Overall 11%
Goods & Services 6%
Housing 26%
Date & Last Updated: This data reflects 2020 and was released from C2ER in January, 2021; 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.
Cost of living8990100
Goods & Services9496100
Health care104100100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Dubuque is equal to the Iowa average
  • The cost of living in Dubuque is 11% lower than the national average
  • Dubuque housing is 26% 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

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Compare Dubuque, 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)
      A good way to judge both the affordability of the housing and the cost of living in Dubuque 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. Dubuque has a median income of about $59,819 for people who own homes. Based on that number, a maximum of $1,396 should be spent on expenses related to housing. Renters have a slightly different median income, which is $27,379. Based on this average, renters should spend no more than $639 on all rental costs if they want to maintain a non-impoverished standard of living.

      Iowa Sales Tax

      StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

      Iowa Income Tax

      StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)

      Goods & Services

      ItemDubuqueNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $18.97$18.621.9%
      Beauty Salon $35.16$39.0510.0%
      Toothpaste $2.75$2.3417.5%
      Shampoo $0.99$1.066.0%
      Movie $8.12$10.6824.0%
      Bowling $16.07$14.679.5%


      ItemDubuqueNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $4.83$4.2214.3%
      Fried Chicken $1.16$1.3916.1%
      Milk $2.27$2.0510.8%
      Potatoes $3.37$3.292.4%
      Pizza $10.01$10.625.7%
      Beer $9.04$9.383.6%

      Health Care

      ItemDubuqueNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $78.00$108.5728.2%
      Doctor $167.88$116.1744.5%
      Dentist $86.00$99.1313.2%
      Ibuprofen $10.77$9.6811.3%
      Lipitor $419.20$466.9210.2%


      ItemDubuqueNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $133,400.00$184,700.0027.8%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $932.80$1,197.4222.1%
      Apartment Rent $728.00$949.0023.3%


      ItemDubuqueNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $2.11$2.225.4%
      Tire Balancing $38.66$50.0722.8%


      ItemDubuqueNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$179.06$167.676.8%
      Phone $180.82$175.643.0%
      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

      City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Durango, IA1796-4%
      Bernard, IA12781-19%
      Benton, WI97184-16%
      La Motte, IA23885-15%
      Zwingle, IA10485-15%
      Dubuque, IA58,53589-11%

      Cities with similar population

      City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Porterville, CA58,4721077%
      Spring, TX58,60892-8%
      Orland Park, IL58,61211010%
      Owensboro, KY58,68586-14%
      Noblesville, IN58,71996-4%
      Dubuque, IA58,53589-11%
      Source: The Dubuque, IA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2020.