Modesto 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.
Cost of living index106135100
Goods & Services index104107100
Groceries index110117100
Health care index103109100
Housing index101189100
Transportation index114125100
Utilities index113116100
A general summary of the cost of living index in Modesto, CA is shown above. Compared to the state average of California the cost of living index in Modesto, CA is 106, which is 22% lower than the average in California and compared to the national average it is 6% higher than. The cost of living index is made up of several categories. These are transportation at 9%, utilities at 10%, goods and services at 33%, housing at 30%, groceries at 13%, and health care at 5%. The bulk of the cost of living index comes from the categories of goods and services and housing. If you look at everyday goods and services they can be a good indicator in a certain city of the general costs of goods there. In Modesto, CA goods and services come in at 2% lower than the average in California and are 4% higher than compared to the nationwide average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Modesto is 22% lower than the California average.
  • The cost of living in Modesto is 6% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Modesto is 1% 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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Compare Modesto, CA Cost of living To Other Cities

Salary Calculator

This is how much you would need to earn in
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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 Modesto, 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 Modesto, CA, you would have to earn a higher income to maintain a standard of living that is similar. To get started with the Modesto, 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 affordability of the housing market in Modesto, CA as well as the overall cost of living can be indicated accurately by what percent of the monthly income is spent on housing related costs. This is konwn as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). The overall rule of thumb is that no more than 28% of your gross income should ever be used on the overall costs related to housing and no more than 36% of gross income on all expenses and debts. Among Modesto, CA homeowners, the median income is $67,471. This indicates that a monthly maximum of $1,574 should be spent by homeowners on all housing related costs. Renters have a median income of $32,247. This indicates that renters should have a maximum of $752 used for their rent related monthly costs.

California Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

California Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
When assessing the complete cost of living in Modesto, CA, the California income tax and the California 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 California maximum surtax is 10%, and the California sales tax is 7.5%. 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 1% to 12.3% in California.

Goods & Services

ItemModestoNational avg.Difference
Haircut $16.49$14.5913.0%
Beauty Salon $43.50$34.6825.4%
Toothpaste $2.39$2.473.4%
Shampoo $1.39$1.0236.0%
Movie $10.25$9.873.9%
Bowling $4.00$4.398.9%


ItemModestoNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $5.15$4.4815.0%
Fried Chicken $1.61$1.4610.0%
Milk $2.76$2.3617.1%
Potatoes $3.19$3.064.2%
Pizza $13.17$9.2442.5%
Beer $8.99$8.634.1%

Health Care

ItemModestoNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $134.00$99.7834.3%
Doctor $91.50$105.0312.9%
Dentist $92.00$88.703.7%
Ibuprofen $10.75$9.4114.2%
Lipitor $316.62$298.506.1%


ItemModestoNational avg.Difference
Home Price $171,200.00$175,700.002.6%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,906.33$1,081.0376.3%
Apartment Rent $1,013.00$920.0010.1%


ItemModestoNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.53$2.0921.1%
Tire Balancing $43.33$45.294.3%


ItemModestoNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$231.09$170.8035.3%
Phone $22.99$28.2618.6%
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.
Rouse, CA1,75793-7%
Bystrom, CA3,80593-7%
Bret Harte, CA4,99893-7%
Parklawn, CA1,19185-15%
Airport, CA1,54796-4%
Modesto, CA205,9841066%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Des Moines, IA206,70286-14%
Montgomery, AL204,09590-10%
Fayetteville, NC202,42194-6%
Spokane, WA210,14292-8%
Tacoma, WA201,79411010%
Modesto, CA205,9841066%
Source: The Modesto, CA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.