Overall 60%
Goods & Services 10%
Housing 176%
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.
IndexRancho Santa MargaritaCaliforniaNational
Cost of living160140100
Goods & Services110111100
Health care109113100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Rancho Santa Margarita is 15% higher than the California average
  • The cost of living in Rancho Santa Margarita is 60% higher than the national average
  • Rancho Santa Margarita housing is 176% 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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      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 Rancho Santa Margarita, 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 Rancho Santa Margarita homeowners, the median income is $129,476. This indicates that a monthly maximum of $3,021 should be spent by homeowners on all housing related costs. Renters have a median income of $61,303. This indicates that renters would have a maximum of $1,430 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

      ItemRancho Santa MargaritaNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $21.80$17.4924.6%
      Beauty Salon $65.00$38.1770.3%
      Toothpaste $2.19$2.325.6%
      Shampoo $1.32$1.0130.4%
      Movie $14.42$10.7234.5%
      Bowling $23.33$13.8668.3%


      ItemRancho Santa MargaritaNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $3.32$3.9014.9%
      Fried Chicken $1.79$1.4028.2%
      Milk $2.19$1.9611.6%
      Potatoes $3.09$3.182.9%
      Pizza $10.99$10.395.7%
      Beer $9.66$9.234.7%

      Health Care

      ItemRancho Santa MargaritaNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $96.75$106.349.0%
      Doctor $123.33$115.257.0%
      Dentist $112.40$98.3814.2%
      Ibuprofen $11.99$9.2629.5%
      Lipitor $483.87$466.473.7%


      ItemRancho Santa MargaritaNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $584,000.00$184,700.00216.2%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $3,485.71$1,273.32173.8%
      Apartment Rent $1,741.00$949.0083.5%


      ItemRancho Santa MargaritaNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $3.81$2.5947.0%
      Tire Balancing $51.00$48.904.3%


      ItemRancho Santa MargaritaNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$142.30$167.6015.1%
      Phone $173.40$163.426.1%
      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.
      Las Flores CDP (Tehama County), CA32411111%
      Lakeland Village, CA11,69811111%
      Laguna Woods, CA16,34711818%
      Lake Mathews, CA5,95613030%
      Temescal Valley, CA24,79714040%
      Rancho Santa Margarita, CA49,03816060%

      Cities with similar population

      City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Methuen Town, MA49,04312020%
      Severn, MD49,01712727%
      Cypress, CA48,97815555%
      La Mirada, CA49,13014444%
      Harrisburg, PA49,16088-12%
      Rancho Santa Margarita, CA49,03816060%
      Source: The Rancho Santa Margarita, CA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2019.