Overall 29%
Goods & Services 11%
Housing 56%
Date & Last Updated: This data reflects 2020 and was released from C2ER in January, 2021; 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.
IndexPalm DesertCaliforniaNational
Cost of living129141100
Goods & Services111111100
Health care109113100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Palm Desert is 9% lower than the California average
  • The cost of living in Palm Desert is 29% higher than the national average
  • Palm Desert housing is 56% higher than the national average
  • California general sales tax is 42% higher than the national average
  • California state income tax is 59% lower than the national average

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Compare Palm Desert, CA 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)
      The affordability of the housing market in Palm Desert, CA as well as the overall cost of living can be predicted by what percent of the monthly income is spent on housing related costs. This is konwn as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). The overall rule of thumb is that no more than 28% of your gross income should be spent on the overall costs related to housing and no more than 36% of gross income on all expenses and debts. Among Palm Desert homeowners, the median income is $64,246. This indicates that a monthly maximum of $1,499 should be spent by homeowners on all housing related costs. Renters have a median income of $41,943. This indicates that renters would have a maximum of $979 for their rent related monthly costs.

      California Sales Tax

      StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

      California Income Tax

      StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)

      Goods & Services

      ItemPalm DesertNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $22.68$18.6221.8%
      Beauty Salon $64.57$39.0565.4%
      Toothpaste $2.48$2.345.8%
      Shampoo $1.20$1.0613.3%
      Movie $14.42$10.6835.0%
      Bowling $22.00$14.6750.0%


      ItemPalm DesertNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $4.58$4.228.6%
      Fried Chicken $1.72$1.3923.9%
      Milk $2.19$2.056.9%
      Potatoes $2.99$3.299.1%
      Pizza $11.43$10.627.6%
      Beer $9.82$9.384.7%

      Health Care

      ItemPalm DesertNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $117.65$108.578.4%
      Doctor $125.00$116.177.6%
      Dentist $107.18$99.138.1%
      Ibuprofen $11.90$9.6823.0%
      Lipitor $478.86$466.922.6%


      ItemPalm DesertNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $316,300.00$184,700.0071.3%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $2,638.21$1,197.42120.3%
      Apartment Rent $1,156.00$949.0021.8%


      ItemPalm DesertNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $3.24$2.2245.8%
      Tire Balancing $56.47$50.0712.8%


      ItemPalm DesertNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$247.56$167.6747.6%
      Phone $176.01$175.640.2%
      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.
      Desert Edge, CA3,84891-9%
      Sky Valley, CA2,57496-4%
      Thermal, CA2,3961022%
      Garnet, CA6,2971033%
      Coachella, CA43,8261099%
      Palm Desert, CA51,04512929%

      Cities with similar population

      City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Levittown, NY51,07314242%
      Irondequoit, NY51,13594-6%
      Pinellas Park, FL50,94692-8%
      Grand Island, NE50,89587-13%
      Enid, OK50,89184-16%
      Palm Desert, CA51,04512929%
      Source: The Palm Desert, CA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2020.