Overall 92%
Goods & Services 19%
Housing 247%
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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 living192140100
Goods & Services119109100
Health care122109100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Berkeley is 37% higher than the California average
  • The cost of living in Berkeley is 92% higher than the national average
  • Berkeley housing is 247% higher than the national average
  • California general sales tax is 42% higher than the national average
  • California state income tax is 59% lower than the national average

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Compare Berkeley, CA Cost of Living

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      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)
      The affordability of the housing market in Berkeley, CA as well as the overall cost of living can be predicted by what percent of the monthly income is spent on housing related costs. This is konwn as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). The overall rule of thumb is that no more than 28% of your gross income should be spent on the overall costs related to housing and no more than 36% of gross income on all expenses and debts. Among Berkeley homeowners, the median income is $128,089. This indicates that a monthly maximum of $2,989 should be spent by homeowners on all housing related costs. Renters have a median income of $42,029. This indicates that renters would have a maximum of $981 for their rent related monthly costs.

      California Sales Tax

      StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

      California Income Tax

      StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)

      Goods & Services

      ItemBerkeleyNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $21.17$20.274.4%
      Beauty Salon $71.31$40.3976.5%
      Toothpaste $3.06$2.3629.7%
      Shampoo $1.36$1.0826.0%
      Movie $14.19$10.9929.2%
      Bowling $20.50$15.4932.3%


      ItemBerkeleyNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $4.24$4.301.3%
      Fried Chicken $1.82$1.4030.3%
      Milk $2.78$2.2026.2%
      Potatoes $2.98$3.227.5%
      Pizza $12.93$10.7420.4%
      Beer $10.32$9.607.5%

      Health Care

      ItemBerkeleyNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $132.96$109.7321.2%
      Doctor $139.84$118.3418.2%
      Dentist $138.42$100.9437.1%
      Ibuprofen $12.22$9.9323.0%
      Lipitor $473.62$469.530.9%


      ItemBerkeleyNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $795,200.00$184,700.00330.5%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $2,714.78$1,229.62120.8%
      Apartment Rent $1,434.00$949.0051.1%


      ItemBerkeleyNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $3.95$2.7145.7%
      Tire Balancing $68.02$51.8631.2%


      ItemBerkeleyNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$266.98$170.8456.3%
      Phone $185.39$187.181.0%
      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

      CityPopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Strawberry CDP (Tuolumne County), CA11612828.5%
      Rollingwood, CA3,23112323.4%
      Port Costa, CA22812423.5%
      San Pablo, CA29,99112423.8%
      Montalvin Manor, CA3,17412524.9%
      Berkeley, CA118,58519291.9%

      Cities with similar population

      CityPopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Waterloo, ON118,234n/a 
      Norman, OK118,974919.3%
      Ann Arbor, MI118,08711111.5%
      Terrebonne, QC119,135n/a 
      Beaumont, TX117,7298713.5%
      Berkeley, CA118,58519291.9%
      Source: This data reflects 2021 and was released from C2ER in January, 2022; this is the most current data available.