Santa Monica 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 MonicaCaliforniaNational
Cost of living index211135100
IndexSanta MonicaCaliforniaNational
Goods & Services index105107100
Groceries index106117100
Health care index109109100
Housing index450189100
Transportation index120125100
Utilities index112116100
Here we can see a simple outline of the cost of living in Santa Monica, CA. As you can see, with the average cost of living in Santa Monica, CA being 211, that puts it 56% higher than the average of California and 111% 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 Monica, CA, the price of goods and services are 1% lower than the average of California as well as 5% higher than the nation's average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Santa Monica is 56% higher than the California average.
  • The cost of living in Santa Monica is 111% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Santa Monica is 350% 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 Monica, CA 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
Using the salary calculator lets you compare the salary you earn in Santa Monica, CA to what it is in other cities. It will let you know what your earnings would have to be in another city to have the same standard of living, as determined by the cost of living in each city. For example, if the cost of living in the area you want to move to is higher than the cost of living in Santa Monica, CA, you have to earn a higher income in order to still have the same standard of living. To operate the Santa Monica, CA salary calculator, put in the name of the other city, then move the slider to the point that represents the current income. The salary calculator will take care of the rest and tell you how much more or less you must earn in the new city. A Total breakdown of the cost of living is also provided.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
Owners$134,807$11,234$3,145$4,045
Renters$61,846$5,154$1,443$1,856
One can approximate the cost of living and the housing affordability in Santa Monica, CA 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 Santa Monica, CA have a median income of $134,807. Therefore, the amount that a consumer should spend on housing costs should be no more than $3,145 per month to avoid calamity and poverty. The renters in the city have an income of about $61,846, which would make their monthly maximum allowable rental costs $1,443.

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 Monica, 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 MonicaNational avg.Difference
Haircut $18.32$14.5925.5%
Beauty Salon $63.86$34.6884.1%
Toothpaste $2.90$2.4717.3%
Shampoo $1.11$1.028.6%
Movie $14.20$9.8743.9%
Bowling $6.63$4.3951.0%

Groceries

ItemSanta MonicaNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.16$4.487.1%
Fried Chicken $1.74$1.4618.8%
Milk $2.62$2.3611.2%
Potatoes $2.99$3.062.3%
Pizza $8.00$9.2413.4%
Beer $9.38$8.638.7%

Health Care

ItemSanta MonicaNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $126.07$99.7826.3%
Doctor $97.27$105.037.4%
Dentist $110.00$88.7024.0%
Ibuprofen $12.16$9.4129.2%
Lipitor $280.93$298.505.9%

Housing

ItemSanta MonicaNational avg.Difference
Home Price $1,000,001.00$175,700.00469.2%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $2,080.63$1,081.0392.5%
Apartment Rent $1,583.00$920.0072.1%

Transportation

ItemSanta MonicaNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.63$2.0925.7%
Tire Balancing $46.96$45.293.7%

Utilities

ItemSanta MonicaNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$183.94$170.807.7%
Phone $33.30$28.2617.8%
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.
Willowbrook, CA20,89711313%
Florence-Graham, CA62,81511414%
Compton, CA97,66311515%
West Rancho Dominguez, CA21,73911616%
Walnut Park, CA16,03912121%
Santa Monica, CA91,619211111%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Federal Way, WA91,67611515%
Hesperia, CA91,7571055%
Lynn, MA91,28912828%
Westminster, CA91,25514444%
Sparks, NV92,2361066%
Santa Monica, CA91,619211111%
Source: The Santa Monica, CA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.