Colorado average and 7% higher than that for the entire country. The index is comprised of the following criteria: cost of retail goods and services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), cost of public/private transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). Everyday goods and services, along with housing account for 63 percent of the total cost of living index. Goods and services that are a necessity regardless of location provide an accurate general sense of the cost of living in one city versus another. As seen above, the cost of retail goods and services in Denver, CO are 2% higher than the average for Colorado and 3% higher than the rest of the country.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Denver is 2% higher than the Colorado average.
  • The cost of living in Denver is 7% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Denver is 24% higher than the national average.
  • Colorado general sales tax is 43% lower than the national average.
  • Colorado state income tax is 108% higher 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 income in Denver, CO 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 Denver, CO, then you would need to earn a higher salary in order to enjoy the same standard of living. To use the Denver, CO 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$74,430$6,203$1,737$2,233
Renters$31,709$2,642$740$951
If you want to find a good determining factor for the cost of living and the general affordability of housing in Denver, CO, 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 Denver, CO, the median monthly income is $74,430 for those who own their own homes. Under the standard rule, that income level would allow for $1,737 to be budgeted for housing expenses each month, at the most. Renters, on the other hand, earn about $31,709, per the median income in the area. That would allow for renters to spend up to $740 on monthly rental expenses.

Colorado Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
Colorado2.9%10%

Colorado Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
Colorado4.63%4.63%
When you are determining the total cost of living in Denver, CO you will want to make sure you consider both the Colorado sales tax and the Colorado 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 Colorado is 2.9%, with the highest surtax being 10%. 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 Colorado have a range from 4.63% to 4.63%.

Goods & Services

ItemDenverNational avg.Difference
Haircut $17.25$14.5918.2%
Beauty Salon $35.00$34.680.9%
Toothpaste $3.00$2.4721.3%
Shampoo $1.10$1.027.6%
Movie $11.22$9.8713.7%
Bowling $6.75$4.3953.7%

Groceries

ItemDenverNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $5.01$4.4811.9%
Fried Chicken $1.71$1.4616.8%
Milk $2.43$2.363.1%
Potatoes $2.55$3.0616.7%
Pizza $7.99$9.2413.6%
Beer $8.55$8.631.0%

Health Care

ItemDenverNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $101.85$99.782.1%
Doctor $124.80$105.0318.8%
Dentist $95.00$88.707.1%
Ibuprofen $9.24$9.411.8%
Lipitor $278.85$298.506.6%

Housing

ItemDenverNational avg.Difference
Home Price $246,300.00$181,400.0035.8%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,348.76$1,081.0324.8%
Apartment Rent $863.00$889.002.9%

Transportation

ItemDenverNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.00$2.094.6%
Tire Balancing $47.12$45.294.1%

Utilities

ItemDenverNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$153.48$170.8010.1%
Phone $27.57$28.262.4%
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.
Federal Heights, CO11,59883-17%
Derby, CO7,48192-8%
North Washington, CO27593-7%
Lakeside, CO1894-6%
Welby, CO15,38996-4%
Denver, CO604,3561077%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Washington, DC605,75913636%
Nashville, TN605,85997-3%
Louisville, KY597,23192-8%
Seattle, WA612,91614242%
Milwaukee, WI594,32893-7%
Denver, CO604,3561077%
Source: The Denver, CO cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.