San Francisco 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.
IndexSan FranciscoCaliforniaNational
Cost of living index189135100
IndexSan FranciscoCaliforniaNational
Goods & Services index115107100
Groceries index124117100
Health care index119109100
Housing index355189100
Transportation index131125100
Utilities index108116100
Here we can see a simple outline of the cost of living in San Francisco, CA. As you can see, with the average cost of living in San Francisco, CA being 189, that puts it 40% higher than the average of California and 89% 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 San Francisco, CA, the price of goods and services are 8% higher than the average of California as well as 15% higher than the nation's average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in San Francisco is 40% higher than the California average.
  • The cost of living in San Francisco is 89% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in San Francisco is 255% 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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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 allows you to compare how much your current salary in San Francisco, CA would be worth in another city. In other words, the salary calculator will adjust the figure you enter for cost of living so that you can determine how much more or much less you would need to earn while maintaining your current quality of living. If you are considering relocating to a more expensive city than San Francisco, CA, the calculator will tell you how much more you need to earn so you can assess job offers more accurately. The San Francisco, CA salary calculator is easy to use. All you do is enter the name of another city, then move the slider to your current income. After that, the salary calculator will crunch the numbers for you and give you the information you need about the place you are considering going. Additionally, it will show a detailed breakdown of the cost of living.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
The affordability of the housing market in San Francisco, 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 San Francisco, CA homeowners, the median income is $114,469. This indicates that a monthly maximum of $2,671 should be spent by homeowners on all housing related costs. Renters have a median income of $60,149. This indicates that renters should have a maximum of $1,403 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 you are determining the total cost of living in San Francisco, CA you will want to make sure you consider both the California sales tax and the California 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 California is 7.5%, with the highest surtax being 10%. 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 California have a range from 1% to 12.3%.

Goods & Services

ItemSan FranciscoNational avg.Difference
Haircut $18.44$14.5926.4%
Beauty Salon $59.40$34.6871.3%
Toothpaste $3.14$2.4727.0%
Shampoo $1.09$1.026.7%
Movie $11.00$9.8711.5%
Bowling $6.63$4.3951.0%


ItemSan FranciscoNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $3.97$4.4811.3%
Fried Chicken $2.07$1.4641.4%
Milk $2.77$2.3617.5%
Potatoes $3.69$3.0620.5%
Pizza $9.00$9.242.6%
Beer $9.93$8.6315.0%

Health Care

ItemSan FranciscoNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $120.44$99.7820.7%
Doctor $127.57$105.0321.5%
Dentist $122.43$88.7038.0%
Ibuprofen $11.97$9.4127.2%
Lipitor $254.50$298.5014.7%


ItemSan FranciscoNational avg.Difference
Home Price $765,700.00$175,700.00335.8%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $3,294.70$1,081.03204.8%
Apartment Rent $1,533.00$920.0066.6%


ItemSan FranciscoNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.80$2.0933.8%
Tire Balancing $55.37$45.2922.3%


ItemSan FranciscoNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$213.39$170.8024.9%
Phone $24.12$28.2614.6%
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.
San Pablo, CA29,51611515%
Rollingwood, CA2,83211616%
North Richmond, CA3,92612121%
Richmond, CA106,46912727%
Emeryville, CA10,49713636%
San Francisco, CA829,07218989%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Indianapolis, IN835,09788-12%
Jacksonville, FL837,53398-2%
Columbus, OH811,94389-11%
Austin, TX864,2181077%
Fort Worth, TX778,57396-4%
San Francisco, CA829,07218989%
Source: The San Francisco, CA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.