Fort Dodge 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.
IndexFort DodgeIowaNational
Cost of living index7788100
IndexFort DodgeIowaNational
Goods & Services index8693100
Groceries index9195100
Health care index9796100
Housing index5073100
Transportation index9797100
Utilities index8599100
The above illustration supplies generalized information for the Fort Dodge, IA cost of living index. Compared to other cities in Iowa and cities across the country, the cost of living index in Fort Dodge, IA is 77, which is 12% lower than the Iowa average and 23% lower 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 Fort Dodge, IA are 7% lower than the average for Iowa and 14% lower than the rest of the country.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Fort Dodge is 12% lower than the Iowa average.
  • The cost of living in Fort Dodge is 23% lower than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Fort Dodge is 50% 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

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Use the salary calculator to compare your current salary in Fort Dodge, IA 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 Fort Dodge, IA, then you would need to earn more income in order to maintain the same standard of living. To use the Fort Dodge, IA 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)
Owners$50,682$4,224$1,183$1,521
Renters$22,237$1,853$519$667
A good way to judge both the affordability of the housing and the cost of living is by simply calculating the maximum that a person should spend on housing in Fort Dodge, IA, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). The safest way to live in the city is to avoid spending more than 28 percent of the gross income that one earns on costs that pertain to housing and no more than 36 percent on all expenses and debts. Fort Dodge, IA has a median income of about $50,682 for people who own homes. Based on that number, a person should spend a maximum of $1,183 on expenses related to housing. Renters have a slightly different median income, which is $22,237. Based on this average, renters should spend no more than $519 on all of their rental costs if they want to maintain a non-impoverished standard of living.

Iowa Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
Iowa6%7%

Iowa Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
Iowa0.36%8.98%
When assessing the complete cost of living in Fort Dodge, IA, the Iowa income tax and the Iowa 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 Iowa maximum surtax is 7%, and the Iowa sales tax is 6%. 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 0.36% to 8.98% in Iowa.

Goods & Services

ItemFort DodgeNational avg.Difference
Haircut $17.00$14.5916.5%
Beauty Salon $32.00$34.687.7%
Toothpaste $1.98$2.4719.9%
Shampoo $0.88$1.0213.9%
Movie $8.75$9.8711.3%
Bowling $4.99$4.3913.6%

Groceries

ItemFort DodgeNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.11$4.488.2%
Fried Chicken $1.61$1.4610.0%
Milk $2.21$2.366.2%
Potatoes $2.61$3.0614.7%
Pizza $7.99$9.2413.6%
Beer $8.09$8.636.3%

Health Care

ItemFort DodgeNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $85.00$99.7814.8%
Doctor $110.00$105.034.7%
Dentist $79.00$88.7010.9%
Ibuprofen $9.32$9.411.0%
Lipitor $300.03$298.500.5%

Housing

ItemFort DodgeNational avg.Difference
Home Price $79,700.00$175,700.0054.6%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,077.99$1,081.030.3%
Apartment Rent $562.00$920.0038.9%

Transportation

ItemFort DodgeNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $1.93$2.097.7%
Tire Balancing $50.00$45.2910.4%

Utilities

ItemFort DodgeNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$152.96$170.8010.4%
Phone $22.40$28.2620.7%
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.
Pioneer, IA789-11%
Somers, IA11171-29%
Gilmore City, IA46572-28%
Thor, IA18973-27%
Callender, IA43673-27%
Fort Dodge, IA24,84677-23%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Ottumwa, IA24,84779-21%
Reedley, CA24,8581022%
Grandview, MO24,86087-13%
Madison, MS24,8711044%
Ardmore, OK24,87779-21%
Fort Dodge, IA24,84677-23%
Source: The Fort Dodge, IA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.