Overall 56%
Goods & Services 29%
Housing 124%
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.
Cost of living156118100
Goods & Services129112100
Health care128121100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Seattle is 33% higher than the Washington average
  • The cost of living in Seattle is 56% higher than the national average
  • Seattle housing is 124% higher than the national average
  • Washington general sales tax is 28% higher than the national average
  • Washington state income tax is 100% lower than the national average

Most Affordable Places to Live in and Around Seattle

See all the best places to live around Seattle

Compare Seattle, WA Cost of Living

      How would you rate the cost of living in Seattle?
      Write a review to give others more information about this area.
      Is the cost of living increasing or decreasing in Seattle?
      Write a review to give others more information about this area.
      See all Seattle poll results

      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

      Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

      Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
      To approximate the cost of living and the housing affordability in Seattle, WA, we can look at the percentage of income that is available to be spent on monthly housing, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). To stay on the safe side, a consumer should not spend more than 28% of his or her gross income on housing-related expenses and costs and not more than 36% of income on all expenses and debts. Homeowners in Seattle have a median income of $111,477. Therefore, the amount that a consumer should spend on housing costs should be no more than $2,601 per month to avoid calamity and poverty. The renters in the city have an income of about $51,326, which would make their monthly maximum allowable rental costs $1,198.

      Washington Sales Tax

      StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

      Washington Income Tax

      StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)

      Goods & Services

      ItemSeattleNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $39.33$18.62111.2%
      Beauty Salon $50.33$39.0528.9%
      Toothpaste $3.44$2.3447.1%
      Shampoo $1.13$1.066.9%
      Movie $14.70$10.6837.6%
      Bowling $21.80$14.6748.6%


      ItemSeattleNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $5.74$4.2236.0%
      Fried Chicken $2.15$1.3955.1%
      Milk $2.50$2.0522.0%
      Potatoes $3.50$3.296.3%
      Pizza $13.12$10.6223.5%
      Beer $10.49$9.3811.8%

      Health Care

      ItemSeattleNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $158.73$108.5746.2%
      Doctor $136.39$116.1717.4%
      Dentist $143.77$99.1345.0%
      Ibuprofen $11.56$9.6819.5%
      Lipitor $478.09$466.922.4%


      ItemSeattleNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $484,600.00$184,700.00162.4%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $2,847.37$1,197.42137.8%
      Apartment Rent $1,266.00$949.0033.4%


      ItemSeattleNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $3.19$2.2243.6%
      Tire Balancing $66.49$50.0732.8%


      ItemSeattleNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$186.95$167.6711.5%
      Phone $194.23$175.6410.6%
      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.
      Navy Yard City, WA3,13111313%
      Bremerton, WA39,38811818%
      Enetai, WA2,23412121%
      Parkwood, WA6,53512222%
      Rocky Point, WA1,80112222%
      Seattle, WA668,84915656%

      Cities with similar population

      City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Denver, CO663,30311616%
      El Paso, TX678,05890-10%
      Washington, DC659,00915151%
      Boston, MA658,27914646%
      Memphis, TN655,85781-19%
      Seattle, WA668,84915656%
      Source: The Seattle, WA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2020.