Overall 15%
Goods & Services 1%
Housing 49%
Date & Last Updated: This data reflects 2019 and was released from C2ER in January, 2020; 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.
IndexFort DodgeIowaNational
Cost of living8590100
Goods & Services10196100
Health care101100100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Fort Dodge is 6% lower than the Iowa average
  • The cost of living in Fort Dodge is 15% lower than the national average
  • Fort Dodge housing is 49% 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 Fort Dodge, 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 Fort Dodge 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. Fort Dodge has a median income of about $50,109 for people who own homes. Based on that number, a maximum of $1,169 should be spent on expenses related to housing. Renters have a slightly different median income, which is $23,945. Based on this average, renters should spend no more than $559 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

      ItemFort DodgeNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $21.60$17.4923.5%
      Beauty Salon $30.25$38.1720.8%
      Toothpaste $2.52$2.328.6%
      Shampoo $1.19$1.0117.6%
      Movie $8.63$10.7219.5%
      Bowling $17.50$13.8626.3%


      ItemFort DodgeNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $3.78$3.903.1%
      Fried Chicken $1.62$1.4016.1%
      Milk $2.04$1.964.0%
      Potatoes $2.70$3.1815.2%
      Pizza $9.76$10.396.1%
      Beer $8.56$9.237.3%

      Health Care

      ItemFort DodgeNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $109.50$106.343.0%
      Doctor $122.00$115.255.9%
      Dentist $92.75$98.385.7%
      Ibuprofen $9.41$9.261.6%
      Lipitor $517.06$466.4710.8%


      ItemFort DodgeNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $84,700.00$184,700.0054.1%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,350.51$1,273.326.1%
      Apartment Rent $599.00$949.0036.9%


      ItemFort DodgeNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $2.59$2.590.1%
      Tire Balancing $53.96$48.9010.4%


      ItemFort DodgeNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$139.59$167.6016.7%
      Phone $177.99$163.428.9%
      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.
      Pioneer, IA899-1%
      Thor, IA18379-21%
      Gilmore City, IA47279-21%
      Knierim, IA7279-21%
      Lehigh, IA40681-19%
      Fort Dodge, IA24,62685-15%

      Cities with similar population

      City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Waverly, MI24,61792-8%
      El Cerrito, CA24,64617777%
      Muskego, WI24,6501088%
      Lodi, NJ24,65412929%
      Cliffside Park, NJ24,66115151%
      Fort Dodge, IA24,62685-15%
      Source: The Fort Dodge, IA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2019.