An Overview of Cost of Living in Kelso, WA
Understanding the cost of living in Kelso 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 Kelso cost of living index is 106, which is 6% higher 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.
The cost of living in Kelso is about average when compared to all other cities across the nation. You can expect that everyday items like food, goods and services and utility bills will be no more expensive than any other average city. Residents can anticipate living expenses that remain in line with the national average, ensuring a manageable financial burden, making it an attractive choice for those seeking affordability without the constraints of higher everyday expenditures.
The relentless increase in grocery prices is a noteworthy trend. In the last two years, grocery costs have experienced an upward trajectory of over 10%. Unfortunately, Kelso is no exception, where grocery prices are 10.5% above the national average.
Is Kelso Affordable?
Is Kelso affordable? It's a key consideration when pondering a move, as affordability often shapes your choices. The cost of living index (we discussed it earlier), coupled with housing costs and income levels, serves as the cornerstone for determining a location's affordability. Take Kelso, for instance, where the median home price falls 0.4% higher than the national average, and monthly rent rates are 5.5% lower than usual. Additionally, median income levels contribute to the equation, with Kelso flaunting a median household income of $48,005, 13.2% lower than the national norm.
What Factors can Influence the Cost of Living in Kelso?
Transportation: In cities with limited or no public transportation, residents may find it necessary to own and maintain vehicles, thereby elevating the cost of living. Monthly expenditures include fuel, insurance, routine maintenance and potential lease or financing commitments. In Kelso, the transportation index stands at 26.3% higher than the national average.
Taxes: Regions that impose higher taxes, including sales and income taxes, can contribute to an increased cost of living. Higher taxes for everyday necessities such as clothing, utilities and food inevitably leads to higher expenditures. Additionally, a higher income tax rate can also play a role in elevating the overall cost of living. In Kelso, the prevailing sales tax rate starts at 6.5%, and income tax rates kick off at 0%.
Housing: Elevated demand for housing within coveted locales has the propensity to escalate both property values and rental rates, thereby serving as a primary catalyst for an augmented cost of living. Conversely, areas witnessing diminished housing demand, particularly within less desirable environs, often experience an inversely proportional effect, leading to price reductions and subsequently contributing to a more modest cost of living. In Kelso, the housing index is 1.3% lower than the national average.
Where is the Data From?
The cost of living in Kelso, presented above is derived from the C2ER cost of living index, offering a practical method for assessing living cost disparities in urban areas. Published quarterly, this index compiles data from more than 300 independent researchers, encompassing over 60 goods and services in 6 categories. The weightings assigned to cost variances are informed by government survey data tracking the expenditure patterns of professional and executive households. It should be noted that the C2ER index does not include data on sales or income tax rates, however, AreaVibes incorporates tax rates into the overall cost of living score for each area.