Los Altos 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.
IndexLos AltosCaliforniaNational
Cost of living index222135100
IndexLos AltosCaliforniaNational
Goods & Services index115107100
Groceries index124117100
Health care index119109100
Housing index464189100
Transportation index131125100
Utilities index108116100
The above illustration supplies generalized information for the Los Altos, CA cost of living index. Compared to other cities in California and cities across the country, the cost of living index in Los Altos, CA is 222, which is 64% higher than the California average and 122% 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 Los Altos, CA are 8% higher than the average for California and 15% higher than the rest of the country.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Los Altos is 64% higher than the California average.
  • The cost of living in Los Altos is 122% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Los Altos is 364% higher 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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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 Los Altos, CA 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 Los Altos, CA, you would have to earn a higher income to maintain a standard of living that is similar. To get started with the Los Altos, CA 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)
The percent of monthly income spent on housing can be a good indicator of the affordability of housing in Los Altos, CA as well as the overall cost of living. As a general rule of thumb, the debt-to-income ratio (DTI) for homeowners or renters should be not more than 28 percent of gross income to be spent on housing related costs and not more than 36 percent of income on all expenses, including debts. The median income for Los Altos, CA homeowners, is $165,686. This would allow for a maximum of $3,866 per month to be spent on housing costs. For renters, the median monthly income is $105,096 which would result in a maximum of $2,452 to be spent on rental costs.

California Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

California Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
The California sales tax and California income tax rates should definitely be considered when determining the overall cost of living in Los Altos, CA. Sales taxes are taxes that are imposed onto goods and services sold. Sales taxes do vary by state and can range from no tax at all to upwards of 7%. The California sales tax is 7.5% and the maximum surtax is 10%. Income tax is the tax imposed on income by the government. The income tax rates will vary by state and will also increase or decrease depending on the corresponding tax bracket. State income tax rates can range from anywhere from no tax at all to more than 9%. The California income tax rates range from 1% to 12.3%.

Goods & Services

ItemLos AltosNational avg.Difference
Haircut $18.44$14.5926.4%
Beauty Salon $59.40$34.6871.3%
Toothpaste $3.14$2.4727.0%
Shampoo $1.09$1.026.7%
Movie $11.00$9.8711.5%
Bowling $6.63$4.3951.0%


ItemLos AltosNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $3.97$4.4811.3%
Fried Chicken $2.07$1.4641.4%
Milk $2.77$2.3617.5%
Potatoes $3.69$3.0620.5%
Pizza $9.00$9.242.6%
Beer $9.93$8.6315.0%

Health Care

ItemLos AltosNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $120.44$99.7820.7%
Doctor $127.57$105.0321.5%
Dentist $122.43$88.7038.0%
Ibuprofen $11.97$9.4127.2%
Lipitor $254.50$298.5014.7%


ItemLos AltosNational avg.Difference
Home Price $2,818,700.00$175,700.001,504.3%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $3,294.70$1,081.03204.8%
Apartment Rent $2,001.00$920.00117.5%


ItemLos AltosNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.80$2.0933.8%
Tire Balancing $55.37$45.2922.3%


ItemLos AltosNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$213.39$170.8024.9%
Phone $24.12$28.2614.6%
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.
Mountain View, CA2,29912626%
East Palo Alto, CA28,92014343%
Burbank CDP, CA5,86914343%
Newark, CA43,63515353%
North Fair Oaks, CA15,18116363%
Los Altos, CA29,762222122%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Granite City, IL29,76486-14%
Cleburne, TX29,76592-8%
Milford Mill, MD29,7581055%
Liberty, MO29,80695-5%
Southgate, MI29,71086-14%
Los Altos, CA29,762222122%
Source: The Los Altos, CA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.