D+
19%
Overall NAT. AVG.
3%
Goods & Services NAT. AVG.
62%
Housing NAT. AVG.
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Date & Last Updated: This data reflects 2023 and was released from C2ER in January, 2024; 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.
Index Charlottesville Virginia National
Cost of living119109100
Goods & Services103100100
Groceries99101100
Health care9699100
Housing162130100
Transportation9395100
Utilities105104100

An Overview of Cost of Living in Charlottesville, VA

Are you thinking about relocating, but curious about the potential cost of living in Charlottesville? Is it more expensive or more affordable than average? Based on the most recent report, the cost of living in Charlottesville stands at 119, making it 19% higher than the national average. The cost of living directly affects the affordability of one's desired lifestyle. Knowing the cost of housing, transportation, groceries and other essentials in the new area allows people to gauge whether they can maintain their preferred standard of living.

Housing costs significantly influence the Charlottesville cost of living index, typically accounting for a substantial portion of one's post-tax income. Regrettably, within this particular region, expenses related to both residential ownership and renting exceeded those observed in an average city by 62.3%. This entails elements such as housing and rental prices, mortgage interest rates and insurance costs.

What Do Locals Say About the Cost of Living in Charlottesville?

Nobody knows their city better than the people who actually live there. So, we asked 17 local residents how they would rate the cost of living in Charlottesville and this is how they responded. 41% of people said that the cost of living was affordable, with prices decreasing, while 59% of people said that the cost of living was very expensive and prices continue to rise.

Is Charlottesville Affordable?

Is Charlottesville affordable? It's a key consideration when pondering a move, as affordability often shapes your choices. The cost of living index (we discussed it earlier), coupled with housing costs and income levels, serves as the cornerstone for determining a location's affordability. Take Charlottesville, for instance, where the median home price falls 78.2% higher than the national average, and monthly rent rates are 25.2% higher than usual. Additionally, median income levels contribute to the equation, with Charlottesville flaunting a median household income of $59,598, 7.7% higher than the national norm.

What Factors can Influence the Cost of Living in Charlottesville?

Taxes: Cities that enforce higher taxes, covering both sales taxes and income taxes, can be a factor contributing to a higher cost of living. Paying more in taxes for everyday essentials like clothing and food inevitably leads to higher expenses. A higher income tax rate can further contribute to an overall elevated cost of living. In Charlottesville, the baseline sales tax rate begins at 5.3%, and income tax rates start at 2%.

Subsidies: Some cities and states may extend government subsidies or aid programs aimed at reducing the cost of living for their residents. These initiatives encompass diverse forms of support, including Medicare, Medicaid, housing subsidies, low-income home energy assistance programs, school lunch programs, supplemental nutrition assistance programs, student loans, electric vehicle tax credits, affordable care act subsidies and farm subsidies. Regions with limited subsidy provisions may witness an increase in their overall cost of living.

Transportation: In areas where public transportation is scarce or unavailable, residents often find themselves compelled to own and upkeep vehicles, thereby increasing the overall cost of living. Monthly expenses encompass fuel, insurance, routine maintenance and potentially lease or financing payments. In Charlottesville, the transportation index is 6.7% lower than the national average.

Where is the Data From?

The Charlottesville 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.

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Cost Of Living Quick Facts

  • The cost of living in Charlottesville is 9% higher than the Virginia average
  • The cost of living in Charlottesville is 19% higher than the national average
  • Charlottesville housing is 62% higher than the national average
  • Virginia general sales tax is 4% higher than the national average
  • Virginia state income tax is 11% lower than the national average

Most Affordable Places to Live in and Around Charlottesville

See all the best places to live around Charlottesville

Compare Charlottesville, VA Cost of Living

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      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 Income Per Year Per Month Max Budget (28% DTI) Max Budget (36% DTI)
      Owners$96,695$8,058$2,256$2,901
      Renters$40,966$3,414$956$1,229
      The affordability of the housing market in Charlottesville, VA 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 Charlottesville homeowners, the median income is $96,695. This indicates that a monthly maximum of $2,256 should be spent by homeowners on all housing related costs. Renters have a median income of $40,966. This indicates that renters would have a maximum of $956 for their rent related monthly costs.

      Virginia Sales Tax

      State General Sales Tax With Max Surtax
      Virginia 5.3% 6%

      Virginia Income Tax

      State Income Tax (Low) Income Tax (High)
      Virginia 2% 5.75%

      Goods & Services

      Item Charlottesville National avg. Difference
      Haircut $27.97$24.2615.3%
      Beauty Salon $54.19$45.5618.9%
      Toothpaste $3.81$3.702.9%
      Shampoo $1.71$1.2833.5%
      Movie $15.32$12.1326.3%
      Bowling $25.50$18.0041.7%

      Groceries

      Item Charlottesville National avg. Difference
      Ground Beef $6.34$5.848.5%
      Fried Chicken $1.41$1.5710.4%
      Milk $4.78$4.672.4%
      Potatoes $5.33$4.938.0%
      Pizza $12.47$12.093.2%
      Beer $11.67$10.4112.1%

      Health Care

      Item Charlottesville National avg. Difference
      Optometrist $121.84$125.683.1%
      Doctor $168.85$135.7824.4%
      Dentist $135.19$113.2919.3%
      Ibuprofen $11.86$10.6511.4%
      Lipitor $414.10$468.6011.6%

      Housing

      Item Charlottesville National avg. Difference
      Home Price $329,100.00$184,700.0078.2%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $5,381.45$2,346.69129.3%
      Apartment Rent $1,188.00$949.0025.2%

      Transportation

      Item Charlottesville National avg. Difference
      Gasoline $3.49$3.460.8%
      Tire Balancing $57.76$59.923.6%

      Utilities

      Item Charlottesville National avg. Difference
      All Electricity $201.35$193.993.8%
      Phone $184.83$192.253.9%
      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 Population Cost of Living Index National Avg.
      Free Union, VA861010.9%
      Palmyra, VA921010.9%
      Esmont, VA7331011.2%
      Twin Lakes, VA1,5221022.1%
      Ruckersville, VA1,2361076.9%
      Charlottesville, VA47,21711919.3%

      Cities with similar population

      City Population Cost of Living Index National Avg.
      Glenview, IL47,21814746.5%
      Marana, AZ47,16411717.2%
      Charleston, WV47,273937.5%
      Roseville, MI47,160918.7%
      Burleson, TX47,1511088.1%
      Charlottesville, VA47,21711919.3%
      Date & Last Updated: This data reflects 2023 and was released from C2ER in January, 2024; this is the most current data available.