Durham cost of living index

In the event that the cost of living data was unavailable for this city, estimates based upon nearby cities were used. Each cost of living index is based on a national average of 100. If the amount is below 100, it is lower than the national average. If the amount is above 100, it is higher than the national average.
IndexDurhamNorth CarolinaNational
Cost of living index9594100
IndexDurhamNorth CarolinaNational
Goods & Services index9498100
Groceries index9798100
Health care index93107100
Housing index9985100
Transportation index9998100
Utilities index8296100
Displayed above is a general overview of the Durham, NC cost of living index. The overall cost of living index in Durham, NC is 95, which is 1% higher than the North Carolina average and 5% lower than the national average. The cost of living index is created from the following categories: goods/services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). As you can see, goods/services and housing make up the majority of the overall cost of living index. Everyday goods and services can be a good indicator of the general cost of goods in a given city. In this case, the goods and services in Durham, NC are 4% lower than the North Carolina average and 6% lower than the national average.
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Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Durham is 1% higher than the North Carolina average.
  • The cost of living in Durham is 5% lower than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Durham is 1% lower than the national average.
  • North Carolina general sales tax is 7% lower than the national average.
  • North Carolina state income tax is 159% higher than the national average.

Compare Durham, NC Cost of living To Other Cities

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
The salary calculator is used in order to provide a comparison of your current salary in Durham, NC to another city of your choice. The calculator will inform you of what your salary needs to be in any specific city in order for you to maintain your living standard based on what the city’s cost of living is. As an example, if you are seeking to move to a city that has a higher cost of living compared to Durham, NC, you would have to earn a higher income to maintain a standard of living that is similar. To get started with the Durham, NC salary calculator, input the new city’s name and then move the slider to indicate your current income. The salary calculator will now process the numbers and show you whether you need to earn more or less in the chosen city. A comprehensive breakdown of the cost of living will also be shown.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
If you want to find a good determining factor for the cost of living and the general affordability of housing in Durham, NC, all you must look at is the percentage of monthly income that should be spent on housing expenses, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Generally speaking, no more than 28 percent of your total gross income should be spent on your housing expenses and not more than 36 percent of your gross income on total expenses, including debts. In Durham, NC, the median monthly income is $81,289 for those who own their own homes. Under the standard rule, that income level would allow for $1,897 to be budgeted for housing expenses each month, at the most. Renters, on the other hand, earn about $34,613, per the median income in the area. That would allow for renters to spend up to $808 on monthly rental expenses.

North Carolina Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
North Carolina4.75%7.5%

North Carolina Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
North Carolina5.75%5.75%
For those who live in Durham, NC and want to know what the true cost of living is, they ought to look at both the North Carolina income tax rate and the North Carolina sales tax rate. By sales tax, we mean the taxes that are included whenever a person is purchasing any goods or services. The amount that is taxed depends upon the particular state, where some states have a sales tax of zero percent while others can have a tax higher than seven percent. In North Carolina, the sales tax is 4.75%, while the most you'll pay in surtax is 7.5%. There is also income tax to consider, which is based upon the amount of money made in a year. Just like sales tax, income tax depends upon the particular state but also depends upon what tax bracket the person is in. Income tax for the state can be higher than nine percent in some states to zero percent in others. For those that live in North Carolina, the income tax rate ranges between 5.75% to 5.75%.

Goods & Services

ItemDurhamNational avg.Difference
Haircut $15.37$16.094.5%
Beauty Salon $43.85$37.3317.5%
Toothpaste $2.90$2.4518.4%
Shampoo $1.40$1.0040.3%
Movie $9.95$10.283.2%
Bowling $4.33$4.9312.2%


ItemDurhamNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $3.49$3.808.2%
Fried Chicken $1.26$1.409.8%
Milk $1.82$2.019.3%
Potatoes $3.28$3.019.1%
Pizza $9.32$9.895.7%
Beer $8.21$8.907.8%

Health Care

ItemDurhamNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $108.68$102.166.4%
Doctor $93.53$108.3613.7%
Dentist $86.20$92.536.8%
Ibuprofen $8.70$9.286.2%
Lipitor $421.43$425.821.0%


ItemDurhamNational avg.Difference
Home Price $183,900.00$184,700.000.4%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $944.12$1,202.4421.5%
Apartment Rent $913.00$949.003.8%


ItemDurhamNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.26$2.240.8%
Tire Balancing $44.82$46.293.2%


ItemDurhamNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$154.43$165.966.9%
Phone $19.95$28.6830.4%
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

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Butner, NC7,69288-12%
Gorman, NC94189-11%
Stem, NC1,02390-10%
Efland, NC76889-11%
Creedmoor, NC4,35393-7%
Durham, NC251,76195-5%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Laredo, TX251,67177-23%
St. Petersburg, FL253,58598-2%
Irvine, CA246,99217979%
Madison, WI246,0341088%
Norfolk, VA245,7241088%
Durham, NC251,76195-5%
Source: The Durham, NC cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2017.
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