Cost Of Living
What is the cost of living in Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA?
The cost of living for expatriates in Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA as at October 2023 is very high in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 89.93 (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 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA is as follows:
1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is very high 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$980. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$19.50, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$10.40, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$6.20 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$14.30. 2) Clothing: Cost is high for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$970. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$60, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$100, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$157 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$38. 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$210. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$56, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$43.67 per minute. 4) Education: Cost is very 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$37500. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$24,310 for Primary School, and USD$27,053 for High School. 5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is high 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$2275. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$730, and USD$627 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$890. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$3.13, 1 kg oranges USD$3.32, 1 head lettuce USD$3.71, 1 kg potatos USD$2.08, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$7.50, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$7.94, 1 dozen large eggs USD$5.62, 500g loaf white bread USD$4.07, 1 L full cream milk USD$5.16, and 1.5 L water USD$3.33. 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$920. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$75, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$2,292. 8) Household Accommodation: Cost is very high 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$4150. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$7,787 in a central location, and USD$4,686 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$380. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$7.43, while an international newspaper is USD$2.29. 10) Personal Care: Cost is high for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$420. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$34, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$168. 11) Recreation & Culture: Cost is high for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$370. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$19.50, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$122 per month. 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Cost is very 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$970. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$6.62, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$3.28, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$13.00, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$130.00. 13) Transport: Cost is high 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$960. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$3.75, 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 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA compare?
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA is 21.7% more expensive than Houston TX for groceries, 272.6% more expensive for household costs than Kuala Lumpur, and 30.8% more expensive for transport costs than Dubai.
What is the quality of life / hardship in Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA?
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA is ranked as a minimal hardship location.The hardship premium for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA for an expat from Perth, is for example 0%, i.e. host location (Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA) premium of 10% minus home (Perth) location premium of 10%.
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