An Overview of Cost of Living in Arlington, VA
Getting a feel for the cost of living in Arlington is essential for anyone planning to relocate, as it empowers them to make informed financial decisions, secure a comfortable lifestyle and maintain financial stability in their new environment. The cost of living in Arlington is 177, which is 77% higher than the national average. Relocating individuals may need to adjust their savings and investment strategies based on the cost of living in the new location. It influences decisions about retirement planning, investments and financial goals.
If you're in pursuit of an economical living environment, Arlington may not fit the bill, as it ranks among the most expensive places to reside in the United States. Just a minority of regions exhibit a cost of living that is more than 20% higher than the national average, and, unfortunately, Arlington falls within this bracket.
Housing costs are a major factor in the Arlington cost of living index, and they often eat up a big chunk of your take-home pay. Unfortunately, in this area, housing expenses for both homeownership and rentals were 240.7% higher than what's typical in an average city. That includes the prices of homes and rents, as well as mortgage rates and insurance.
The substantial and relentless rise in grocery prices definitely warrants some attention. Over the past two years, grocery expenses have escalated by more than 10%. Having said that, the situation in Arlington is even less favorable, with grocery prices here being 13.9% higher than the national average.
Is Arlington Affordable?
Is Arlington an affordable place to live? It's a good question and one that you might want to ask when considering any new city, as affordability can play a huge role in the decision making process. The cost of living index (which we covered above), as well as housing costs and income levels play a vital role in determining the affordability of an area. The median home price in Arlington is 296.2% higher than the national average, while the average monthly rent prices are 111.3% higher than average. The affordability of any location can also be influenced by median income levels. Arlington has a median household income of $122,604, which is 121.6% higher than the national average.
What Factors can Influence the Cost of Living in Arlington?
Transportation: In cities with limited or no public transportation, residents may find it necessary to own and maintain vehicles, thereby elevating the cost of living. Monthly expenditures include fuel, insurance, routine maintenance and potential lease or financing commitments. In Arlington, the transportation index stands at 0.5% lower than the national average.
Taxes: Cities that impose higher taxes, including sales and income taxes, can contribute to an escalated cost of living. The added expense of taxes on everyday goods like clothing and food naturally results in higher overall costs. Similarly, a higher income tax rate can further elevate the cost of living. In Arlington, the general sales tax rate starts at 5.3%, and income tax rates begin at 2%.
Utilities: Similar to the prices of any goods or services, utility expenses can fluctuate widely, contingent on variables such as climate, available energy sources, geographical location and state regulations. Costs associated with electricity, water, heating, and waste disposal can differ in magnitude, depending on the specific city or state. In Arlington, the utilities index registers at 1% higher than the national average.
Where is the Data From?
The Arlington cost of living data displayed above is derived from the C2ER cost of living index to provide a useful and reasonably accurate measure of living cost differences in urban areas. The index takes into account data from 300 independent researches, covering more than 60 goods and services across 6 different categories, to create an overall index for each area, with 100 being the average. The C2ER index does not include sales or income tax rates in their data, however AreaVibes does include both income and sales tax rates in the overall cost of living score for each area.