Mason City cost of living index

In the event that the cost of living data was unavailable for this city, estimates based upon nearby cities were used. Each cost of living index is based on a national average of 100. If the amount is below 100, it is lower than the national average. If the amount is above 100, it is higher than the national average.
IndexMason CityIowaNational
Cost of living index8489100
IndexMason CityIowaNational
Goods & Services index9595100
Groceries index9194100
Health care index9097100
Housing index6073100
Transportation index9599100
Utilities index9795100
The above illustration supplies generalized information for the Mason City, IA cost of living index. Compared to other cities in Iowa and cities across the country, the cost of living index in Mason City, IA is 84, which is 5% lower than the Iowa average and 16% lower than that for the entire country. The index is comprised of the following criteria: cost of retail goods and services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), cost of public/private transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). Everyday goods and services, along with housing account for 63 percent of the total cost of living index. Goods and services that are a necessity regardless of location provide an accurate general sense of the cost of living in one city versus another. As seen above, the cost of retail goods and services in Mason City, IA are equal to the average for Iowa and 5% lower than the rest of the country.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Mason City is 5% lower than the Iowa average.
  • The cost of living in Mason City is 16% lower than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Mason City is 40% lower than the national average.
  • Iowa general sales tax is 18% higher than the national average.
  • Iowa state income tax is 84% lower than the national average.

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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
The salary calculator allows you to compare how much your current salary in Mason City, IA would be worth in another city. In other words, the salary calculator will adjust the figure you enter for cost of living so that you can determine how much more or much less you would need to earn while maintaining your current quality of living. If you are considering relocating to a more expensive city than Mason City, IA, the calculator will tell you how much more you need to earn so you can assess job offers more accurately. The Mason City, IA salary calculator is easy to use. All you do is enter the name of another city, then move the slider to your current income. After that, the salary calculator will crunch the numbers for you and give you the information you need about the place you are considering going. Additionally, it will show a detailed breakdown of the cost of living.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
The percent of monthly income spent on housing can be a good indicator of the affordability of housing in Mason City, IA as well as the overall cost of living. As a general rule of thumb, the debt-to-income ratio (DTI) for homeowners or renters should be not more than 28 percent of gross income to be spent on housing related costs and not more than 36 percent of income on all expenses, including debts. The median income for Mason City, IA homeowners, is $53,033. This would allow for a maximum of $1,237 per month to be spent on housing costs. For renters, the median monthly income is $27,974 which would result in a maximum of $653 to be spent on rental costs.

Iowa Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

Iowa Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
When considering the overall cost of living expenses in Mason City, IA, it's important to take into account the sales tax for Iowa, as well as the rate for income tax in Iowa. Goods and services sold to consumers in any state have some form of sales tax. Each state has its own tax code, which means that sales tax rates vary from state to state, ranging from over 7% in some states to as low as 0% in others. The maximum surtax for Iowa is 7%, and the sales tax in the state of Iowa is 6%. Alternatively, the tax imposed on your income by the state government is known as income tax. The rate for this tax also varies from state to state, and your rate is affected by your tax bracket, which is determined by your level of income. Income tax rates might be as high as 9%, down to as low as 0%. The range for income tax rates in Iowa starts from 0.36% and goes up to 8.98%.

Goods & Services

ItemMason CityNational avg.Difference
Haircut $18.84$16.0917.1%
Beauty Salon $25.10$37.3332.8%
Toothpaste $1.90$2.4522.3%
Shampoo $0.89$1.0010.9%
Movie $8.98$10.2812.7%
Bowling $3.15$4.9336.2%


ItemMason CityNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $3.20$3.8015.8%
Fried Chicken $1.22$1.4012.6%
Milk $1.58$2.0121.5%
Potatoes $2.34$3.0122.2%
Pizza $9.63$9.892.6%
Beer $8.75$8.901.6%

Health Care

ItemMason CityNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $107.39$102.165.1%
Doctor $82.02$108.3624.3%
Dentist $88.51$92.534.3%
Ibuprofen $7.56$9.2818.5%
Lipitor $420.23$425.821.3%


ItemMason CityNational avg.Difference
Home Price $102,800.00$184,700.0044.3%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,021.36$1,202.4415.1%
Apartment Rent $655.00$949.0031.0%


ItemMason CityNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.44$2.248.6%
Tire Balancing $31.27$46.2932.4%


ItemMason CityNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$175.89$165.966.0%
Phone $25.27$28.6811.9%
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.
Portland, IA2794-6%
Burchinal, IA5394-6%
Kensett, IA34578-22%
Grafton, IA35579-21%
Joice, IA19579-21%
Mason City, IA27,54684-16%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Seguin, TX27,54386-14%
Magna, UT27,55396-4%
Danvers, MA27,55814141%
Paragould, AR27,52181-19%
Allen Park, MI27,51989-11%
Mason City, IA27,54684-16%
Source: The Mason City, IA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2017.