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Cost of Living in the USA: Updated Prices, Comparison with Its Cities

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cost of living in usa

The United States of America is commonly known as the USA or America. The USA has 50 states and a federal district, Washington, D.C. Everyone relocating to this wonderful location must estimate a budget for the cost of living in the United States to live comfortably and enjoy the beauty of this amazing country.

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The cost of living in the USA can be high in certain provinces of America, especially if we talk about major cities and coastal areas. However, it can be more reasonable in smaller towns or out of the city centre area. The factors that can influence the cost of living in America should be known to individuals so that they can manage their expenses and make informed decisions regarding where to live and how to utilise their expenses according to the budget. Let’s get right into our discussion to find out more!

What is the Cost of Living in the USA?

Around USD 1,167 is the approximate cost of living in the USA for a single person excluding housing rent, transport, food, utility and others. However, it may vary according to the living standard, state, city people choose to live in and preference for things. The United States is famous for its pleasant living conditions, fantastic salaries, and high-quality education with advanced programs, which makes people crazy to come here.

The key components contributing to the cost of living in America include a few costs of housing, healthcare, transportation, groceries, utilities, and entertainment. Here, we have accumulated the average cost of living in the USA into various categories for the people who wish to move here. Please take a look at this comprehensive overview:

Also read: Cost of Living in Napier: Overall Expenses Guide

Costs of Accommodation in USA

Housing rent is one of the main factors that can affect the cost of living in the United States. However, it depends on the location, size, and type of room and apartment, due to which the cost of housing rent in the US can vary significantly. Major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco can have greater housing costs. However, in smaller towns and rural locations, the cost of housing can be at low costs. 

We have compiled some information for your reference regarding the standard cost of different apartments both inside and outside the city centre.

Apartment LocationApprox. Monthly Cost 
Apartment of One-bedroom in the City CentreUSD 1,771
Apartment of One-bedroom Outside of CentreUSD 1,453
Apartment of Three-bedroom in the City CentreUSD 2,970
Apartment of Three-bedroom Outside of CentreUSD 2,410

Cost of a Utility in USA 

It is important to evaluate the cost of utility in America because utility expenses cover basic water, electricity, gas, and heating bills. Budgeting for the cost of living in America can be made easier by being aware of these standard utility bills. However, utility costs depend on the state, municipality, and energy source.

Below is a table that provides you with an overview of the typical cost of utility bills in the United States.

Utility TypeApprox. Cost 
Basic Utility Bills of Water, Electricity, Heating, Cooling, and GarbageUSD 205
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL monthly)USD 71
Monthly Plan Mobile Phone (including Calls and 10GB+ Data)USD 52.50

Cost of Grocery in USA

The grocery costs in the USA are important as these can instantly affect the general cost of living in the USA. The groceries contain essential edible items such as bread, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, water, and other edible products. 

On average, a single individual spends about USD 250- USD 350 per month on grocery items. However, this can vary according to the location, food choices, and whether you purchase organic or premium products. In the following table, we furnished an overview of the average individual grocery costs in the USA.

Grocery ItemApprox Cost 
1 litre Regular MilkUSD 1.06
500g Bread (White) USD 3.56
1kg white RiceUSD 4.56
1kg Apples USD 5.30
1kg Banana USD 1.68
1kg OrangesUSD 4.49
1kg TomatoUSD 4.89
1kg PotatoUSD 3.00
1kg OnionUSD 3.04
1 litre Water bottle USD 2.19

Also read: Cost of Living in Calgary: A Comprehensive Guide

Restaurant Food Costs in USA

Eating out in America can be costly, but it also depends on the type of restaurant, location, and cuisine you prefer.  However, it might affect your budget for the cost of living in the USA. Typically, the cost of dining out in the USA can be more than cooking in your own apartment or room. 

To give you a clearer view of the cost of meals at USA restaurants, we have given below a breakdown of the average food cost there:

Type of Restaurant Approx Cost of Meal in Restaurant 
Meal at inexpensive restaurantUSD 20
Meal for 2 person (in a Mid-range Restaurant)USD 75
Meal that is equiv. to McDonald’sUSD  11
CappuccinoUSD 5.11

Transportation Costs in USA

Estimating transportation costs in the USA is crucial as they can impact the total cost of living in the USA and it is important to comprehend the costs of monthly passes or everyday tickets of public transport in the USA. 

Getting around America involves using various modes of public transportation, such as trains, buses, taxis, subways etc. Take an overview of the following table for the cost of transportation around the USA area:

Mode of TransportApprox Cost
Ticket of Local Public transport USD 2.50
Ticket for Monthly Pass in a Public transportUSD 72
Local tariff for the Taxi Ride of 1 km USD 1.74
Normal Tariff of taxi for 1 hour Waiting USD 30
1 L or 0.26 gal Gas / PetrolUSD 0.97

Also read: Cost of Living in Monaco: A Comprehensive Guide

Miscellaneous Costs in USA

Apart from the above category of costs of living in the USA, various other costs also have a role in deciding the average cost of living in the United States. These are a few miscellaneous costs incurred in the United States. As a consideration, we’ve provided miscellaneous costs, please refer to the following table for understanding across the USA region:

Miscellaneous Approx Cost 
Movie TicketUSD 14
Fitness ClubUSD 47
Pair of Jeans USD 52
Summer DressUSD 44
Pair of Sports shoesUSD 89
HealthcareUSD 400 to USD 1000
Personal careUSD 50 to USD 70

Cost of Living in USA and Its Cities

The cost of living in the United States can vary significantly according to the region, state, and city. The cost of living in America is just one piece of the puzzle. Moreover, with different living expenses, each city in the USA offers its unique blend of challenges, opportunities, and experiences.

By understanding the living expenses of a student’s chosen city or state in the United States, he or she can make informed decisions and embark on a new adventure and experience, no matter where it takes them in this vast and diverse country. For your reference, we have given the cost of living in the USA and some of its cities.

Cost of living city-wiseApprox CostsComparison Cost of Living in the USA
Cost of Living in New YorkUSD 1,695Higher than the USA
Cost of Living in San FranciscoUSD 1,502Higher than the USA
Cost of Living in SeattleUSD 1,383Higher than the USA
Cost of Living in Los AngelesUSD 1,363Higher than the USA
Cost of Living in San DiegoUSD 1,389Higher than the USA
Cost of Living in CaliforniaUSD 1,363Higher than the USA
Cost of Living in FloridaUSD 1,231Higher than the USA
Cost of Living in ChicagoUSD 1,298Higher than the USA
Cost of Living in NashvilleUSD 1,231Higher than the USA
Cost of Living in WashingtonUSD 1,351Higher than the USA
Cost of Living in MiamiUSD 1,289Higher than the USA
Cost of Living in DenverUSD 1,292Higher than the USA
Cost of Living in HonoluluUSD 1,458 Higher than the USA
Cost of Living in BostonUSD 1,434Higher than the USA
Cost of Living in BoiseUSD 1,042Lower than the USA
Cost of Living in TennesseeUSD 1,133Approximately equal to the USA
Cost of Living in IndianapolisUSD 1,152Approximately equal to the USA
Source: numbeo

Average Tuition Fees in USA

Students can better manage their expenses for their preferred university by evaluating the average costs of tuition of the US universities. It is important to note that tuition costs at America’s Universities might differ depending on the type of university and the programme of study you select.

Understanding standard university tuition fees along with the cost of living in the United States is essential for managing your academics expenses and planning for your educational path. To help you even more, we have kept together a thorough overview of the average tuition costs at the USA universities in the table below:

Name of UniversityApprox Tuition fees per year 
Princeton UniversityUSD 59,710
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSD 60,156
Harvard UniversityUSD 59,076
Stanford UniversityUSD 62,484
Yale UniversityUSD 64,700
University of PennsylvaniaUSD 66,104
California Institute of TechnologyUSD 63,255
Duke UniversityUSD 66,172

Note: In the United States, fees may vary depending on the duration, type of program, and selection of institution, college or university. For more information please visit the official website of the university.

Average Salary in USA

The average salary in the United States is approximately USD 4,518.60 which is an after-tax salary. It is calculated by dividing total income by the number of employees. Factors that can affect an employee’s annual salary include their place of residence, industry, degree of education, and the demands of their work. With this monthly salary package, people can live well in the United States and maintain a high standard of living there.

Relevant Reads:

Cost of Living in Helsinki: A Comprehensive GuideCost of Living in Virginia: A Guide on Expected Expenses
Cost of Living in Lithuania: A Guide on Lithuania ExpensesCost of Living in Seychelles: A Comprehensive Guide
Cost of Living in Johannesburg: Overall Expenses GuideCost of Living in Illinois: A Guide on Expected Expenses

FAQs

Q.1 What is the Cost of Living in the USA?

Answer: The monthly average cost of living in the USA for an individual is approximately USD 1,170, not including rent. The estimated cost of housing rent ranges from USD 1,453 to USD 1,771.

Q.2 How much money do you need to live in the USA?

Answer: The money I need to live in the USA is around USD 2,900. It is the approx cost of living in the USA for an individual that can include housing rent, transport, food, utility and other expenses.

Q.3 What salary do you need to live in the USA?

Answer: After taxations, the average monthly Salary in the USA is around USD 4,518. This aggregate amount can help you in relieving the financial anxiety of the high cost of living in the USA. However, in the USA, you need to make at least USD  2,900 each month to survive.

Q.4 Is the USA expensive to live in?

Answer: The average cost of living in the USA is around USD 2,900 for a single person including rent. It might be more expensive than other countries worldwide, but you can live a good quality of life here.

So, this was all about the cost of living in the USA. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad.

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