Cost of living in the USA, prices and what it is like to live for an Expat, quality of life / hardship, and compare cost of living for Expatriates as at October 2023. What is it like to live in the USA? Climate: The climate is mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semi arid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest. Language: The official language is English. It is predominant in business circles throughout the US. The US has highly cosmopolitan immigrant communities, particularly in cities who speak many other languages. Spanish is widely spoken in districts of most cities, as well as areas near the Mexican border. Religion: Christianity. Economy: The economy of the United States is a capitalist mixed economy, fuelled by abundant natural resources, a well-developed infrastructure, and high productivity. The U.S. economy is the largest national economy in the world, with an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) equal to a quarter of nominal global GDP and a fifth of global GDP at purchasing power parity. Inflation: 3.7% for the United States as at August 2023. Money: The currency of United States is the US Dollar (USD). Banking is on a par with the rest of Western Europe and North America. Tax: In USA is based on the current personal income tax rates using the Single Federal income tax marginal rates for individuals which are progressive up to 37%. In addition there are State and Local Taxes which vary across the USA. For Xpatulator Hypothetical Tax purposes we have used a combined average of State and Local Taxes of 6.5%. The combined maximum progressive Xpatulator Hypothetical Tax rate is therefore 43.5% based on Federal (37%) + State and Local Taxes (6.5%). Population: 330.8 Million (2022 est.) Expat Life: Expatriate dress code is generally formal, comprising jacket and tie for men and suits for women, although this may differ by industry and state. The safety risk for expatriates in the United States is low overall, but medium in low-income, inner-city areas. Risks include terrorism, opportunistic street crime (such as pickpocketing, bag-snatching, mugging and vehicle theft), and violent crime in low-income, inner-city areas. Other risks include hurricanes, forest fires, and snowstorms. Health Care: Health care facilities are good, however the cost of treatment for expatriates can be high. Some hospitals may ask non-US residents to pay a deposit or ‘good faith’ payment on admittance.
The USA covers all states. For each state see
Alabama AL, Alaska AK, Arizona AZ, Arkansas AR, California CA, Colorado CO, Connecticut CT, Delaware DE, Florida FL, Georgia GA, Hawaii HI, Idaho ID, Illinois IL, Indiana IN, Iowa IA, Kansas KS, Kentucky KY, Louisiana LA, Maine ME, Maryland MD, Massachusetts MA, Michigan MI, Minnesota MN, Mississippi MS, Missouri MO, Montana MT, Nebraska NE, Nevada NV, New Hampshire NH, New Jersey NJ, New Mexico NM, New York State, North Carolina NC, North Dakota ND, Ohio OH, Oklahoma OK, Oregon OR, Pennsylvania PA, Rhode Island RI, South Carolina SC, South Dakota SD, Tennessee TN, Texas TX, Utah UT, Vermont VT, Virginia VA, Washington WA, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA, West Virginia WV, Wisconsin WI, and Wyoming WY.
Cost Of Living
What is the cost of living in USA?
The cost of living for expatriates in USA as at October 2023 is average in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 72.24 (New York =100). We have collected prices for the same items, world wide, based on Expat spending norms, in or closest to the location, and converted them to $USD so that we can compare the cost of 13 different baskets in 780 global locations. For each basket, compared to New York, the equivalent cost in USA is as follows:
1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is average for items such as beer, spirits, wine and tobacco related products such as cigarettes. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$740. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$16.90, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$7.80, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$4.39 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$11.70. 2) Clothing: Cost is average for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$750. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$51, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$82, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$111 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$40. 3) Communication: Cost is high for various communication costs such as home telephone rental, internet subscription, mobile service provider tariff and data costs. A basket costing USD$200 in New York costs USD$192. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$70, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$43.00 per minute. 4) Education: Cost is high for items such as creche / pre-school fees, primary school fees, high school fees and tertiary study fees. A basket costing USD$30,000 in New York costs USD$30000. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$19,505 for Primary School, and USD$21,706 for High School. 5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is average for items such as dining table and chairs, home entertainment, kitchen appliances, and sofas. A basket costing USD$2,500 in New York costs USD$2075. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$698, and USD$599 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV. 6) Groceries: Cost is high for items such as consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit & vegetables, general food products, snacks, soft drinks. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$800. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$2.89, 1 kg oranges USD$2.47, 1 head lettuce USD$2.78, 1 kg potatos USD$1.64, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$7.06, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$6.98, 1 dozen large eggs USD$5.86, 500g loaf white bread USD$4.17, 1 L full cream milk USD$5.07, and 1.5 L water USD$2.76. 7) Healthcare: Cost is high for general heath care, doctor visits, hospital stays, non-prescription medicine, and medical insurance. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$960. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$78, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$2,393. 8) Household Accommodation: Cost is average for items such as apartment rent, house rent, property purchase, mortgage rate, and utilities. A basket costing USD$5,000 in New York costs USD$2550. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$4,683 in a central location, and USD$2,961 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities. 9) Miscellaneous: Cost is average for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$305. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$5.98, while an international newspaper is USD$1.84. 10) Personal Care: Cost is average for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$325. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$26, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$130. 11) Recreation & Culture: Cost is average for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$280. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$16.25, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$55 per month. 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Cost is high for items such as hotel daily room rates, meals and beverages in a restaurant, and take away food and beverages. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$780. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$6.16, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$3.03, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$13.00, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$97.50. 13) Transport: Cost is average for items such as fuel (petrol/gasoline), car hire, public transport, vehicle purchase and maintenance. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$880. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$3.77, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$25,000. How does the cost of living in USA compare?
USA is 10.6% more expensive than Australia for groceries, -13.4% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 73.5% more expensive for transport costs than India.
What is the quality of life / hardship in USA?
USA is ranked as a minimal hardship location.The hardship premium for USA for an expat from Australia, is for example 0%, i.e. host location (the USA) premium of 10% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%.
Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in USA? Register subscribe to your home location and USA and run your personalised reports.