Cost of living in the USA will be more compared to a country like India. Monthly rent for an 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation facility in an expensive area can cost around $2,058 while the rent for the same kind of accommodation in a not so expensive area can cost around $1,548.
On average the monthly pass for public transportation in the USA would cost you 85 – 100 USD. Food may cost approximately $300 to 470 in a month.
Well, living in the USA is a long-cherished dream for many, be it as a student, an employee or a permanent resident.
One of the main factors to consider before moving to the USA is the cost of living there. This article speaks about the average costs of living in the USA.
What Makes The USA A Sort After Destination?
The USA attracts students and professionals alike from around the globe. The comfortable and high standard of living, excellent working conditions and remuneration packages, and the best quality education and degrees are some of the major factors that attract expats and international students to this nation.
Unless you opt for the metropolitan cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C or Chicago, the cost of living in the USA is not high compared to some of the other nations in the world.
The country happens to be one of the most multi-cultural nations in the world. A large portion of the migrant communities includes Mexicans, Afro-Americans, Spanish, Indian and Chinese.
Compared to its population there is an abundance of land in the United States. Many people who migrate to this nation as permanent residents usually buy property away from the cities to build their own houses and settle down.
The USA is also home to some of the best Universities in the world including Harvard and Yale. The education and training provided by the Universities and colleges are of the highest quality and this attracts students from all over the world.
On successful completion of the degree, the students could also get hired within the country. This will help them secure a permanent resident status in the USA.
The USA has much to offer to expats and students. There are several job opportunities that await skilled workers, medical and IT professionals and teachers. The work experience, knowledge and life that you’ll gain and enjoy in this country is invaluable.
Whether you are planning to move to the USA as an employee, a student or a permanent resident you need to be well aware of the cost of living in this country. Given below are some of the major factors that determine the cost of living in the USA.
Cost Of Living In The USA – Housing And Rent
Rent occupies the major portion of the cost of living in the USA. You can also see a great variation in the monthly rent depending on the area and type of house you live in. Monthly rent for a house could be anywhere between 700 USD to 3,500 USD on an average in the USA.
You can cut down the charges on rent if you choose to live in an inexpensive area away from the city. Considering the fact that the USA has a good network of public transportation you wouldn’t have to worry about how to commute to work from a suburb to the city.
The most expensive cities in the USA to live in is the New York City and San Francisco followed by Los Angeles and Washington D.C. Rent and living costs are the highest in these cities.
You can expect to pay anywhere between 2,250 USD and 3,600 USD for 900 Sq. feet apartment in these cities. Rent could be slightly less if you choose to live in an inexpensive area close to these cities.
There are also several other cities and towns in the USA where the cost of living, especially renting a house, is much cheaper. You’d be paying around 1,150 USD-1,600USD for a 900 Sq. feet house in cities like Philadelphia, Dallas, Phoenix, Nashville, Orlando, and Las Vegas.
It is even cheaper to rent a house in places like Richmond, Salt Lake City, and New Orleans and Buffalo.
Rural areas and small towns are much more affordable. You can also enjoy a peaceful life away from the fast life and pollution of cities. However, opportunities for employment is quite low.
Keep in mind that this wouldn’t be possible if you are a student in one of the Universities or colleges in the city or if you are employed in one of the major cities.
You can check out the average rental charges in some of the cities and towns in the USA in the table given below.
|City||Type Of House||Rent In Expensive Areas||Rent In Normal Areas|
|New York City||85m2/900 Sq. feet||3,600||2,900|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||2,950||1,925|
|Los Angeles, CA||85m2/900 Sq. feet||2,750||2,275|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||2,250||1,600|
|Washington D.C||85m2/900 Sq. feet||2,700||2,250|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||2,100||1,525|
|Chicago, IL||85m2/900 Sq. feet||2,125||1,540|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||1,530||1,020|
|Boston, MA||85m2/900 Sq. feet||2,800||2,200|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||2,275||1,675|
|Dallas, TX||85m2/900 Sq. feet||1,620||1,350|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||1,600||1,050|
|Orlando, FL||85m2/900 Sq. feet||1,420||1,210|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||1,070||860|
|San Francisco, CA||85m2/900 Sq. feet||3,990||3,670|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||3,095||2,370|
|Seattle, WA||85m2/900 Sq. feet||2,510||2,150|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||2,035||1,490|
|Las Vegas, NV||85m2/900 Sq. feet||1,420||1,125|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||1,065||760|
|Buffalo, NY||85m2/900 Sq. feet||1,255||980|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||1,025||720|
|Jersey City, NJ||85m2/900 Sq. feet||2,625||2,225|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||2,435||1,460|
|Phoenix, AZ||85m2/900 Sq. feet||1,490||1,300|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||1,260||950|
|Atlanta, GA||85m2/900 Sq. feet||1,575||1,250|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||1,500||920|
|Denver, CO||85m2/900 Sq. feet||1,945||1,670|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||1,640||1,140|
|Richmond, VA||85m2/900 Sq. feet||1,490||1,120|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||1,135||775|
|Nashville, TN||85m2/900 Sq. feet||1,565||1,450|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||1,555||1,130|
|New Orleans, LA||85m2/900 Sq. feet||1,570||1,135|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||1,390||990|
|Salt Lake City, UT||85m2/900 Sq. feet||1,570||1,420|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||1,205||925|
|Philadelphia, PA||85m2/900 Sq. feet||1,675||1,145|
|45 m2/480 Sq. feet||1,395||935|
Note: Approximate cost in US Dollar (USD).
Cost Of Living In The USA -Utility Charges
Besides rental charges a person living in the USA is expected to pay an amount as utility costs every month. Utility costs include monthly charges for gas, water, electricity, and heating.
You can cut down the utility charges by sharing a living space with one or more individuals. This wouldn’t be possible if you have moved to the USA along with your family.
On average, a person living in the USA would be paying 120 USD every month as utility charges. This can vary depending on the area that you live in.
|New York City||127|
|Los Angeles, CA||105|
|San Francisco, CA||115|
|Las Vegas, NV||115|
|Jersey City, NJ||118|
|New Orleans, LA||130|
|Salt Lake City, UT||122|
Note: Utility charges per person in USD
Cost Of Living In USA – Entertainment And Fitness
A good number of people in the USA enjoy fishing, camping, boating, trekking, and hiking. It is home to some of the most spectacular places in the world. Several events for people are organized in parks which are free for the public.
World-famous bands tour all over the USA every year. You can enjoy their performances by buying tickets to their events. The USA is also famous for sporting events like American football, soccer, baseball, and golf. You could get good deals on tickets by purchasing it online.
Movie tickets for two in the USA could be somewhere between 20 USD – 30 USD. The price could vary depending on the place that you live in. Securing the best seats for two to a theatre performance could cost you anywhere between 120 USD and 320 USD.
A monthly membership at a gymnasium in the USA would be between 55 USD and 85 USD on an average. The rate could go higher or lesser based on where you live in the USA.
|City||Gym Membership||Movie Tickets For 2||Theater Tickets For 2|
|New York City||97||33||320|
|Los Angeles, CA||63||30||215|
|San Francisco, CA||108||30||290|
|Las Vegas, NV||40||22||122|
|Jersey City, NJ||46||32||147|
|New Orleans, LA||60||24||164|
|Salt Lake City, UT||31||21||115|
Note: Price in US Dollars
Cost Of Living In The USA – Food And Grocery
Compared to most of the places in the world including the European region, food and groceries are quite expensive in the USA. A person living in the USA spends around 300 USD to 470 USD on an average every month on food and groceries.
The price could go higher or lower depending on where you live and the type of food you eat on a regular basis. You can cut down the cost on groceries and food by buying it from a supermarket or a chain store.
Eating out at a good restaurant could also be fairly expensive especially if you live in one of the bigger cities like San Francisco, Washington D.C or New York City. It could cost you around 100 USD – 120 USD, on an average, for a dinner for two at a good restaurant.
The price would be much cheaper in cities like Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Orlando and Jersey City. It would cost you only around 60 USD to 70 USD for a dinner for two.
You could cut down your cost of eating out by choosing to dine from a fast food chain like the Subway or Mc Donald’s. A single meal would cost you only around 7 USD- 9 USD on an average.
|City||Food And Groceries||Basic Meal||Fast Food Chain||Fine Dining For 2|
|New York City||475||16||9||116|
|Los Angeles, CA||350||15||8||95|
|San Francisco, CA||450||16||8||96|
|Las Vegas, NV||300||14||7||76|
|Jersey City, NJ||352||14||9||65|
|New Orleans, LA||368||16||8||83|
|Salt Lake City, UT||271||13||8||66|
Note: Approximate charges in USD
Cost Of Living In The USA – Medical And Health Care
The USA does not have a universal healthcare system where the government provides medical and health care benefits to its residents and citizens. You are expected to pay for the medical care that you get in the USA and this is extremely expensive.
Whether you are an international student, a resident or a citizen you need to have proper health insurance so that you don’t end up owing hundreds and thousands of dollars to the hospitals and doctors when you fall sick or get injured.
You need to pay a premium regularly to the insurance company to get your health and medical expenses covered. The premium amount could vary depending on the type of insurance that you’ve taken. On average, a person living in the USA pays between 400 USD and 500 USD as their monthly insurance premium.
Given below are the cost of antibiotics, medicines for cold and a short visit to a private doctor in different places in the USA.
|City||Doctor’s Fee||Antibiotics||Medicine For Cold|
|New York City||145||17||7|
|Los Angeles, CA||125||27||6|
|San Francisco, CA||142||12||9|
|Las Vegas, NV||102||18||6|
|Jersey City, NJ||164||34||9|
|New Orleans, LA||84||13||8|
|Salt Lake City, UT||105||18||9|
Note: Price in USD
Cost Of Living In The USA – Transportation Charges
Compared to the public transportation system in some of the major nations in the world, the US public transportation system is not too good. Different modes of public transportation like buses, trains, and taxi services are available in some of the larger cities and towns in America.
However, public transportation is not available in the remaining parts of the country. Unless you live in one of those major cities or towns you’ll have to buy your own private vehicle to travel within the country.
A monthly pass for public transportation in the USA would cost you 85 USD – 100 USD on an average. Prices could be slightly higher in the major cities like San Francisco, Washington D.C and New York City.
|New York City||121|
|Los Angeles, CA||99|
|San Francisco, CA||88|
|Las Vegas, NV||61|
|Jersey City, NJ||88|
|New Orleans, LA||55|
|Salt Lake City, UT||74|
Note: Charges in USD
In the USA your cost of living mostly depends on the place you’ve chosen to live in and the amount spent on consuming food.
The cost of living would be the highest in major cities like San Francisco, New York City, Washington D.C and Boston. You should be willing to pay more if you plan to live in one of those cities.
Even if you are employed in one of those big cities, you can cut down your living cost tremendously if you choose to live in an inexpensive suburb or town close by. You can also cut down your living cost if you choose to live in the countryside or a small town.
Cost of living in the USA could seem pretty high if you are moving in there for the first time as an employee or an international student.
Once you are sure about the place you are moving to in the USA compare the living costs of some of the nearby places before choosing an area where you’ll be living in. This will help you set a pocket-friendly budget for your living expenses in the USA.
- What Is The Cost Of Living In New Zealand?
- What Is The Cost Of Living In Canada?
- What Is The Cost Of Living In Australia For Immigrants And International Students?
- Accommodation For International Students In USA – Everything You Should Know
- The A To Z Of Tax Filing In The USA For International Students
- Checklist For International Students Going To The US
- How Non-US Citizens Can Get a Social Security Number?
- Health Insurance For International Students In The USA – The A To Z
- Top 8 Loans For Immigrants In The USA