Santa Barbara 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.
IndexSanta BarbaraCaliforniaNational
Cost of living index189135100
IndexSanta BarbaraCaliforniaNational
Goods & Services index100107100
Groceries index106117100
Health care index102109100
Housing index383189100
Transportation index115125100
Utilities index119116100
Here we can see a simple outline of the cost of living in Santa Barbara, CA. As you can see, with the average cost of living in Santa Barbara, 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 Santa Barbara, CA, the price of goods and services are 7% lower than the average of California as well as equal to the nation's average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Santa Barbara is 40% higher than the California average.
  • The cost of living in Santa Barbara is 89% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Santa Barbara is 283% 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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Compare Santa Barbara, CA Cost of living To Other Cities

Salary Calculator

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Groceries index
Health care index
Housing index
Transportation index
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Use the salary calculator to compare your current salary in Santa Barbara, CA 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 Santa Barbara, CA, then you would need to earn more income in order to maintain the same standard of living. To use the Santa Barbara, CA 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$106,549$8,879$2,486$3,197
Renters$48,062$4,005$1,121$1,442
If you want to find a good determining factor for the cost of living and the general affordability of housing in Santa Barbara, CA, all you must look at is the percentage of monthly income that should be spent on housing expenses, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Generally speaking, no more than 28 percent of your total gross income should be spent on your housing expenses and not more than 36 percent of your gross income on total expenses, including debts. In Santa Barbara, CA, the median monthly income is $106,549 for those who own their own homes. Under the standard rule, that income level would allow for $2,486 to be budgeted for housing expenses each month, at the most. Renters, on the other hand, earn about $48,062, per the median income in the area. That would allow for renters to spend up to $1,121 on monthly rental expenses.

California Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
California7.5%10%

California Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
California1%12.3%
One thing to keep in mind when considering the cost of living in Santa Barbara, CA is the California sales tax and California 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 California sales tax rate is 7.5% and the maximum surtax that can be charged is 10%. 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 California income tax rates range from 1% to 12.3%.

Goods & Services

ItemSanta BarbaraNational avg.Difference
Haircut $12.00$14.5917.8%
Beauty Salon $46.67$34.6834.6%
Toothpaste $2.67$2.478.0%
Shampoo $1.09$1.026.7%
Movie $8.83$9.8710.5%
Bowling $4.50$4.392.5%

Groceries

ItemSanta BarbaraNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.62$4.483.2%
Fried Chicken $1.39$1.465.1%
Milk $2.25$2.364.5%
Potatoes $3.49$3.0614.0%
Pizza $8.99$9.242.7%
Beer $8.65$8.630.2%

Health Care

ItemSanta BarbaraNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $94.50$99.785.3%
Doctor $102.67$105.032.3%
Dentist $97.00$88.709.4%
Ibuprofen $11.98$9.4127.3%
Lipitor $258.91$298.5013.3%

Housing

ItemSanta BarbaraNational avg.Difference
Home Price $837,200.00$175,700.00376.5%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,207.72$1,081.0311.7%
Apartment Rent $1,517.00$920.0064.9%

Transportation

ItemSanta BarbaraNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.51$2.0920.0%
Tire Balancing $46.33$45.292.3%

Utilities

ItemSanta BarbaraNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$246.03$170.8044.0%
Phone $23.95$28.2615.2%
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.
Isla Vista, CA24,79213131%
Carpinteria, CA13,32315656%
Goleta, CA30,33316363%
Toro Canyon, CA1,476205105%
Summerland, CA1,575206106%
Santa Barbara, CA89,66918989%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Sandy, UT89,52111313%
Allen, TX89,84511313%
Toms River, NJ89,45912424%
Lawrence, KS90,19498-2%
League City, TX88,979100-0%
Santa Barbara, CA89,66918989%
Source: The Santa Barbara, CA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.