Overall 49%
Goods & Services 34%
Housing 44%
Date & Last Updated: This data reflects 2021 and was released from C2ER in January, 2022; 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 living149176100
Goods & Services134130100
Health care129122100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Hilo is 15% lower than the Hawaii average
  • The cost of living in Hilo is 49% higher than the national average
  • Hilo housing is 44% higher than the national average
  • Hawaii general sales tax is 18% lower than the national average
  • Hawaii state income tax is 43% lower than the national average

Most Affordable Places to Live in and Around Hilo

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Compare Hilo, HI 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)
      To approximate the cost of living and the housing affordability in Hilo, HI, we can look at the percentage of income that is available to be spent on monthly housing, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). To stay on the safe side, a consumer should not spend more than 28% of his or her gross income on housing-related expenses and costs and not more than 36% of income on all expenses and debts. Homeowners in Hilo have a median income of $70,625. Therefore, the amount that a consumer should spend on housing costs should be no more than $1,648 per month to avoid calamity and poverty. The renters in the city have an income of about $29,578, which would make their monthly maximum allowable rental costs $690.

      Hawaii Sales Tax

      StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

      Hawaii Income Tax

      StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)

      Goods & Services

      ItemHiloNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $12.17$20.2740.0%
      Beauty Salon $31.47$40.3922.1%
      Toothpaste $4.08$2.3673.1%
      Shampoo $1.72$1.0860.1%
      Movie $10.04$10.998.6%
      Bowling $13.87$15.4910.5%


      ItemHiloNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $4.25$4.301.0%
      Fried Chicken $2.19$1.4056.4%
      Milk $3.21$2.2045.5%
      Potatoes $4.25$3.2232.1%
      Pizza $12.30$10.7414.5%
      Beer $7.78$9.6018.9%

      Health Care

      ItemHiloNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $136.85$109.7324.7%
      Doctor $133.68$118.3413.0%
      Dentist $112.79$100.9411.7%
      Ibuprofen $13.01$9.9331.0%
      Lipitor $398.63$469.5315.1%


      ItemHiloNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $298,500.00$184,700.0061.6%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $2,014.49$1,229.6263.8%
      Apartment Rent $961.00$949.001.3%


      ItemHiloNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $3.16$2.7116.7%
      Tire Balancing $72.96$51.8640.7%


      ItemHiloNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$431.66$170.84152.7%
      Phone $39.39$187.1879.0%
      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.
      Eden Roc, HI59912424%
      Fern Acres, HI1,39213232%
      Nanawale Estates, HI1,59013333%
      Ainaloa, HI3,10213333%
      Papaikou, HI1,19813535%
      Hilo, HI45,57914949%

      Cities with similar population

      City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Charlottesville, VA45,53811212%
      Lacey, WA45,64411515%
      Wylie, TX45,6551055%
      Lincoln, CA45,67513535%
      Maricopa, AZ45,47398-2%
      Hilo, HI45,57914949%
      Source: The Hilo, HI cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2021.