Los Angeles 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 AngelesCaliforniaNational
Cost of living index142136100
IndexLos AngelesCaliforniaNational
Goods & Services index105107100
Groceries index106117100
Health care index109109100
Housing index220189100
Transportation index120125100
Utilities index112116100
An overview of the general cost of living index for Los Angeles, CA is displayed above for your reference. Residents in Los Angeles, CA enjoy a cost of living index of 142. This index is 5% higher than the California average, and 42% higher than the national average. The following categories are used when determining the cost of living index for any given city: health care (5%), transportation (9%), utilities (10%), groceries (13%), housing (30%), and goods/services (33%). Clearly, housing and goods/services make up the majority of the formula for calculating the cost of living index. Because of this, the general cost of living for any given area can be estimated by looking at the cost of everyday goods in that area. For those living in Los Angeles, CA, the average cost of goods and services is 1% lower than it is in California, and it is 5% higher than the national average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Los Angeles is 5% higher than the California average.
  • The cost of living in Los Angeles is 42% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Los Angeles is 120% 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

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Health care index
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Use the salary calculator to compare your current salary in Los Angeles, CA 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 Los Angeles, CA, then you would need to earn more income in order to maintain the same standard of living. To use the Los Angeles, CA 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$82,605$6,884$1,927$2,478
Renters$36,164$3,014$844$1,085
One can approximate the cost of living and the housing affordability in Los Angeles, 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 Los Angeles, CA have a median income of $82,605. Therefore, the amount that a consumer should spend on housing costs should be no more than $1,927 per month to avoid calamity and poverty. The renters in the city have an income of about $36,164, which would make their monthly maximum allowable rental costs $844.

California Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
California7.5%10%

California Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
California1%12.3%
For those who live in Los Angeles, CA and want to know what the true cost of living is, they ought to look at both the California income tax rate and the California 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 California, the sales tax is 7.5%, while the most you'll pay in surtax is 10%. 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 California, the income tax rate ranges between 1% to 12.3%.

Goods & Services

ItemLos AngelesNational avg.Difference
Haircut $18.32$14.5925.5%
Beauty Salon $63.86$34.6884.1%
Toothpaste $2.90$2.4717.3%
Shampoo $1.11$1.028.6%
Movie $14.20$9.8743.9%
Bowling $6.63$4.3951.0%

Groceries

ItemLos AngelesNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.16$4.487.1%
Fried Chicken $1.74$1.4618.8%
Milk $2.62$2.3611.2%
Potatoes $2.99$3.062.3%
Pizza $8.00$9.2413.4%
Beer $9.38$8.638.7%

Health Care

ItemLos AngelesNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $126.07$99.7826.3%
Doctor $97.27$105.037.4%
Dentist $110.00$88.7024.0%
Ibuprofen $12.16$9.4129.2%
Lipitor $280.93$298.505.9%

Housing

ItemLos AngelesNational avg.Difference
Home Price $470,000.00$181,400.00159.1%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $2,080.63$1,081.0392.5%
Apartment Rent $1,156.00$889.0030.0%

Transportation

ItemLos AngelesNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.63$2.0925.7%
Tire Balancing $46.96$45.293.7%

Utilities

ItemLos AngelesNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$183.94$170.807.7%
Phone $33.30$28.2617.8%
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.
Vernon, CA591099%
Cudahy, CA23,86711111%
Willowbrook, CA19,55411313%
East Rancho Dominguez, CA14,23311616%
Florence-Graham, CA61,38011616%
Los Angeles, CA3,804,50314242%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Chicago, IL2,702,47111313%
Houston, TX2,107,44989-11%
Philadelphia, PA1,525,8111066%
Phoenix, AZ1,462,36895-5%
San Antonio, TX1,335,28786-14%
Los Angeles, CA3,804,50314242%
Source: The Los Angeles, CA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.