Waterloo cost of living index

In the event that the cost of living data was unavailable for this city, estimates based upon nearby cities were used. Each 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.
Cost of living index8290100
Goods & Services index9196100
Groceries index9298100
Health care index92100100
Housing index6273100
Transportation index94101100
Utilities index8698100
A general overview of the cost of living index for Waterloo, IA is displayed above. In Waterloo, IA, the overall cost of living index is 82, which is 9% lower than the Iowa average and 18% lower than the U.S. average. The following categories are used to calculate the overall cost of living index: goods/services (33%), housing (30%), groceries (13%), utilities (10%), transportation (9%) and health care (5%). From the list, it is clear that the categories of goods/services and housing are responsible for the largest portions of the overall cost of living index. As a general rule, everyday goods and services provide an accurate measure of the general cost of goods in any given city. In the case of Waterloo, IA, the city's goods and services are 6% lower than the Iowa average and 9% lower than the U.S. average.
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Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Waterloo is 9% lower than the Iowa average.
  • The cost of living in Waterloo is 18% lower than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Waterloo is 38% lower than the national average.
  • Iowa general sales tax is 18% higher than the national average.
  • Iowa state income tax is 84% lower than the national average.

Compare Waterloo, IA Cost of living To Other Cities

Salary Calculator

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Health care index
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Transportation index
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The salary calculator allows you to compare how much your current salary in Waterloo, IA would be worth in another city. In other words, the salary calculator will adjust the figure you enter for cost of living so that you can determine how much more or much less you would need to earn while maintaining your current quality of living. If you are considering relocating to a more expensive city than Waterloo, IA, the calculator will tell you how much more you need to earn so you can assess job offers more accurately. The Waterloo, IA salary calculator is easy to use. All you do is enter the name of another city, then move the slider to your current income. After that, the salary calculator will crunch the numbers for you and give you the information you need about the place you are considering going. Additionally, it will show a detailed breakdown of the cost of living.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
How much of your monthly income goes to housing can tell you whether or not you can afford housing in Waterloo, IA, as well as what the average cost of living is. Generally, a good rule to follow is that the debt-to-income (DTI) level you want to maintain is 28 percent or less of your income on your rent or mortgage payment and not more than 36 percent of income on all expenses and debts. In Waterloo, IA homeowners have a median income of $55,671. Using that number, you will come up with a maximum of $1,299 per month that can be spent on the cost of housing. For those who are renting instead of owning, the median income is $27,096, which means there is a maximum of $632 to be spent on the costs of renting a home or apartment.

Iowa Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

Iowa Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
When you are determining the total cost of living in Waterloo, IA you will want to make sure you consider both the Iowa sales tax and the Iowa income tax rates. Sales tax come in the form of taxes levied on both services and goods that are sold. The sales tax rates are different state to state and range from zero sales tax to higher than 7%. The sales tax in Iowa is 6%, with the highest surtax being 7%. Tax that is on income by the government is income tax. Different states have different income tax rates and these rates can be higher or lower dependent on the corresponding tax bracket. The state income tax rates are different state to state and range from no income tax to more than 9% income tax. The income tax rates in Iowa have a range from 0.36% to 8.98%.

Goods & Services

ItemWaterlooNational avg.Difference
Haircut $16.57$17.495.3%
Beauty Salon $20.60$38.1746.0%
Toothpaste $2.77$2.3219.3%
Shampoo $0.99$1.012.2%
Movie $12.04$10.7212.3%
Bowling $11.00$13.8620.6%


ItemWaterlooNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $3.12$3.9020.0%
Fried Chicken $1.58$1.4013.2%
Milk $1.91$1.962.7%
Potatoes $2.05$3.1835.6%
Pizza $9.99$10.393.9%
Beer $8.99$9.232.6%

Health Care

ItemWaterlooNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $125.00$106.3417.6%
Doctor $109.42$115.255.1%
Dentist $80.33$98.3818.3%
Ibuprofen $9.07$9.262.1%
Lipitor $454.89$466.472.5%


ItemWaterlooNational avg.Difference
Home Price $106,800.00$184,700.0042.2%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,218.99$1,273.324.3%
Apartment Rent $685.00$949.0027.8%


ItemWaterlooNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.66$2.592.5%
Tire Balancing $39.99$48.9018.2%


ItemWaterlooNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$127.07$167.6024.2%
Phone $177.99$163.428.9%
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.
Washburn, IA88879-21%
New Hartford, IA62179-21%
Evansdale, IA4,79482-18%
Reinbeck, IA1,76583-17%
Readlyn, IA84384-16%
Waterloo, IA68,35782-18%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
St. Charles, MO68,34196-4%
Jacksonville, NC68,40498-2%
Frederick, MD68,22911919%
Mount Vernon, NY68,21713030%
Pasco, WA68,56796-4%
Waterloo, IA68,35782-18%
Source: The Waterloo, IA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2019.
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