Seattle 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.
IndexSeattleWashingtonNational
Cost of living index143112100
IndexSeattleWashingtonNational
Goods & Services index114104100
Groceries index120102100
Health care index119116100
Housing index211135100
Transportation index119108100
Utilities index9983100
Displayed above is a general overview of the Seattle, WA cost of living index. The overall cost of living index in Seattle, WA is 143, which is 28% higher than the Washington average and 43% higher than the national average. The cost of living index is created from the following categories: goods/services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). As you can see, goods/services and housing make up the majority of the overall cost of living index. Everyday goods and services can be a good indicator of the general cost of goods in a given city. In this case, the goods and services in Seattle, WA are 10% higher than the Washington average and 14% higher than the national average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Seattle is 28% higher than the Washington average.
  • The cost of living in Seattle is 43% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Seattle is 111% higher than the national average.
  • Washington general sales tax is 28% higher than the national average.
  • Washington state income tax is 100% 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 is meant to help you compare your salary in Seattle, WA 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 Seattle, WA, you'll have to make more money in the new city in order to maintain the lifestyle you currently enjoy. To use the Seattle, WA 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)
Owners$103,973$8,664$2,426$3,120
Renters$45,717$3,810$1,067$1,372
One can approximate the cost of living and the housing affordability in Seattle, WA 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 Seattle, WA have a median income of $103,973. Therefore, the amount that a consumer should spend on housing costs should be no more than $2,426 per month to avoid calamity and poverty. The renters in the city have an income of about $45,717, which would make their monthly maximum allowable rental costs $1,067.

Washington Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
Washington6.5%9.6%

Washington Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
Washington0%0%
For those who live in Seattle, WA and want to know what the true cost of living is, they ought to look at both the Washington income tax rate and the Washington sales tax rate. By sales tax, we mean the taxes that are included whenever a person is purchasing any goods or services. The amount that is taxed depends upon the particular state, where some states have a sales tax of zero percent while others can have a tax higher than seven percent. In Washington, the sales tax is 6.5%, while the most you'll pay in surtax is 9.6%. There is also income tax to consider, which is based upon the amount of money made in a year. Just like sales tax, income tax depends upon the particular state but also depends upon what tax bracket the person is in. Income tax for the state can be higher than nine percent in some states to zero percent in others. For those that live in Washington, the income tax rate ranges between 0% to 0%.

Goods & Services

ItemSeattleNational avg.Difference
Haircut $19.00$14.5930.2%
Beauty Salon $55.00$34.6858.6%
Toothpaste $3.63$2.4746.8%
Shampoo $0.99$1.023.1%
Movie $11.33$9.8714.8%
Bowling $7.00$4.3959.4%

Groceries

ItemSeattleNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $3.89$4.4813.1%
Fried Chicken $1.99$1.4635.9%
Milk $1.99$2.3615.6%
Potatoes $2.49$3.0618.7%
Pizza $8.91$9.243.6%
Beer $9.39$8.638.8%

Health Care

ItemSeattleNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $135.00$99.7835.3%
Doctor $110.00$105.034.7%
Dentist $125.00$88.7040.9%
Ibuprofen $10.09$9.417.2%
Lipitor $299.00$298.500.2%

Housing

ItemSeattleNational avg.Difference
Home Price $437,400.00$175,700.00148.9%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,863.61$1,081.0372.4%
Apartment Rent $1,131.00$920.0022.9%

Transportation

ItemSeattleNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.52$2.0920.5%
Tire Balancing $51.80$45.2914.4%

Utilities

ItemSeattleNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$178.75$170.804.7%
Phone $25.95$28.268.2%
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.
Navy Yard City, WA2,5901044%
Bremerton, WA38,66411010%
Burley, WA1,6291088%
Parkwood, WA7,31211212%
East Port Orchard, WA5,09811414%
Seattle, WA637,85014343%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Boston, MA639,59414646%
Denver, CO633,77711010%
Washington, DC633,73613232%
Nashville, TN624,26197-3%
Baltimore, MD622,27196-4%
Seattle, WA637,85014343%
Source: The Seattle, WA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.