Overall 11%
Goods & Services 4%
Housing 32%
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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.
IndexCouncil BluffsIowaNational
Cost of living8989100
Goods & Services9694100
Health care98100100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Council Bluffs is equal to the Iowa average
  • The cost of living in Council Bluffs is 11% lower than the national average
  • Council Bluffs housing is 32% lower than the national average
  • Iowa general sales tax is 18% higher than the national average
  • Iowa state income tax is 87% lower than the national average

Most Affordable Places to Live in and Around Council Bluffs

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Compare Council Bluffs, IA 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 percentage of monthly income spent on housing related expenses can help predict the affordability of housing in Council Bluffs, IA, as well as what the overall cost of living might be. Generally, a good rule to follow is that the debt-to-income (DTI) level you want to maintain is 28 percent or less of your income on your rent or mortgage payments and not more than 36 percent of income on all expenses and debts. In Council Bluffs, homeowners have a median income of $59,684. Using that number, a maximum of $1,393 per month should be allocated to housing expenses. For those who are renting instead of owning, the median income is $31,232, which means there is a maximum of $729 to be spent on the costs of renting a home or apartment.

      Iowa Sales Tax

      StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

      Iowa Income Tax

      StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)

      Goods & Services

      ItemCouncil BluffsNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $18.60$20.278.2%
      Beauty Salon $30.86$40.3923.6%
      Toothpaste $2.39$2.361.2%
      Shampoo $1.06$1.081.8%
      Movie $11.19$10.991.8%
      Bowling $16.52$15.496.6%


      ItemCouncil BluffsNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $4.23$4.301.6%
      Fried Chicken $1.13$1.4019.2%
      Milk $2.07$2.205.9%
      Potatoes $3.19$3.221.0%
      Pizza $9.99$10.747.0%
      Beer $9.13$9.604.9%

      Health Care

      ItemCouncil BluffsNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $108.92$109.730.7%
      Doctor $127.69$118.347.9%
      Dentist $87.99$100.9412.8%
      Ibuprofen $10.25$9.933.2%
      Lipitor $471.59$469.530.4%


      ItemCouncil BluffsNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $113,500.00$184,700.0038.5%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,131.32$1,229.628.0%
      Apartment Rent $781.00$949.0017.7%


      ItemCouncil BluffsNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $2.77$2.712.1%
      Tire Balancing $57.02$51.8610.0%


      ItemCouncil BluffsNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$149.92$170.8412.2%
      Phone $197.81$187.185.7%
      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.
      Richfield, NE164982.4%
      Boys Town, NE907982.4%
      La Platte, NE1247030.0%
      Mineola, IA1118416.3%
      Silver City, IA2248812.3%
      Council Bluffs, IA62,3268911.4%

      Cities with similar population

      CityPopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Dundalk, MD62,337982.0%
      Haverhill, MA62,34011818.0%
      Hamilton, OH62,2598713.3%
      Broomfield, CO62,44911818.4%
      Encinitas, CA62,16019190.9%
      Council Bluffs, IA62,3268911.4%
      Source: This data reflects 2021 and was released from C2ER in January, 2022; this is the most current data available.