Salem 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 index135130100
Goods & Services index127111100
Groceries index108113100
Health care index124111100
Housing index156167100
Transportation index116117100
Utilities index156126100
A general overview of the cost of living index for Salem, MA is displayed above. In Salem, MA, the overall cost of living index is 135, which is 4% higher than the Massachusetts average and 35% 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 Salem, 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 Salem is 4% higher than the Massachusetts average.
  • The cost of living in Salem is 35% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Salem is 56% 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.

Find Real Estate Listings In Salem


New Real Estate Listings In Salem

Compare Salem, MA 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 meant to help you compare your salary in Salem, MA 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 Salem, MA, you'll have to make more money in the new city in order to maintain the lifestyle you currently enjoy. To use the Salem, MA 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 affordability of the housing market in Salem, MA 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 Salem, MA homeowners, the median income is $83,094. This indicates that a monthly maximum of $1,939 should be spent by homeowners on all housing related costs. Renters have a median income of $37,328. This indicates that renters should have a maximum of $871 used for their rent related monthly costs.

Massachusetts Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

Massachusetts Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
When assessing the complete cost of living in Salem, MA, the Massachusetts income tax and the Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts maximum surtax is 6.25%, and the Massachusetts sales tax is 6.25%. 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 5.15% to 5.15% in Massachusetts.

Goods & Services

ItemSalemNational 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%


ItemSalemNational 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

ItemSalemNational 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%


ItemSalemNational avg.Difference
Home Price $303,100.00$175,700.0072.5%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,761.00$1,081.0362.9%
Apartment Rent $1,082.00$920.0017.6%


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


ItemSalemNational 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%
Lynn, MA91,28912828%
Chelsea, MA37,08413131%
Revere, MA53,25813636%
Everett, MA42,75813737%
Salem, MA42,32113535%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Cleveland, TN42,33189-11%
Burlington, VT42,34211919%
North Lauderdale, FL42,35495-5%
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA42,282209109%
Dublin, OH42,37811717%
Salem, MA42,32113535%
Source: The Salem, MA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.