Princeton 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.
IndexPrincetonNew JerseyNational
Cost of living index166132100
IndexPrincetonNew JerseyNational
Goods & Services index112118100
Groceries index110116100
Health care index113111100
Housing index299169100
Transportation index111118100
Utilities index97110100
Here we can see a simple outline of the cost of living in Princeton, NJ. As you can see, with the average cost of living in Princeton, NJ being 166, that puts it 26% higher than the average of New Jersey and 66% higher than our nation's average. This simple outline of the cost of living index was formulated using prices of: goods and services (weighted 33%), housing prices (weighted 30%), groceries (weighted 13%), utilities (weighted 10%), transportation (weighted 9%), and health care (weighted 5%). Thus, goods/services, along with housing influences the majority of the cost of living index. The price of daily goods and services is a valuable and reliable number to be aware of when considering the general price of the city's goods. In the case of Princeton, NJ, the price of goods and services are 5% lower than the average of New Jersey as well as 12% higher than the nation's average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Princeton is 26% higher than the New Jersey average.
  • The cost of living in Princeton is 66% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Princeton is 199% higher than the national average.
  • New Jersey general sales tax is 37% higher than the national average.
  • New Jersey state income tax is 37% lower than the national average.

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Salary Calculator

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Goods & Services index
Groceries index
Health care index
Housing index
Transportation index
Utilities index
Use the salary calculator to compare your current salary in Princeton, NJ 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 Princeton, NJ, then you would need to earn more income in order to maintain the same standard of living. To use the Princeton, NJ 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$148,571$12,381$3,466$4,458
Renters$68,657$5,721$1,602$2,060
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 Princeton, NJ, 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. Princeton, NJ has a median income of about $148,571 for people who own homes. Based on that number, a person should spend a maximum of $3,466 on expenses related to housing. Renters have a slightly different median income, which is $68,657. Based on this average, renters should spend no more than $1,602 on all of their rental costs if they want to maintain a non-impoverished standard of living.

New Jersey Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
New Jersey7%7%

New Jersey Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
New Jersey1.4%8.97%
When considering the overall cost of living expenses in Princeton, NJ, it's important to take into account the sales tax for New Jersey, as well as the rate for income tax in New Jersey. Goods and services sold to consumers in any state have some form of sales tax. Each state has its own tax code, which means that sales tax rates vary from state to state, ranging from over 7% in some states to as low as 0% in others. The maximum surtax for New Jersey is 7%, and the sales tax in the state of New Jersey is 7%. Alternatively, the tax imposed on your income by the state government is known as income tax. The rate for this tax also varies from state to state, and your rate is affected by your tax bracket, which is determined by your level of income. Income tax rates might be as high as 9%, down to as low as 0%. The range for income tax rates in New Jersey starts from 1.4% and goes up to 8.97%.

Goods & Services

ItemPrincetonNational avg.Difference
Haircut $18.00$14.5923.3%
Beauty Salon $32.75$34.685.6%
Toothpaste $1.99$2.4719.5%
Shampoo $1.08$1.025.7%
Movie $11.70$9.8718.6%
Bowling $4.72$4.397.5%

Groceries

ItemPrincetonNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.44$4.480.8%
Fried Chicken $1.97$1.4634.6%
Milk $2.57$2.369.1%
Potatoes $3.39$3.0610.7%
Pizza $8.00$9.2413.4%
Beer $8.79$8.631.8%

Health Care

ItemPrincetonNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $102.25$99.782.5%
Doctor $86.25$105.0317.9%
Dentist $119.50$88.7034.7%
Ibuprofen $10.32$9.419.6%
Lipitor $351.24$298.5017.7%

Housing

ItemPrincetonNational avg.Difference
Home Price $635,300.00$181,400.00250.2%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,607.16$1,081.0348.7%
Apartment Rent $1,596.00$889.0079.5%

Transportation

ItemPrincetonNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.17$2.093.7%
Tire Balancing $58.80$45.2929.8%

Utilities

ItemPrincetonNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$155.83$170.808.8%
Phone $29.75$28.265.3%
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.
Blackwells Mills, NJ5251099%
Zarephath, NJ721099%
Trenton, NJ84,7991000%
Rossmoor, NJ2,8471011%
Clearbrook Park, NJ2,53111111%
Princeton, NJ12,34216666%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Winfield, KS12,33584-16%
Arkansas City, KS12,35080-20%
Camp Pendleton South, CA12,35514343%
Portales, NM12,32782-18%
Morgan City, LA12,32684-16%
Princeton, NJ12,34216666%
Source: The Princeton, NJ cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.