B-
Overall 6%
Goods & Services 2%
Housing 18%
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.
IndexHoustonTexasNational
Cost of living9491100
Goods & Services10295100
Groceries8990100
Health care9297100
Housing8283100
Transportation9794100
Utilities107102100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Houston is 3% higher than the Texas average
  • The cost of living in Houston is 6% lower than the national average
  • Houston housing is 18% lower than the national average
  • Texas general sales tax is 23% higher than the national average
  • Texas state income tax is 100% lower than the national average

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Compare Houston, TX Cost of Living

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      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 IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
      Owners$71,418$5,952$1,666$2,143
      Renters$35,250$2,938$822$1,058
      A good indicator of the general affordability of housing in Houston, TX, 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 Houston, the median monthly income is $71,418 for those who own their own homes. Under the standard rule, that income level would allow for $1,666 to be budgeted for housing expenses each month, at the most. Renters, on the other hand, earn about $35,250, per the median income in the area. That would allow for renters to spend up to $822 on monthly rental expenses.

      Texas Sales Tax

      StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
      Texas6.25%8.25%

      Texas Income Tax

      StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
      Texas0%0%

      Goods & Services

      ItemHoustonNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $18.30$17.494.6%
      Beauty Salon $62.00$38.1762.4%
      Toothpaste $1.99$2.3214.3%
      Shampoo $0.87$1.0114.0%
      Movie $10.26$10.724.3%
      Bowling $19.80$13.8642.8%

      Groceries

      ItemHoustonNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $3.61$3.907.4%
      Fried Chicken $1.22$1.4012.6%
      Milk $1.29$1.9634.3%
      Potatoes $2.63$3.1817.4%
      Pizza $8.54$10.3917.8%
      Beer $9.68$9.234.9%

      Health Care

      ItemHoustonNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $122.22$106.3414.9%
      Doctor $85.83$115.2525.5%
      Dentist $95.70$98.382.7%
      Ibuprofen $8.06$9.2613.0%
      Lipitor $470.12$466.470.8%

      Housing

      ItemHoustonNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $140,300.00$184,700.0024.0%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,041.17$1,273.3218.2%
      Apartment Rent $898.00$949.005.4%

      Transportation

      ItemHoustonNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $2.34$2.599.9%
      Tire Balancing $55.17$48.9012.8%

      Utilities

      ItemHoustonNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$189.83$167.6013.3%
      Phone $181.14$163.4210.8%
      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.
      Fifth Street, TX2,07183-17%
      Jacinto City, TX10,75384-16%
      Galena Park, TX11,11985-15%
      South Houston, TX17,47486-14%
      Aldine, TX14,86786-14%
      Houston, TX2,240,58294-6%

      Cities with similar population

      City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Chicago, IL2,714,01711010%
      Philadelphia, PA1,559,9381022%
      Phoenix, AZ1,555,32496-4%
      San Antonio, TX1,439,35888-12%
      San Diego, CA1,374,81214949%
      Houston, TX2,240,58294-6%
      Source: The Houston, TX cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2019.