Philadelphia cost of living index

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. 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. The breakdown for each index is as follows: goods and services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). In the event that the cost of living data was unavailable for this city, estimates based upon nearby cities were used.
IndexPhiladelphiaPennsylvaniaNational
Cost of living10299100
IndexPhiladelphiaPennsylvaniaNational
Goods & Services10598100
Groceries117103100
Health care10394100
Housing8691100
Transportation115109100
Utilities108111100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Philadelphia is 3% higher than the Pennsylvania average
  • The cost of living in Philadelphia is 2% higher than the national average
  • Philadelphia housing is 14% lower than the national average
  • Pennsylvania general sales tax is 18% higher than the national average
  • Pennsylvania state income tax is 38% higher than the national average

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Compare Philadelphia, PA Cost of Living To Other Cities

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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)
      Owners$52,289$4,357$1,220$1,569
      Renters$28,463$2,372$664$854
      A good indicator of the general affordability of housing in Philadelphia, PA, 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 Philadelphia, the median monthly income is $52,289 for those who own their own homes. Under the standard rule, that income level would allow for $1,220 to be budgeted for housing expenses each month, at the most. Renters, on the other hand, earn about $28,463, per the median income in the area. That would allow for renters to spend up to $664 on monthly rental expenses.

      Pennsylvania Sales Tax

      StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
      Pennsylvania6%8%

      Pennsylvania Income Tax

      StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
      Pennsylvania3.07%3.07%

      Goods & Services

      ItemPhiladelphiaNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $19.40$17.4910.9%
      Beauty Salon $61.00$38.1759.8%
      Toothpaste $2.02$2.3213.0%
      Shampoo $0.99$1.012.2%
      Movie $12.10$10.7212.8%
      Bowling $18.40$13.8632.7%

      Groceries

      ItemPhiladelphiaNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $3.94$3.901.0%
      Fried Chicken $1.49$1.406.8%
      Milk $2.16$1.9610.1%
      Potatoes $3.66$3.1815.0%
      Pizza $10.50$10.391.0%
      Beer $8.71$9.235.6%

      Health Care

      ItemPhiladelphiaNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $103.33$106.342.8%
      Doctor $133.33$115.2515.7%
      Dentist $103.33$98.385.0%
      Ibuprofen $10.32$9.2611.4%
      Lipitor $389.17$466.4716.6%

      Housing

      ItemPhiladelphiaNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $147,300.00$184,700.0020.2%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,429.36$1,273.3212.3%
      Apartment Rent $943.00$949.000.6%

      Transportation

      ItemPhiladelphiaNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $2.89$2.5911.4%
      Tire Balancing $61.00$48.9024.8%

      Utilities

      ItemPhiladelphiaNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$185.76$167.6010.8%
      Phone $189.24$163.4215.8%
      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.
      Arcadia University, PA6471099%
      Tavistock, NJ91099%
      Pine Valley, NJ41099%
      Prospect Park CDP, PA22486-14%
      Audubon Park, NJ99391-9%
      Philadelphia, PA1,559,9381022%

      Cities with similar population

      City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Phoenix, AZ1,555,32496-4%
      San Antonio, TX1,439,35888-12%
      San Diego, CA1,374,81214949%
      Dallas, TX1,278,43399-1%
      San Jose, CA1,009,36318181%
      Philadelphia, PA1,559,9381022%
      Source: The Philadelphia, PA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2019.