Cost of Living in Boston, MA

Cost of Living in Boston, MA is
39.5% higher
than the National Average
Did the Cost of Living in Boston, MA increase in 2018? Boston, MA area prices were up 3.2% from a year ago. The largest increases were found in Transportation, Food, and Housing.
By using's Cost of Living Calculator, you can make a cost of living comparison of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and salary differentials of over 300+ US cities. Let us help you make an informed decision about what it will cost to live and work in the city of your dreams!

Cost of Living in other Major Cities

City, State Compared to national average
City, StateChicago, IL Compared to National Average
+ 16.7%
City, StateDallas, TX Compared to National Average
+ 1.7%
City, StateMiami, FL Compared to National Average
+ 14.7%
City, StateNew York, NY Compared to National Average
+ 83.0%
City, StateSan Francisco, CA Compared to National Average
+ 62.5%
City, StateWashington, DC Compared to National Average
+ 59.6%

Cost of Living Boston, MA by expense category

Category Compared to national average
CategoryEnergy Compared to National Average
+ 15.5%
CategoryFood Compared to National Average
+ 4.7%
CategoryHealthCare Compared to National Average
+ 25.9%
CategoryHousing Compared to National Average
+ 9.0%
CategoryTransportation Compared to National Average
- 6.2%

Cost of Living Comparsion with Boston, MA

If you move to Boston from one of those below cities, you can see the changes of your cost of living.
Cost of Living Comparsion with Boston
Move From Move To Cost Of Living Comparision
City, StateChicago, IL City, StateBoston, MA Compared to National Average
+ 22.8%
City, StateDallas, TX City, StateBoston, MA Compared to National Average
+ 37.8%
City, StateMiami, FL City, StateBoston, MA Compared to National Average
+ 24.8%
City, StateNew York, NY City, StateBoston, MA Compared to National Average
- 43.5%
City, StateSan Francisco, CA City, StateBoston, MA Compared to National Average
- 23.0%
City, StateWashington, DC City, StateBoston, MA Compared to National Average
- 20.1%
From the above cost of living comparison, you can see:
If you move from Chicago IL, Dallas, TX, or Miami, FL,the raising percentage of your cost of living are 22.8%, 37.8%, and 24.8%. Looks like this move could have a negtive net change in disposable income, so please think carefully!
If you move from New york, NY, San Francisco, CA, or Washington, DC,the cutting down percentage of your cost of living are -43.50%, -23%, and -20.10%, that's really a good news to you that you could be looking at a positive net change in disposable income.

List of prices in Boston Cost of Living

Category Item Description Cost
Housing A studio apartment monthly rental fee $1,800 +
One bedroom apartment monthly rental fee $2,200 +
Two bedrooms apartment monthly rental fee $2,800 +
Three bedrooms apartment monthly rental fee $3,000 +
Food Minimum spending per month for home cooker $400
Average meal fee if you eat out $15
Average price for a 2-3 course meal at mid-range restaurant $60
One dozen eggs $3.84
1 lb. of apples $1.65
1 lb. of potatoes $0.81
1 lb. of tomatoes $2.20
1 qt. of whole fat milk $1.00
One bottle of beer $2.75
Bread for 3 people per day $3.44
16 OZ of local cheese $10
Transportation Monthly LinkPass for Subway lines per person $75
Parking Fee per hour $1.25
A gallon of gas $2.24
Taxi rates per mile $2.80
Taxes A flat income tax rate 5.15%
A flat statewide sales tax rate 6.25%
Rates range for taxable estate 0.8% - 16%
Meals tax 0.75%
Comments for Cost of Living in Boston, MA
By Pitt
July is the hottest month in Boston Massachusetts, with an average temperature of 75°F (24°C) and 10 hours of daytime. In this month, you can save a lot in costs of utilities. But in the long winter, usually from January to April, you need spend much on heater systems. Your living costs, like electricity bills, will skyrocket.
By Bradley
No matter where you live in Massachusetts you will pay state and federal taxes. You can go to Immihelp and USA taxes to learn more about taxes in different states. Sales Tax in Boston is 6.25% and is added to most goods and services. If you own your house, you need to pay property tax based on the area where you live and your property size. You also need to pay real estate transfer tax if you buy an apartment or house from other owners.
By Dakota
If you are going to find a job in Boston MA and relocate there, I highly recommend you review compensation and living costs on That would be helpful to estimate your proper salary from your future employers.
By Hannah
living expenses are relatively high in Boston Massachusetts. The costs listed above would give you a rough idea. Especially for healthcare costs, medical and healthcare expenses could be a big part of your living costs, so having a good medical insurance plan is very important.
By Bruce
Moving to Boston Massachusetts for work is one of the most common reasons why people decide to relocate. I am no exception. I can tell the apartment rent here is very high, even though it depends on the area where you live. If you want to live near to your company, you must pay more.
By Willis
Boston MA has a very low unemployment rate. Most of its jobs are in the technical, scientific, tourism and professional sectors. Working in these fields, you may have a higher income to support a better living standard.
By Walter
Boston MA is an interesting city. I have to admit living in Boston Massachusetts is expensive, but I still enjoy living in the Boston area very well. On weekends, I spent much time visiting museums and art galleries and watching shows. Importantly, the city view of Boston is fascinating. I would love to pay higher living costs for the rich variety of activities.
By Chris
As I know, around 39% of residents of Boston MA say the cost of living is high.
By William
The U.S. Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) will be 2% in 2018. Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2 percent in 2018, the Social Security Administration announced.
By Mary
How much was the cost of living in Boston, Massachusetts increased in 2018?

Cost of Living FAQ

What is Cost of Living? (Cost of Living Definition)

Cost of living is the pay of necessities to maintain a certain standard of living. Cost of living has been rising across the United States. If you spend some time to do research, you may find out there are some budgeting tips and tricks that can help you cut down on extra expenses; but it’s really hard to save the basic cost of living unless you lower down your standard.

What factors are included in estimating your cost of living?

The cost of living estimate is based on housing, food, childcare, education, medical costs, transportation, and extras. In other words, we acalculated living cost based on those major factors. The major cost of living factors are listed below:
The housing is a fixed and big expense to your cost of living. You and your family may look for some buildings or structures that meet certain federal regulations and your personal preference to live in. No matter you choose to live in an urban area or countryside, the room space, neighborhood environment, and geographic location will affect the cost of living. Please keep in mind, 30% of your income is the maximum budget for your housing spending; otherwise you might feel stressed about your cost of living.
Another big expense to cost of living category is food. Everyone has their own lifestyle, someone likes to eat outside, and someone likes to have meal at home. The calculation of food expense is based on the local food prices from the grocery and sales taxes, like a pound of rice or a bottle of water can vary in cost from city to city. The suggestion we give to you for saving the cost of living in this item is try to cook at home, and eat more vegetable and less meat for healthy purpose as well.
The taxes in the United States are different in state to state. Some cities have zero sales tax but others have sales taxes in excess of 9%, such as California has high income taxes; it really takes a serious bite out of your income. So that’s easy to see why we include the taxes in our cost of living comparison.
Education and childcare
It's very common to get student loans for college education in the United States. And you may need a nanny who comes to your house or a pre-school or after-school daycare for your young kids. Both expenses are large spending that may shape your cost of living and affect your life quality.
Transportation is the device used to carry you from one location to another. The most popular form of transportation for people to commute in the United States is driving alone. Only 5% of Americans are taking public transit systems, such as subways/metros, bus, and taxies. Reliable transportation is very important to commutes. If you can carpool with someone, it may help you cut those costs and save your cost of living.
The healthcare is for taking preventative or necessary medical procedures to improve your well-being. You might have yourself employer-sponsored healthcare, so you don't have to pay anything for medical insurance. But if you need to purchase a health plan from a third-party insurance company, you could have monthly costs in hundreds. So, this is definitely a major factor of your cost of living