Overall 0%
Goods & Services 4%
Housing 1%
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.
IndexDurhamNorth CarolinaNational
Cost of living10094100
Goods & Services10499100
Health care116110100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Durham is 7% higher than the North Carolina average
  • The cost of living in Durham is equal to the national average
  • Durham housing 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 113% higher than the national average

Most Affordable Places to Live in and Around Durham

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Compare Durham, NC 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)
      A good indicator of the general affordability of housing in Durham, NC, 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, 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 Carolina5.25%5.25%

      Goods & Services

      ItemDurhamNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $18.37$20.279.4%
      Beauty Salon $52.03$40.3928.8%
      Toothpaste $2.85$2.3620.6%
      Shampoo $1.16$1.087.3%
      Movie $9.53$10.9913.2%
      Bowling $14.06$15.499.2%


      ItemDurhamNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $4.79$4.3011.5%
      Fried Chicken $1.52$1.408.7%
      Milk $2.10$2.204.5%
      Potatoes $3.30$3.222.7%
      Pizza $9.99$10.747.0%
      Beer $9.74$9.601.5%

      Health Care

      ItemDurhamNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $122.49$109.7311.6%
      Doctor $151.38$118.3427.9%
      Dentist $121.99$100.9420.9%
      Ibuprofen $10.02$9.930.9%
      Lipitor $489.61$469.534.3%


      ItemDurhamNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $183,900.00$184,700.000.4%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,640.65$1,229.6233.4%
      Apartment Rent $913.00$949.003.8%


      ItemDurhamNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $2.63$2.713.1%
      Tire Balancing $50.18$51.863.2%


      ItemDurhamNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$143.31$170.8416.1%
      Phone $183.36$187.182.0%
      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.
      Butner, NC7,69293-7%
      Gorman, NC94194-6%
      Stem, NC1,02395-5%
      Efland, NC76896-4%
      Creedmoor, NC4,35393-7%
      Durham, NC251,7611000%

      Cities with similar population

      City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Laredo, TX251,67180-20%
      St. Petersburg, FL253,58594-6%
      Irvine, CA246,99217878%
      Madison, WI246,0341077%
      Norfolk, VA245,7241011%
      Durham, NC251,7611000%
      Source: The Durham, NC cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2020.