Overall 66%
Goods & Services 14%
Housing 195%
Date & Last Updated: This data reflects 2020 and was released from C2ER in January, 2021; this is the most current data available.
The cost of living index is based on a national average of 100. For example, if the cost of living is 90, then it is 10% lower than average. If the cost of living is 110, then it is 10% higher than average. The breakdown for each index is as follows: goods & services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). If the cost of living data was unavailable for this city, estimates based upon nearby cities were used.
Cost of living166107100
Goods & Services11499100
Health care95100100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Arlington is 54% higher than the Virginia average
  • The cost of living in Arlington is 66% higher than the national average
  • Arlington housing is 195% higher than the national average
  • Virginia general sales tax is 4% higher than the national average
  • Virginia state income tax is 19% lower than the national average

Most Affordable Places to Live in and Around Arlington

See all the best places to live around Arlington

Compare Arlington, VA Cost of Living

      How would you rate the cost of living in Arlington?
      Write a review to give others more information about this area.
      Is the cost of living increasing or decreasing in Arlington?
      Write a review to give others more information about this area.
      See all Arlington poll results

      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

      Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

      Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
      A good way to judge both the affordability of the housing and the cost of living in Arlington is by simply calculating the maximum that should be spent on housing, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). The plan is to avoid spending more than 28 percent of the gross income on costs that pertain to housing and no more than 36 percent on all expenses and debts. Arlington has a median income of about $154,479 for people who own homes. Based on that number, a maximum of $3,604 should be spent on expenses related to housing. Renters have a slightly different median income, which is $84,585. Based on this average, renters should spend no more than $1,974 on all rental costs if they want to maintain a non-impoverished standard of living.

      Virginia Sales Tax

      StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

      Virginia Income Tax

      StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)

      Goods & Services

      ItemArlingtonNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $26.08$18.6240.0%
      Beauty Salon $63.44$39.0562.5%
      Toothpaste $3.19$2.3436.4%
      Shampoo $1.00$1.065.0%
      Movie $13.15$10.6823.1%
      Bowling $22.00$14.6750.0%


      ItemArlingtonNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $4.79$4.2213.5%
      Fried Chicken $1.59$1.3914.7%
      Milk $2.61$2.0527.5%
      Potatoes $4.46$3.2935.7%
      Pizza $11.99$10.6212.9%
      Beer $11.41$9.3821.6%

      Health Care

      ItemArlingtonNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $90.67$108.5716.5%
      Doctor $103.89$116.1710.6%
      Dentist $99.00$99.130.1%
      Ibuprofen $11.05$9.6814.2%
      Lipitor $408.92$466.9212.4%


      ItemArlingtonNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $623,300.00$184,700.00237.5%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $3,096.05$1,197.42158.6%
      Apartment Rent $1,861.00$949.0096.1%


      ItemArlingtonNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $2.30$2.223.6%
      Tire Balancing $52.00$50.073.9%


      ItemArlingtonNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$160.85$167.674.1%
      Phone $177.97$175.641.3%
      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.
      Rose Hill CDP (Lee County), VA70891-9%
      Woodlawn CDP (Carroll County), VA2,24793-7%
      Wakefield town, VA81098-2%
      Belle Haven town, VA5621000%
      Cottage City, MD1,2091099%
      Arlington, VA226,09216666%

      Cities with similar population

      City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Gilbert, AZ226,83211212%
      Fremont, CA227,93418787%
      Baton Rouge, LA228,69494-6%
      Paradise, NV229,6661000%
      North Las Vegas, NV230,4361011%
      Arlington, VA226,09216666%
      Source: The Arlington, VA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2020.