A+
23%
Overall NAT. AVG.
24%
Goods & Services NAT. AVG.
41%
Housing NAT. AVG.
Search Homes for Sale
Date & Last Updated: This data reflects 2023 and was released from C2ER in January, 2024; 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.
Index Harlingen Texas National
Cost of living7792100
Goods & Services7696100
Groceries9296100
Health care8294100
Housing5983100
Transportation8392100
Utilities104104100

An Overview of Cost of Living in Harlingen, TX

Understanding the cost of living in Harlingen can help future residents assess whether their current financial situation aligns with the expenses they will encounter. It enables them to plan for potential changes in their budget and lifestyle. The Harlingen cost of living index is 77, which is 23% lower than the national average. The cost of living index is calculated by taking into account multiple categories, which encompass both the cost of everyday expenditures and larger expenses as well.

Based on the most recent cost of living report, Harlingen is one of the most affordable places to live in the country. Only a small number of cities have a cost of living index that is at least 20% lower than the national average, and Harlingen is one of those cities. This signifies that this area is very affordable when compared to other cities.

Harlingen housing costs are 41.5% less than the national average, making this area an affordable place to live. Your net income can be heavily impacted by housing expenses, at times exceeding 30%. Fortunately, this area demonstrates that both homeownership and renting costs are significantly more budget-friendly than in the rest of the country. With such favorable housing affordability, Harlingen residents can earmark a more manageable portion of their income to housing.

Everyday staples like clothes, toiletries and entertainment expenses play a big role in your total living costs. But in Harlingen, these goods are 23.6% cheaper than the national average. So, you can enjoy what you need and love without emptying your wallet. Plus, you'll have more cash to put towards your savings or any other money goals you have, which is a real boost for your financial well-being.

Grocery prices make up 13% of the overall cost of living index. With grocery costs on the rise, it's a challenge to find cities where food won't drain your wallet. But in Harlingen, the grocery index is 8.2% below average, which means you can enjoy more affordable groceries when compared to other areas across the country.

What Do Locals Say About the Cost of Living in Harlingen?

Nobody knows their city better than the people who actually live there. So, we asked 7 local residents how they would rate the cost of living in Harlingen and this is how they responded. 57% of people said that the cost of living was affordable, with prices decreasing, while 43% of people said that the cost of living was very expensive and prices continue to rise.

Is Harlingen Affordable?

Wondering if Harlingen is affordable? It's a question that often comes up when you're thinking about a new city since affordability can really shape your decisions. The cost of living index (covered earlier), housing expenses and income levels all play a part in the affordability equation. In Harlingen, for example, the median home price is 50.2% lower than what folks pay nationally, and monthly rent is 21.2% lower than the usual rates. Plus, income levels matter too, with Harlingen boasting a median household income of $43,003, which is 22.3% lower than the national average.

What Factors can Influence the Cost of Living in Harlingen?

Subsidies: Certain regions may provide government subsidies or assistance initiatives designed to alleviate the cost of living burden on their residents. These programs encompass a wide range of support mechanisms, such as Medicare, Medicaid, housing subsidies, low-income home energy assistance programs, school lunch programs, supplemental nutrition assistance programs, student loans, electric vehicle tax credits, affordable care act subsidies and farming subsidies. Areas with fewer subsidy offerings might experience an elevation in their cost of living.

Utilities: Similar to the prices of any goods or services, utility expenses can fluctuate widely, contingent on variables such as climate, available energy sources, geographical location and state regulations. Costs associated with electricity, water, heating, and waste disposal can differ in magnitude, depending on the specific city or state. In Harlingen, the utilities index registers at 4.4% higher than the national average.

Transportation: In areas where public transportation is scarce or unavailable, residents often find themselves compelled to own and upkeep vehicles, thereby increasing the overall cost of living. Monthly expenses encompass fuel, insurance, routine maintenance and potentially lease or financing payments. In Harlingen, the transportation index is 17% lower than the national average.

Where is the Data From?

The Harlingen cost of living data displayed above is derived from the C2ER cost of living index to provide a useful and reasonably accurate measure of living cost differences in urban areas. The index takes into account data from 300 independent researches, covering more than 60 goods and services across 6 different categories, to create an overall index for each area, with 100 being the average. The C2ER index does not include sales or income tax rates in their data, however AreaVibes does include both income and sales tax rates in the overall cost of living score for each area.

New Real Estate Listings in Harlingen Area
Search Homes for Sale in Harlingen, TX

Cost Of Living Quick Facts

  • The cost of living in Harlingen is 17% lower than the Texas average
  • The cost of living in Harlingen is 23% lower than the national average
  • Harlingen housing is 41% lower than the national average
  • Texas general sales tax is 22% higher than the national average
  • Texas state income tax is 100% lower than the national average

Most Affordable Places to Live in and Around Harlingen

See all the best places to live around Harlingen

Compare Harlingen, TX Cost of Living

      vs
      How would you rate the cost of living in Harlingen?
      Write a review to give others more information about this area.
      Is the cost of living increasing or decreasing in Harlingen?
      Write a review to give others more information about this area.
      See all Harlingen poll results

      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

      Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

      Median Income Per Year Per Month Max Budget (28% DTI) Max Budget (36% DTI)
      Owners$56,588$4,716$1,320$1,698
      Renters$28,242$2,354$659$847
      The percentage of monthly income spent on housing related expenses can help predict the affordability of housing in Harlingen, TX, 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 Harlingen, homeowners have a median income of $56,588. Using that number, a maximum of $1,320 per month should be allocated to housing expenses. For those who are renting instead of owning, the median income is $28,242, which means there is a maximum of $659 to be spent on the costs of renting a home or apartment.

      Texas Sales Tax

      State General Sales Tax With Max Surtax
      Texas 6.25% 8.25%

      Texas Income Tax

      State Income Tax (Low) Income Tax (High)
      Texas 0% 0%

      Goods & Services

      Item Harlingen National avg. Difference
      Haircut $22.42$24.267.6%
      Beauty Salon $48.58$45.566.6%
      Toothpaste $3.62$3.702.3%
      Shampoo $1.22$1.284.4%
      Movie $11.97$12.131.3%
      Bowling $16.67$18.007.4%

      Groceries

      Item Harlingen National avg. Difference
      Ground Beef $5.53$5.845.3%
      Fried Chicken $1.61$1.572.4%
      Milk $4.68$4.670.1%
      Potatoes $4.98$4.930.9%
      Pizza $11.42$12.095.5%
      Beer $10.43$10.410.2%

      Health Care

      Item Harlingen National avg. Difference
      Optometrist $95.94$125.6823.7%
      Doctor $109.53$135.7819.3%
      Dentist $133.27$113.2917.6%
      Ibuprofen $10.60$10.650.5%
      Lipitor $507.75$468.608.4%

      Housing

      Item Harlingen National avg. Difference
      Home Price $92,000.00$184,700.0050.2%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,939.34$2,346.6917.4%
      Apartment Rent $748.00$949.0021.2%

      Transportation

      Item Harlingen National avg. Difference
      Gasoline $3.00$3.4613.4%
      Tire Balancing $49.28$59.9217.8%

      Utilities

      Item Harlingen National avg. Difference
      All Electricity $196.67$193.991.4%
      Phone $201.86$192.255.0%
      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 Population Cost of Living Index National Avg.
      Santa Monica, TX118515.5%
      Tierra Bonita, TX658515.5%
      Villa del Sol, TX1418515.5%
      Lasana, TX1498515.5%
      Solis, TX6388515.5%
      Harlingen, TX65,0287723.3%

      Cities with similar population

      City Population Cost of Living Index National Avg.
      Santa Cruz, CA65,011203102.9%
      Laguna Niguel, CA65,04819897.7%
      Blaine, MN65,0481098.7%
      Wellington, FL64,99013737.5%
      Bethesda, MD65,09220099.5%
      Harlingen, TX65,0287723.3%
      Date & Last Updated: This data reflects 2023 and was released from C2ER in January, 2024; this is the most current data available.