Sterling 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 index121108100
Goods & Services index92100100
Groceries index11394100
Health care index8699100
Housing index172133100
Transportation index10893100
Utilities index101100100
A general overview of the cost of living index for Sterling, VA is displayed above. In Sterling, VA, the overall cost of living index is 121, which is 12% higher than the Virginia average and 21% 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 Sterling, VA, the city's goods and services are 8% lower than the Virginia average and 8% lower than the U.S. average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Sterling is 12% higher than the Virginia average.
  • The cost of living in Sterling is 21% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Sterling is 72% higher than the national average.
  • Virginia general sales tax is 4% higher than the national average.
  • Virginia state income tax is 10% lower than the national average.

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Salary Calculator

This is how much you would need to earn in
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Health care index
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Use the salary calculator to compare your current income in Sterling, VA to any other city in the country. The calculator will tell you how much income you would need to make in a particular city to live at the same level based on the cost of living in each city. For example, if the cost of living in the city you are looking to move to is higher than that of Sterling, VA, then you would need to earn a higher salary in order to enjoy the same standard of living. To use the Sterling, VA salary calculator, enter the name of the new city, then move the slider to your current salary level. The salary calculator will do the rest and let you know if your salary would need to increase or decrease for the new city. You will also see a complete overview of the cost of living.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
How much of your monthly income goes to housing can tell you whether or not you can afford housing in Sterling, VA, as well as what the average cost of living is. Generally, a good rule to follow is that the debt-to-income (DTI) level you want to maintain is 28 percent or less of your income on your rent or mortgage payment and not more than 36 percent of income on all expenses and debts. In Sterling, VA homeowners have a median income of $98,808. Using that number, you will come up with a maximum of $2,305 per month that can be spent on the cost of housing. For those who are renting instead of owning, the median income is $61,293, which means there is a maximum of $1,430 to be spent on the costs of renting a home or apartment.

Virginia Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

Virginia Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
One thing to keep in mind when considering the cost of living in Sterling, VA is the Virginia sales tax and Virginia 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 Virginia sales tax rate is 5.3% and the maximum surtax that can be charged is 6%. 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 Virginia income tax rates range from 2% to 5.75%.

Goods & Services

ItemSterlingNational avg.Difference
Haircut $15.75$14.597.9%
Beauty Salon $47.00$34.6835.5%
Toothpaste $2.18$2.4711.9%
Shampoo $0.99$1.023.1%
Movie $11.94$9.8721.0%
Bowling $5.30$4.3920.7%


ItemSterlingNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $2.99$4.4833.2%
Fried Chicken $1.59$1.468.6%
Milk $2.65$2.3612.4%
Potatoes $3.69$3.0620.5%
Pizza $8.00$9.2413.4%
Beer $8.59$8.630.5%

Health Care

ItemSterlingNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $71.67$99.7828.2%
Doctor $64.00$105.0339.1%
Dentist $81.75$88.707.8%
Ibuprofen $10.83$9.4115.1%
Lipitor $293.64$298.501.6%


ItemSterlingNational avg.Difference
Home Price $300,900.00$175,700.0071.3%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $2,313.93$1,081.03114.0%
Apartment Rent $1,584.00$920.0072.2%


ItemSterlingNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.28$2.099.0%
Tire Balancing $48.00$45.296.0%


ItemSterlingNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$178.68$170.804.6%
Phone $26.86$28.264.9%
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.
Yorkshire, VA8,09111111%
Montgomery Village, MD33,02711515%
Woodlawn CDP (Fairfax County), VA20,81111515%
Seven Corners, VA8,34312020%
Oak Grove, VA1,62512222%
Sterling, VA29,01612121%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Austintown, OH29,03478-22%
Elmira, NY29,04687-13%
Lake Magdalene, FL28,96698-2%
Schererville, IN29,0821088%
Princeton, NJ28,94018181%
Sterling, VA29,01612121%
Source: The Sterling, VA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2016.