An Informative Guide About Cost of Living DC: Facts You Must Know

cost of living dc


DC, the capital of the United States of America, is an expensive city to live in DC., also known as “Washington” or “Washington D.C.,” and is the most popular destination for many people worldwide. According to census report data, D.C. consist of 705,749 peoples. The total area of the city is 68.38 square miles. If you are wondering about the cost of living D.C., then you are at the right place. Because in this article, you will get all information about the living cost of Washington DC.

In Washington, the Federal Government is the biggest employer, and wages are generally higher in D.C. than the national average. Additionally, the fields of law, economics, and political science are among the highest paying in the city. Living in the capital is reasonably affordable due to the high salaries and lower living costs compared with other large cities such as Boston and San Francisco.

Cost of living D.C.

According to the famous cost indexing site, Washington DC is ranked 86th out of the 100 most expensive cities in the United States of America. In the same indexing list, the number of New York City is 100th. So, it is understandable that Washington, DC is 16% less expensive than New York City. The 86th rank of D.C. is calculated by considering the price of the following things:

  • Consumer goods
  • Groceries
  • Restaurants
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

In addition, the rank of expensiveness for D.C. is further reduced to 80 out of 100 when you include the cost of rent in the indexing score. If you want to move to D.C., you must consider the calculations of cost calculators to get exact figures about the cost of living in D.C.

Below is the description of the cost of some essential things. The following costs further explain the factors involved in calculating the overall living expenses of D.C.

Living apartment/ house prices

In order to live in D.C., you must be aware of the housing costs, which represent a significant expenditure. Normal or below-average home costs 1600 US dollars if you live in a rental apartment. The rent could be gone up to 2500 US dollars for a premium-class house. To live in an average house, you must pay about 2100 US dollars monthly rent. Start making your budget for living in D.C. by adding monthly rental costs.

Cost of monthly utility bills

After knowing about the rent of different houses in D.C., it’s time to get yourself ready for the second expense, which is in the shape of utility bills. The utility bills in Washington, DC, are comparatively low from other metropolitan cities. The average monthly bill for a small house is about 90 U.S. dollars. If you use the gas throughout the month with medium usage, the bill could be around 88 U.S. dollars, which you must pay at the end of the month.

Internet is also an essential utility these days. So, your budget must include the monthly internet bill, which is approximately 43 U.S. dollars. The water bill is 26 U.S. dollars per month in Washington, DC. So, the total utility bills for a normal apartment in D.C. is approximately 246 US dollars per month.

Food expenditures in D.C.

The food prices in the city are high. The price of a one-time meal in a restaurant is about 17 U.S. dollars per person. If you go to a mid-range restaurant, you must pay about 40 U.S. dollars per person for a meal. A 330 ml water bottle can cost you about 2.20 US dollars.

The grocery items prices are 10% higher than in other cities in the USA. For example, the price of one pound of chicken is 12 U.S. dollars, the meat is 18 dollars, eggs are 5 dollars per dozen, and the price of potato is 5 dollars per pound. In a nutshell, it is estimated that the average grocery cost in D.C. is about 350 US dollars for a whole month for a single person.


After you’ve moved into your new home in D.C., you still need to commute for work, school, and other obligations await. Public transit options are available in Washington, D.C. However, fares can be pretty expensive during peak times, and most Washingtonians opt to keep (and pay for parking and fuel) a personal vehicle.

If you use local transport, the one-way ticket can cost you about 2.88 dollars. The price of a monthly pass for local transport is about 112 dollars. If you want to travel on taxi, then you pay the fare of tax $5 per kilometer. And if you have your vehicle, you must pay the gasoline price of 1.21 per litter.

Cost of health care

Washington, D.C., has relatively high health care costs at about $10,295 per year, as the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported. The specific cost of health care varies widely depending on various factors, including:

  • Your insurance coverage
  • How frequently do you need medical treatment
  • Family member’s strength.

If you’re living in D.C., you’re likely working for the Government, which probably means you have good health insurance benefits.

How much does a monthly rent in D.C. cost?

An overview of the cost of living in Washington, DC, USA: Without rent, the average monthly expense for a family of four is $4,326. Without housing, a single person’s estimated monthly payments are $1,185. Seattle is 6.91% more costly than Washington (without rent).

How much money would it need to live in DC in 2023 comfortably?

The fifth-highest take-home salary is needed in the metropolitan region around Washington, D.C., for a person to live comfortably. To cover basic expenses and still have money left over for discretionary spending, saving, and debt repayment, your biweekly take-home pay must be at least $2,526.


The cost of living D.C. is comparatively high from other main cities in the USA. The average cost of living in D.C. is approximately 65000 US dollars annually. So, add this amount to your yearly budget before moving to Washington, DC.


  • What is the recommended income to live comfortably in Washington, D.C.?

The definition of comfort is different for everyone, but there is one thing that can be said with certainty: Washington, D.C., is undoubtedly the most expensive place to live in the United States. Moreover, according to 2022 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, most people in D.C. spend about $65,169 on living, working, and playing – so after taxes, you will probably want to make more.

  • Is DC more expensive than New York City?

The ranking shows that Washington costs 38% more than New York. The District of Columbia has a high cost of living. Despite this, there is almost no measure by which it makes sense to consider it more expensive than New York City.

  • In Washington, DC, what is the average income for middle-class families?

Compared to major U.S. cities, the nation’s capital has the fourth-highest median household income. An average middle-class income ranges from $69,000.50 to $184,532.

abdul waheed
Abdul Waheed is a seasoned business blogger, specializing in entrepreneurship and small business management. With over 10 years of experience, he offers invaluable insights and practical guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs, helping them navigate the challenges of starting and growing a successful business.