Raleigh 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.
IndexRaleighNorth CarolinaNational
Cost of living index10397100
IndexRaleighNorth CarolinaNational
Goods & Services index100101100
Groceries index100100100
Health care index99104100
Housing index11287100
Transportation index99102100
Utilities index98100100
A general overview of the cost of living index for Raleigh, NC is displayed above. In Raleigh, NC, the overall cost of living index is 103, which is 7% higher than the North Carolina average and 3% higher than the U.S. average. The following categories are used to calculate the overall cost of living index: goods/services (33%), housing (30%), groceries (13%), utilities (10%), transportation (9%) and health care (5%). From the list, it is clear that the categories of goods/services and housing are responsible for the largest portions of the overall cost of living index. As a general rule, everyday goods and services provide an accurate measure of the general cost of goods in any given city. In the case of Raleigh, NC, the city's goods and services are equal to the North Carolina average and equal to the U.S. average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Raleigh is 7% higher than the North Carolina average.
  • The cost of living in Raleigh is 3% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Raleigh is 12% higher than the national average.
  • North Carolina general sales tax is 7% lower than the national average.
  • North Carolina state income tax is 159% higher 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 meant to help you compare your salary in Raleigh, NC to your potential earning power in another city. This can help you deduce what your salary would need to be in any given city in order for you to live the same lifestyle that you do in your current city. In other words, if you plan on moving to a city where the cost of living is higher than in Raleigh, NC, you'll have to make more money in the new city in order to maintain the lifestyle you currently enjoy. To use the Raleigh, NC salary calculator, simply input the new city, then move the adjustable slider to match your current income. Once you've selected your income, the calculator will determine if that income is sufficient to support your standard of living in the new city you entered. The calculator will also supply you with a rundown of living costs in the new city.

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 Raleigh, NC 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 Raleigh, NC homeowners, is $80,700. This would allow for a maximum of $1,883 per month to be spent on housing costs. For renters, the median monthly income is $35,534 which would result in a maximum of $829 to be spent on rental costs.

North Carolina Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
North Carolina4.75%7.5%

North Carolina Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
North Carolina5.75%5.75%
When you are determining the total cost of living in Raleigh, NC you will want to make sure you consider both the North Carolina sales tax and the North Carolina 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 North Carolina is 4.75%, with the highest surtax being 7.5%. 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 North Carolina have a range from 5.75% to 5.75%.

Goods & Services

ItemRaleighNational avg.Difference
Haircut $18.57$14.5927.3%
Beauty Salon $40.57$34.6817.0%
Toothpaste $2.44$2.471.3%
Shampoo $1.01$1.021.2%
Movie $9.86$9.870.1%
Bowling $4.44$4.391.1%


ItemRaleighNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.69$4.484.8%
Fried Chicken $1.35$1.467.8%
Milk $2.50$2.366.1%
Potatoes $3.64$3.0618.9%
Pizza $9.27$9.240.3%
Beer $8.62$8.630.1%

Health Care

ItemRaleighNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $98.75$99.781.0%
Doctor $95.79$105.038.8%
Dentist $98.29$88.7010.8%
Ibuprofen $9.61$9.412.1%
Lipitor $258.40$298.5013.4%


ItemRaleighNational avg.Difference
Home Price $205,200.00$175,700.0016.8%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $797.74$1,081.0326.2%
Apartment Rent $914.00$920.000.7%


ItemRaleighNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.22$2.096.3%
Tire Balancing $35.50$45.2921.6%


ItemRaleighNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$147.80$170.8013.5%
Phone $31.99$28.2613.2%
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.
Clayton, NC17,27498-2%
Garner, NC26,72398-2%
Knightdale, NC12,69299-1%
Durham, NC240,10798-2%
Fuquay-Varina, NC20,2461022%
Raleigh, NC423,2871033%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Miami, FL416,4321099%
Colorado Springs, CO433,54799-1%
Omaha, NE435,45490-10%
Atlanta, GA440,6411066%
Oakland, CA402,33914646%
Raleigh, NC423,2871033%
Source: The Raleigh, NC cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.