F
Overall 29%
Goods & Services 3%
Housing 89%
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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.
IndexColumbiaMarylandNational
Cost of living129119100
Goods & Services103105100
Groceries110110100
Health care8183100
Housing189150100
Transportation102107100
Utilities106105100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Columbia is 9% higher than the Maryland average
  • The cost of living in Columbia is 29% higher than the national average
  • Columbia housing is 89% higher than the national average
  • Maryland general sales tax is 18% higher than the national average
  • Maryland state income tax is 19% lower than the national average

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Compare Columbia, MD Cost of Living

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      Salary Calculator

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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)
      Owners$125,047$10,421$2,918$3,752
      Renters$69,921$5,827$1,631$2,098
      The percent of monthly income spent on housing can be a good indicator of the affordability of housing in Columbia, MD, as well as the overall cost of living. As a general rule of thumb, the debt-to-income ratio (DTI) for homeowners or renters should be not more than 28 percent of gross income to be spent on housing related costs and not more than 36 percent of income on all expenses, including debts. The median income for Columbia homeowners, is $125,047. This would allow for a maximum of $2,918 per month to be spent on housing costs. For renters, the median monthly income is $69,921 which would result in a maximum of $1,631 to be spent on rental costs.

      Maryland Sales Tax

      StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
      Maryland6%6%

      Maryland Income Tax

      StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
      Maryland2%5.75%

      Goods & Services

      ItemColumbiaNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $23.75$20.2717.2%
      Beauty Salon $55.39$40.3937.1%
      Toothpaste $2.74$2.3616.1%
      Shampoo $1.11$1.082.8%
      Movie $13.91$10.9926.6%
      Bowling $16.17$15.494.4%

      Groceries

      ItemColumbiaNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $4.03$4.306.1%
      Fried Chicken $1.53$1.409.3%
      Milk $2.57$2.2016.7%
      Potatoes $3.63$3.2212.8%
      Pizza $11.32$10.745.4%
      Beer $9.49$9.601.1%

      Health Care

      ItemColumbiaNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $82.95$109.7324.4%
      Doctor $82.95$118.3429.9%
      Dentist $84.98$100.9415.8%
      Ibuprofen $10.13$9.932.0%
      Lipitor $370.40$469.5321.1%

      Housing

      ItemColumbiaNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $364,900.00$184,700.0097.6%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,299.62$1,229.625.7%
      Apartment Rent $1,604.00$949.0069.0%

      Transportation

      ItemColumbiaNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $2.70$2.710.4%
      Tire Balancing $54.77$51.865.6%

      Utilities

      ItemColumbiaNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$181.84$170.846.4%
      Phone $195.41$187.184.4%
      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.
      Baltimore, MD621,000991.3%
      Lansdowne, MD8,3651000.1%
      Lochearn, MD25,8781044.3%
      Brooklyn Park, MD14,1591065.8%
      Milford Mill, MD30,6501066.4%
      Columbia, MD103,43912928.8%

      Cities with similar population

      CityPopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Santa Maria, CA103,64212020.5%
      Spring Hill, FL102,9299010.3%
      El Cajon, CA102,89413333.3%
      Lakeland, FL102,7148911.3%
      Rialto, CA102,41811414.2%
      Columbia, MD103,43912928.8%
      Source: This data reflects 2021 and was released from C2ER in January, 2022; this is the most current data available.