Milwaukee 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.
IndexMilwaukeeWisconsinNational
Cost of living index9298100
IndexMilwaukeeWisconsinNational
Goods & Services index97100100
Groceries index103100100
Health care index115112100
Housing index7491100
Transportation index8999100
Utilities index110102100
Displayed above is a general overview of the Milwaukee, WI cost of living index. The overall cost of living index in Milwaukee, WI is 92, which is 6% lower than the Wisconsin average and 8% lower than the national average. The cost of living index is created from the following categories: goods/services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). As you can see, goods/services and housing make up the majority of the overall cost of living index. Everyday goods and services can be a good indicator of the general cost of goods in a given city. In this case, the goods and services in Milwaukee, WI are 3% lower than the Wisconsin average and 3% lower than the national average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Milwaukee is 6% lower than the Wisconsin average.
  • The cost of living in Milwaukee is 8% lower than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Milwaukee is 26% lower than the national average.
  • Wisconsin general sales tax is 2% lower than the national average.
  • Wisconsin state income tax is 98% higher than the national average.

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Compare Milwaukee, WI 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
The salary calculator is used in order to provide a comparison of your current salary in Milwaukee, WI 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 Milwaukee, WI, you would have to earn a higher income to maintain a standard of living that is similar. To get started with the Milwaukee, WI 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)
Owners$55,625$4,635$1,298$1,669
Renters$24,317$2,026$567$730
How much of your monthly income goes to housing can tell you whether or not you can afford housing in Milwaukee, WI, as well as what the average cost of living is. Generally, a good rule to follow is that the debt-to-income (DTI) level you want to maintain is 28 percent or less of your income on your rent or mortgage payment and not more than 36 percent of income on all expenses and debts. In Milwaukee, WI homeowners have a median income of $55,625. Using that number, you will come up with a maximum of $1,298 per month that can be spent on the cost of housing. For those who are renting instead of owning, the median income is $24,317, which means there is a maximum of $567 to be spent on the costs of renting a home or apartment.

Wisconsin Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
Wisconsin5%5.6%

Wisconsin Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
Wisconsin4.4%7.65%
When you are determining the total cost of living in Milwaukee, WI you will want to make sure you consider both the Wisconsin sales tax and the Wisconsin income tax rates. Sales tax come in the form of taxes levied on both services and goods that are sold. The sales tax rates are different state to state and range from zero sales tax to higher than 7%. The sales tax in Wisconsin is 5%, with the highest surtax being 5.6%. Tax that is on income by the government is income tax. Different states have different income tax rates and these rates can be higher or lower dependent on the corresponding tax bracket. The state income tax rates are different state to state and range from no income tax to more than 9% income tax. The income tax rates in Wisconsin have a range from 4.4% to 7.65%.

Goods & Services

ItemMilwaukeeNational avg.Difference
Haircut $15.99$14.599.6%
Beauty Salon $30.60$34.6811.8%
Toothpaste $2.51$2.471.5%
Shampoo $0.89$1.0212.9%
Movie $9.80$9.870.7%
Bowling $3.25$4.3926.0%

Groceries

ItemMilwaukeeNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $3.32$4.4825.8%
Fried Chicken $1.86$1.4627.0%
Milk $2.20$2.366.6%
Potatoes $2.35$3.0623.2%
Pizza $9.00$9.242.6%
Beer $7.97$8.637.7%

Health Care

ItemMilwaukeeNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $52.40$99.7847.5%
Doctor $166.00$105.0358.0%
Dentist $91.60$88.703.3%
Ibuprofen $9.19$9.412.4%
Lipitor $315.77$298.505.8%

Housing

ItemMilwaukeeNational avg.Difference
Home Price $121,600.00$175,700.0030.8%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,141.54$1,081.035.6%
Apartment Rent $784.00$920.0014.8%

Transportation

ItemMilwaukeeNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $1.89$2.099.6%
Tire Balancing $37.95$45.2916.2%

Utilities

ItemMilwaukeeNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$169.20$170.800.9%
Phone $35.25$28.2624.8%
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.
West Milwaukee, WI4,21493-7%
West Allis, WI60,59595-5%
St. Francis, WI9,48895-5%
Cudahy, WI18,32196-4%
South Milwaukee, WI21,21096-4%
Milwaukee, WI598,07892-8%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Las Vegas, NV597,3531044%
Oklahoma City, OK600,72988-12%
Portland, OR602,56812323%
Louisville, KY605,76293-7%
Baltimore, MD622,27196-4%
Milwaukee, WI598,07892-8%
Source: The Milwaukee, WI cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.