Reading 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 index154130100
Goods & Services index127111100
Groceries index108113100
Health care index124111100
Housing index219167100
Transportation index116117100
Utilities index156126100
A general overview of the cost of living index for Reading, MA is displayed above. In Reading, MA, the overall cost of living index is 154, which is 18% higher than the Massachusetts average and 54% 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 Reading, MA, the city's goods and services are 15% higher than the Massachusetts average and 27% higher than the U.S. average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Reading is 18% higher than the Massachusetts average.
  • The cost of living in Reading is 54% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Reading is 119% higher than the national average.
  • Massachusetts general sales tax is 23% higher than the national average.
  • Massachusetts state income tax is 132% higher than the national average.

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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 Reading, MA 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 Reading, MA, you would have to earn a higher income to maintain a standard of living that is similar. To get started with the Reading, MA 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)
One can approximate the cost of living and the housing affordability in Reading, MA 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 Reading, MA have a median income of $116,695. Therefore, the amount that a consumer should spend on housing costs should be no more than $2,723 per month to avoid calamity and poverty. The renters in the city have an income of about $55,024, which would make their monthly maximum allowable rental costs $1,284.

Massachusetts Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

Massachusetts Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
One thing to keep in mind when considering the cost of living in Reading, MA is the Massachusetts sales tax and Massachusetts income tax rates. Sales taxes are taxes that are collected on most goods or services sold. Sales taxes can vary by state and can be as high as 7% and as low as 0% as not every state imposes a sales tax. The Massachusetts sales tax rate is 6.25% and the maximum surtax that can be charged is 6.25%. Income tax is the tax imposed on income by both the federal and state government. The income tax rates varies by individual state and will also be higher or lower depending on the applicable tax bracket. The rates of state income tax can vary from 0% to more than 9%. The Massachusetts income tax rates range from 5.15% to 5.15%.

Goods & Services

ItemReadingNational avg.Difference
Haircut $19.67$14.5934.8%
Beauty Salon $54.00$34.6855.7%
Toothpaste $2.54$2.472.7%
Shampoo $1.00$1.022.2%
Movie $11.69$9.8718.5%
Bowling $5.75$4.3930.9%


ItemReadingNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.49$4.480.3%
Fried Chicken $1.67$1.4614.1%
Milk $2.29$2.362.8%
Potatoes $3.29$3.067.5%
Pizza $10.00$9.248.2%
Beer $8.99$8.634.1%

Health Care

ItemReadingNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $113.50$99.7813.8%
Doctor $151.00$105.0343.8%
Dentist $115.00$88.7029.6%
Ibuprofen $9.74$9.413.5%
Lipitor $310.83$298.504.1%


ItemReadingNational avg.Difference
Home Price $447,700.00$175,700.00154.8%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,761.00$1,081.0362.9%
Apartment Rent $1,248.00$920.0035.7%


ItemReadingNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.35$2.0912.3%
Tire Balancing $57.29$45.2926.5%


ItemReadingNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$292.18$170.8071.1%
Phone $38.25$28.2635.4%
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.
Lawrence, MA77,36412323%
Lowell, MA108,49112525%
Lynn, MA91,28912828%
Chelsea, MA37,08413131%
Methuen Town, MA48,15912424%
Reading, MA25,17615454%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Hazleton, PA25,17989-11%
Belmont, MA25,17318383%
Key West, FL25,18714141%
Burlington, MA25,19015454%
South Portland, ME25,15411616%
Reading, MA25,17615454%
Source: The Reading, MA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.