Overall 12%
Goods & Services 3%
Housing 46%
Date & Last Updated: This data reflects 2021 and was released from C2ER in January, 2022; 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.
IndexRochesterNew YorkNational
Cost of living88119100
Goods & Services103110100
Health care103101100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Rochester is 27% lower than the New York average
  • The cost of living in Rochester is 12% lower than the national average
  • Rochester housing is 46% lower than the national average
  • New York general sales tax is 21% lower than the national average
  • New York state income tax is 62% higher than the national average

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Compare Rochester, NY 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)
      A good indicator of the general affordability of housing in Rochester, NY, 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 Rochester, the median monthly income is $52,896 for those who own their own homes. Under the standard rule, that income level would allow for $1,234 to be budgeted for housing expenses each month, at the most. Renters, on the other hand, earn about $21,976, per the median income in the area. That would allow for renters to spend up to $513 on monthly rental expenses.

      New York Sales Tax

      StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
      New York4%8.875%

      New York Income Tax

      StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
      New York4%8.82%

      Goods & Services

      ItemRochesterNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $21.44$20.275.7%
      Beauty Salon $41.28$40.392.2%
      Toothpaste $1.98$2.3615.9%
      Shampoo $1.03$1.084.0%
      Movie $10.82$10.991.5%
      Bowling $15.57$15.490.5%


      ItemRochesterNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $4.42$4.302.9%
      Fried Chicken $1.11$1.4020.4%
      Milk $2.52$2.2014.4%
      Potatoes $2.75$3.2214.7%
      Pizza $12.29$10.7414.4%
      Beer $10.74$9.6011.9%

      Health Care

      ItemRochesterNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $130.85$109.7319.3%
      Doctor $110.93$118.346.3%
      Dentist $106.79$100.945.8%
      Ibuprofen $9.24$9.936.9%
      Lipitor $504.75$469.537.5%


      ItemRochesterNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $77,800.00$184,700.0057.9%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,193.24$1,229.623.0%
      Apartment Rent $779.00$949.0017.9%


      ItemRochesterNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $2.72$2.710.2%
      Tire Balancing $62.49$51.8620.5%


      ItemRochesterNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$147.94$170.8413.4%
      Phone $191.59$187.182.4%
      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.
      East Rochester, NY6,67990-10%
      Gates, NY5,17890-10%
      North Gates, NY9,53791-9%
      Caledonia, NY2,11792-8%
      Greece, NY14,89292-8%
      Rochester, NY210,29188-12%

      Cities with similar population

      City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Modesto, CA208,51211212%
      Spokane, WA212,07899-1%
      Oakville, ON212,353n/a 
      Birmingham, AL212,42486-14%
      Des Moines, IA212,85985-15%
      Rochester, NY210,29188-12%
      Source: The Rochester, NY cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2021.