Des Moines 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.
IndexDes MoinesWashingtonNational
Cost of living index116112100
IndexDes MoinesWashingtonNational
Goods & Services index112104100
Groceries index95102100
Health care index122116100
Housing index133135100
Transportation index107108100
Utilities index10983100
Displayed above is a general overview of the Des Moines, WA cost of living index. The overall cost of living index in Des Moines, WA is 116, which is 4% higher than the Washington average and 16% higher 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 Des Moines, WA are 8% higher than the Washington average and 12% higher than the national average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Des Moines is 4% higher than the Washington average.
  • The cost of living in Des Moines is 16% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Des Moines is 33% higher than the national average.
  • Washington general sales tax is 28% higher than the national average.
  • Washington state income tax is 100% 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
The salary calculator is used in order to provide a comparison of your current salary in Des Moines, WA to another city of your choice. The calculator will inform you of what your salary needs to be in any specific city in order for you to maintain your living standard based on what the city’s cost of living is. As an example, if you are seeking to move to a city that has a higher cost of living compared to Des Moines, WA, you would have to earn a higher income to maintain a standard of living that is similar. To get started with the Des Moines, WA salary calculator, input the new city’s name and then move the slider to indicate your current income. The salary calculator will now process the numbers and show you whether you need to earn more or less in the chosen city. A comprehensive breakdown of the cost of living will also be shown.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
How much of your monthly income goes to housing can tell you whether or not you can afford housing in Des Moines, WA, as well as what the average cost of living is. Generally, a good rule to follow is that the debt-to-income (DTI) level you want to maintain is 28 percent or less of your income on your rent or mortgage payment and not more than 36 percent of income on all expenses and debts. In Des Moines, WA homeowners have a median income of $73,366. Using that number, you will come up with a maximum of $1,712 per month that can be spent on the cost of housing. For those who are renting instead of owning, the median income is $41,462, which means there is a maximum of $967 to be spent on the costs of renting a home or apartment.

Washington Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

Washington Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
When considering the overall cost of living expenses in Des Moines, WA, it's important to take into account the sales tax for Washington, as well as the rate for income tax in Washington. 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 Washington is 9.6%, and the sales tax in the state of Washington is 6.5%. 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 Washington starts from 0% and goes up to 0%.

Goods & Services

ItemDes MoinesNational avg.Difference
Haircut $11.40$14.5921.9%
Beauty Salon $29.60$34.6814.6%
Toothpaste $2.73$2.4710.4%
Shampoo $1.01$1.021.2%
Movie $12.20$9.8723.6%
Bowling $4.52$4.392.9%


ItemDes MoinesNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.10$4.488.4%
Fried Chicken $1.26$1.4613.9%
Milk $2.33$2.361.1%
Potatoes $1.78$3.0641.9%
Pizza $12.00$9.2429.8%
Beer $8.31$8.633.7%

Health Care

ItemDes MoinesNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $151.00$99.7851.3%
Doctor $127.67$105.0321.6%
Dentist $109.00$88.7022.9%
Ibuprofen $12.01$9.4127.6%
Lipitor $329.60$298.5010.4%


ItemDes MoinesNational avg.Difference
Home Price $247,000.00$175,700.0040.6%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $946.00$1,081.0312.5%
Apartment Rent $1,066.00$920.0015.9%


ItemDes MoinesNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.24$2.097.1%
Tire Balancing $48.00$45.296.0%


ItemDes MoinesNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$135.34$170.8020.8%
Phone $42.37$28.2649.9%
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.
North Puyallup, WA1,74697-3%
Bremerton, WA38,66411010%
Parkwood, WA7,31211212%
Algona, WA3,0901099%
Tacoma, WA201,79411010%
Des Moines, WA30,40311616%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Ithaca, NY30,3991077%
Chicago Heights, IL30,41092-8%
Miami Lakes, FL30,39612323%
Clearfield, UT30,36196-4%
North Royalton, OH30,3531033%
Des Moines, WA30,40311616%
Source: The Des Moines, WA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.