Wausau 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 index8698100
Goods & Services index93100100
Groceries index95100100
Health care index109112100
Housing index6791100
Transportation index9799100
Utilities index91102100
The above illustration supplies generalized information for the Wausau, WI cost of living index. Compared to other cities in Wisconsin and cities across the country, the cost of living index in Wausau, WI is 86, which is 12% lower than the Wisconsin average and 14% lower than that for the entire country. The index is comprised of the following criteria: cost of retail goods and services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), cost of public/private transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). Everyday goods and services, along with housing account for 63 percent of the total cost of living index. Goods and services that are a necessity regardless of location provide an accurate general sense of the cost of living in one city versus another. As seen above, the cost of retail goods and services in Wausau, WI are 7% lower than the average for Wisconsin and 8% lower than the rest of the country.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Wausau is 12% lower than the Wisconsin average.
  • The cost of living in Wausau is 14% lower than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Wausau is 33% lower than the national average.
  • Wisconsin general sales tax is 2% lower than the national average.
  • Wisconsin state income tax is 98% higher than the national average.

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Compare Wausau, WI 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
The salary calculator is used in order to provide a comparison of your current salary in Wausau, WI to another city of your choice. The calculator will inform you of what your salary needs to be in any specific city in order for you to maintain your living standard based on what the city’s cost of living is. As an example, if you are seeking to move to a city that has a higher cost of living compared to Wausau, WI, you would have to earn a higher income to maintain a standard of living that is similar. To get started with the Wausau, WI salary calculator, input the new city’s name and then move the slider to indicate your current income. The salary calculator will now process the numbers and show you whether you need to earn more or less in the chosen city. A comprehensive breakdown of the cost of living will also be shown.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
If you want to find a good determining factor for the cost of living and the general affordability of housing in Wausau, WI, 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 Wausau, WI, the median monthly income is $55,154 for those who own their own homes. Under the standard rule, that income level would allow for $1,287 to be budgeted for housing expenses each month, at the most. Renters, on the other hand, earn about $23,414, per the median income in the area. That would allow for renters to spend up to $546 on monthly rental expenses.

Wisconsin Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

Wisconsin Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
When considering the overall cost of living expenses in Wausau, WI, it's important to take into account the sales tax for Wisconsin, as well as the rate for income tax in Wisconsin. Goods and services sold to consumers in any state have some form of sales tax. Each state has its own tax code, which means that sales tax rates vary from state to state, ranging from over 7% in some states to as low as 0% in others. The maximum surtax for Wisconsin is 5.6%, and the sales tax in the state of Wisconsin is 5%. Alternatively, the tax imposed on your income by the state government is known as income tax. The rate for this tax also varies from state to state, and your rate is affected by your tax bracket, which is determined by your level of income. Income tax rates might be as high as 9%, down to as low as 0%. The range for income tax rates in Wisconsin starts from 4.4% and goes up to 7.65%.

Goods & Services

ItemWausauNational avg.Difference
Haircut $13.65$14.596.5%
Beauty Salon $28.33$34.6818.3%
Toothpaste $2.18$2.4711.9%
Shampoo $0.95$1.027.0%
Movie $9.00$9.878.8%
Bowling $3.25$4.3926.0%


ItemWausauNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.74$4.485.9%
Fried Chicken $1.36$1.467.1%
Milk $2.51$2.366.5%
Potatoes $2.52$3.0617.7%
Pizza $9.00$9.242.6%
Beer $7.64$8.6311.5%

Health Care

ItemWausauNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $115.00$99.7815.3%
Doctor $152.90$105.0345.6%
Dentist $81.60$88.708.0%
Ibuprofen $9.05$9.413.8%
Lipitor $282.82$298.505.3%


ItemWausauNational avg.Difference
Home Price $113,800.00$175,700.0035.2%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $930.34$1,081.0313.9%
Apartment Rent $653.00$920.0029.0%


ItemWausauNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.20$2.095.2%
Tire Balancing $33.00$45.2927.1%


ItemWausauNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$144.02$170.8015.7%
Phone $28.16$28.260.3%
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.
Schofield, WI2,20486-14%
Mosinee, WI4,00886-14%
Rothschild, WI5,27989-11%
Marathon City, WI1,47289-11%
Weston, WI14,93790-10%
Wausau, WI39,20986-14%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Germantown, TN39,20711212%
Clovis, NM39,20486-14%
Maplewood, MN39,2611044%
North Fort Myers, FL39,14388-12%
Marlborough, MA39,14113535%
Wausau, WI39,20986-14%
Source: The Wausau, WI cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.