Overall 14%
Goods & Services 19%
Housing 9%
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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 living114130100
Goods & Services119117100
Health care106118100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Worcester is 13% lower than the Massachusetts average
  • The cost of living in Worcester is 14% higher than the national average
  • Worcester housing is 9% higher than the national average
  • Massachusetts general sales tax is 23% higher than the national average
  • Massachusetts state income tax is 103% higher than the national average

Most Affordable Places to Live in and Around Worcester

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Compare Worcester, MA Cost of Living

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      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)
      A good indicator of the general affordability of housing in Worcester, MA, 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 Worcester, the median monthly income is $75,417 for those who own their own homes. Under the standard rule, that income level would allow for $1,760 to be budgeted for housing expenses each month, at the most. Renters, on the other hand, earn about $29,995, per the median income in the area. That would allow for renters to spend up to $700 on monthly rental expenses.

      Massachusetts Sales Tax

      StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

      Massachusetts Income Tax

      StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)

      Goods & Services

      ItemWorcesterNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $24.67$20.2721.7%
      Beauty Salon $47.48$40.3917.5%
      Toothpaste $2.24$2.364.9%
      Shampoo $0.94$1.0812.7%
      Movie $13.00$10.9918.3%
      Bowling $19.49$15.4925.8%


      ItemWorcesterNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $3.99$4.307.1%
      Fried Chicken $1.75$1.4025.1%
      Milk $2.62$2.2019.1%
      Potatoes $3.92$3.2221.8%
      Pizza $10.07$10.746.2%
      Beer $9.93$9.603.5%

      Health Care

      ItemWorcesterNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $130.63$109.7319.1%
      Doctor $157.77$118.3433.3%
      Dentist $92.70$100.948.2%
      Ibuprofen $9.66$9.932.8%
      Lipitor $443.20$469.535.6%


      ItemWorcesterNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $206,500.00$184,700.0011.8%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,357.76$1,229.6210.4%
      Apartment Rent $975.00$949.002.7%


      ItemWorcesterNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $2.75$2.711.4%
      Tire Balancing $60.90$51.8617.4%


      ItemWorcesterNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$251.32$170.8447.1%
      Phone $192.37$187.182.8%
      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

      CityPopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Southbridge Town, MA16,82411010.2%
      Spencer, MA5,79011110.6%
      Brookfield, MA67511010.0%
      Oxford, MA5,92711313.0%
      East Brookfield, MA1,20311313.2%
      Worcester, MA183,67711413.6%

      Cities with similar population

      CityPopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Overland Park, KS183,7751011.1%
      Knoxville, TN183,9278218.1%
      Brownsville, TX182,1107524.8%
      Grand Prairie, TX185,631973.3%
      Newport News, VA181,6061000.4%
      Worcester, MA183,67711413.6%
      Source: This data reflects 2021 and was released from C2ER in January, 2022; this is the most current data available.