Overall 18%
Goods & Services 5%
Housing 50%
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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.
IndexBuffaloNew YorkNational
Cost of living82119100
Goods & Services95110100
Health care89101100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Buffalo is 32% lower than the New York average
  • The cost of living in Buffalo is 18% lower than the national average
  • Buffalo housing is 50% lower than the national average
  • New York general sales tax is 21% lower than the national average
  • New York state income tax is 62% higher than the national average

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Compare Buffalo, NY 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)
      A good way to judge both the affordability of the housing and the cost of living in Buffalo 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. Buffalo has a median income of about $52,050 for people who own homes. Based on that number, a maximum of $1,214 should be spent on expenses related to housing. Renters have a slightly different median income, which is $22,316. Based on this average, renters should spend no more than $521 on all rental costs if they want to maintain a non-impoverished standard of living.

      New York Sales Tax

      StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
      New York4%8.875%

      New York Income Tax

      StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
      New York4%8.82%

      Goods & Services

      ItemBuffaloNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $18.56$20.278.4%
      Beauty Salon $39.63$40.391.9%
      Toothpaste $1.96$2.3616.8%
      Shampoo $0.98$1.088.6%
      Movie $11.21$10.992.0%
      Bowling $14.11$15.498.9%


      ItemBuffaloNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $3.84$4.3010.6%
      Fried Chicken $1.26$1.4010.2%
      Milk $2.34$2.206.1%
      Potatoes $2.95$3.228.5%
      Pizza $10.99$10.742.3%
      Beer $10.07$9.604.9%

      Health Care

      ItemBuffaloNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $72.83$109.7333.6%
      Doctor $86.85$118.3426.6%
      Dentist $98.38$100.942.5%
      Ibuprofen $8.81$9.9311.3%
      Lipitor $497.50$469.536.0%


      ItemBuffaloNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $72,600.00$184,700.0060.7%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,249.17$1,229.621.6%
      Apartment Rent $710.00$949.0025.2%


      ItemBuffaloNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $2.73$2.710.8%
      Tire Balancing $45.17$51.8612.9%


      ItemBuffaloNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$158.42$170.847.3%
      Phone $192.72$187.183.0%
      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.
      Niagara Falls, NY49,1808119.3%
      Sloan, NY3,6068118.7%
      Lackawanna, NY17,9928218.0%
      Blasdell, NY2,6168416.5%
      Tonawanda city, NY14,9918416.3%
      Buffalo, NY258,9898218.4%

      Cities with similar population

      CityPopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Burnaby, BC258,827n/a 
      Kitchener, ON259,162n/a 
      Chula Vista, CA260,59813939.1%
      Fort Wayne, IN260,9548613.6%
      Jersey City, NJ261,66613939.4%
      Buffalo, NY258,9898218.4%
      Source: This data reflects 2021 and was released from C2ER in January, 2022; this is the most current data available.