El Centro 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.
IndexEl CentroCaliforniaNational
Cost of living index100135100
IndexEl CentroCaliforniaNational
Goods & Services index108107100
Groceries index108117100
Health care index96109100
Housing index83189100
Transportation index95125100
Utilities index123116100
The above illustration supplies generalized information for the El Centro, CA cost of living index. Compared to other cities in California and cities across the country, the cost of living index in El Centro, CA is 100, which is 26% lower than the California average and equal to 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 El Centro, CA are 1% higher than the average for California and 8% higher than the rest of the country.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in El Centro is 26% lower than the California average.
  • The cost of living in El Centro is equal to the national average.
  • The cost of housing in El Centro is 17% lower than the national average.
  • California general sales tax is 47% higher than the national average.
  • California state income tax is 55% lower than the national average.

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Compare El Centro, CA Cost of living To Other Cities

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
Using the salary calculator lets you compare the salary you earn in El Centro, CA to what it is in other cities. It will let you know what your earnings would have to be in another city to have the same standard of living, as determined by the cost of living in each city. For example, if the cost of living in the area you want to move to is higher than the cost of living in El Centro, CA, you have to earn a higher income in order to still have the same standard of living. To operate the El Centro, CA salary calculator, put in the name of the other city, then move the slider to the point that represents the current income. The salary calculator will take care of the rest and tell you how much more or less you must earn in the new city. A Total breakdown of the cost of living is also provided.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
One can approximate the cost of living and the housing affordability in El Centro, CA 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 El Centro, CA have a median income of $66,677. Therefore, the amount that a consumer should spend on housing costs should be no more than $1,556 per month to avoid calamity and poverty. The renters in the city have an income of about $23,960, which would make their monthly maximum allowable rental costs $559.

California Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

California Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
When assessing the complete cost of living in El Centro, CA, the California income tax and the California sales tax percentages should unquestionably be taken into consideration. Sales taxes aren't just levies imposed onto sold goods, but they also include taxes that are charged when services are provided for a fee. The rates are different from state to state and can run has high as 7 percent. Some states have no sales tax at all. The California maximum surtax is 10%, and the California sales tax is 7.5%. By contrast, income tax is an unfortunate obligation that is charged by the government against earnings. Just like sales taxes, the rates for income taxes differ from state to state. They also decrease or increase according to the individual's tax bracket. Tax rates can run as high as 9 percent, with a minimum of zero. Income tax rates range from 1% to 12.3% in California.

Goods & Services

ItemEl CentroNational avg.Difference
Haircut $10.00$14.5931.5%
Beauty Salon $27.74$34.6820.0%
Toothpaste $3.52$2.4742.3%
Shampoo $1.02$1.020.2%
Movie $8.50$9.8713.9%
Bowling $3.50$4.3920.3%


ItemEl CentroNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.83$4.487.9%
Fried Chicken $1.51$1.463.1%
Milk $1.80$2.3623.6%
Potatoes $2.59$3.0615.4%
Pizza $11.00$9.2419.0%
Beer $9.28$8.637.5%

Health Care

ItemEl CentroNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $91.00$99.788.8%
Doctor $120.00$105.0314.2%
Dentist $80.20$88.709.6%
Ibuprofen $8.45$9.4110.2%
Lipitor $260.17$298.5012.8%


ItemEl CentroNational avg.Difference
Home Price $147,100.00$175,700.0016.3%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $951.20$1,081.0312.0%
Apartment Rent $744.00$920.0019.1%


ItemEl CentroNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.07$2.090.9%
Tire Balancing $38.00$45.2916.1%


ItemEl CentroNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$209.73$170.8022.8%
Phone $35.01$28.2623.9%
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.
Seeley, CA1,21494-6%
Brawley, CA25,47899-1%
Holtville, CA6,06799-1%
Heber, CA4,256100-0%
Calexico, CA39,2811022%
El Centro, CA43,2681000%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Haltom City, TX43,25991-9%
Belleville, IL43,29689-11%
Blacksburg, VA43,2041099%
Jefferson City, MO43,18490-10%
Freeport, NY43,16814949%
El Centro, CA43,2681000%
Source: The El Centro, CA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.