Forest City 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.
IndexForest CityIowaNational
Cost of living index8188100
IndexForest CityIowaNational
Goods & Services index9493100
Groceries index9395100
Health care index9196100
Housing index5373100
Transportation index9097100
Utilities index9399100
Here we can see a simple outline of the cost of living in Forest City, IA. As you can see, with the average cost of living in Forest City, IA being 81, that puts it 9% lower than the average of Iowa and 19% 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 Forest City, IA, the price of goods and services are equal to the average of Iowa as well as 7% lower than the nation's average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Forest City is 9% lower than the Iowa average.
  • The cost of living in Forest City is 19% lower than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Forest City is 47% lower than the national average.
  • Iowa general sales tax is 18% higher than the national average.
  • Iowa state income tax is 84% 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 allows you to compare how much your current salary in Forest City, IA would be worth in another city. In other words, the salary calculator will adjust the figure you enter for cost of living so that you can determine how much more or much less you would need to earn while maintaining your current quality of living. If you are considering relocating to a more expensive city than Forest City, IA, the calculator will tell you how much more you need to earn so you can assess job offers more accurately. The Forest City, IA salary calculator is easy to use. All you do is enter the name of another city, then move the slider to your current income. After that, the salary calculator will crunch the numbers for you and give you the information you need about the place you are considering going. Additionally, it will show a detailed 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 Forest City, IA, 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 Forest City, IA, the median monthly income is $56,321 for those who own their own homes. Under the standard rule, that income level would allow for $1,314 to be budgeted for housing expenses each month, at the most. Renters, on the other hand, earn about $19,963, per the median income in the area. That would allow for renters to spend up to $466 on monthly rental expenses.

Iowa Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

Iowa Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
For those who live in Forest City, IA and want to know what the true cost of living is, they ought to look at both the Iowa income tax rate and the Iowa sales tax rate. By sales tax, we mean the taxes that are included whenever a person is purchasing any goods or services. The amount that is taxed depends upon the particular state, where some states have a sales tax of zero percent while others can have a tax higher than seven percent. In Iowa, the sales tax is 6%, while the most you'll pay in surtax is 7%. There is also income tax to consider, which is based upon the amount of money made in a year. Just like sales tax, income tax depends upon the particular state but also depends upon what tax bracket the person is in. Income tax for the state can be higher than nine percent in some states to zero percent in others. For those that live in Iowa, the income tax rate ranges between 0.36% to 8.98%.

Goods & Services

ItemForest CityNational avg.Difference
Haircut $17.32$14.5918.7%
Beauty Salon $19.78$34.6843.0%
Toothpaste $1.74$2.4729.6%
Shampoo $0.95$1.027.0%
Movie $8.25$9.8716.4%
Bowling $2.75$4.3937.4%


ItemForest CityNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $5.37$4.4820.0%
Fried Chicken $1.84$1.4625.7%
Milk $2.20$2.366.6%
Potatoes $2.64$3.0613.8%
Pizza $7.99$9.2413.6%
Beer $7.76$8.6310.1%

Health Care

ItemForest CityNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $84.67$99.7815.1%
Doctor $105.00$105.030.0%
Dentist $78.25$88.7011.8%
Ibuprofen $7.99$9.4115.1%
Lipitor $259.66$298.5013.0%


ItemForest CityNational avg.Difference
Home Price $95,700.00$175,700.0045.5%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $786.08$1,081.0327.3%
Apartment Rent $465.00$920.0049.5%


ItemForest CityNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $1.91$2.098.8%
Tire Balancing $39.33$45.2913.2%


ItemForest CityNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$184.38$170.808.0%
Phone $20.10$28.2628.9%
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.
Duncan, IA11393-7%
Hayfield, IA093-7%
Hutchins, IA1093-7%
Miller, IA093-7%
Scarville, IA9971-29%
Forest City, IA4,14281-19%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Buckingham, FL4,1421066%
Walthourville, GA4,14293-7%
Bellville, TX4,14291-9%
Farmington, ME4,1421066%
Randleman, NC4,14386-14%
Forest City, IA4,14281-19%
Source: The Forest City, IA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.