Cost Of Living in Honolulu, is it too expensive to live?

By: Mahmuda Afreen / Read more about us.

The United States is one of the diverse continents with many wonderful and magical cities. Among those Honolulu is one of the most beautiful which is nicknamed paradise. Following that fascination, many people want to live in this city. However, one must know that cost of living in Honolulu will be 60% more than the national average.

Specifically, a person will be paying at least 102.2% more than the national capital. However, it is only 0.9% cheaper compare to NY. Furthermore, the readers will have to look below for more details.

On average a person will have to expense at least $2783 including rent, utilities, and everything else. Moreover, a family of three-person with two working adults and two children will have to pay around $6526 monthly. In case one is having three children and only one working adult, their income will not be sufficient which is $152,241 annually if they do not have a decent job.

Cost Of Living in Honolulu

Honolulu is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. Not only in the USA but also it is the largest city all over the world with historical, cultural, and economical diversity. Moreover, in the USA it is the most fast-growing city which has grown 79.27% in the past 10 years in every aspect. This city is situated on Oahu Island between California and Japan.

 So, one will get the ultimate mixing of western and eastern cultures everywhere in Honolulu. This city harmoniously blends two different culture and create something extraordinary. With the wonderful location of hills and sea, this city is also called Paradise which is one of the many nicknames for Honolulu. According to the research of the experts and official authorities, this is the 7th most expensive city to live in. However, it is got 96th as the best place to live and 91st position as the best place to retire.

Mainly, this city is a great place to retire to spend the last years of your life in the living paradise having countless fun in the fresh air. Specifically, one can enjoy the hills, and sea, swim on many beaches, surfacing, and explore cultural diversity. Also, the fresh food, fresh air, and positive vibe of this city will bring liveliness into people’s minds. They will feet younger and strength which will motivate the elderly to live their life with a new vision.

Moreover, this city is the hotspot of different races and cultures. Mainly some of the young’s from Asian countries like Japan, Vietnam, and China like to move to Honolulu because of the mixed cultural pubs, restaurants, and working diversity. They can settle down here compared to other cities in the USA because of the similarities in culture. Also, people finding suitable jobs here like to move and love to live here.

However, making any decision and moving to a completely new city from one permanent living place and comfort zone, one must research different criteria including living costs. First of all, one will have to look for the jobs they can do here and compare to the salary which will be their living cost. Sometimes, the basic living cost of a place goes beyond the income of a person. That put that person into a great crisis and lower living position. To avoid such a situation one must research the job market and the living cost of Honolulu before making any serious decision.

Read more: Cost Of Living Comparison between Germany and Italy

Table: Overall Scenario of living in Honolulu

Household income$83,173
Per capita income$37,013
Average salary$78,148
Highest tax rate11%
Unemployment rate4.2%
Living cost of one person$2783
Living cost of one family with four members$6526

One can see that the income tax of that city is quite low and the unemployment rate is also low. So, there is no high chance that one person will starve to death if they move to Honolulu. However, let us give an idea one the annual salary of some of the popular areas of the job. One has to know that this salary range will vary from position to position and company to company. We have just illustrated an average salary in the minimum range.

Table: Range of salary in Honolulu

Occupational AreaTypical Annual Salary
Business & Financial Operations$71,016
Computer & Mathematical$86,114
Architecture & Engineering$89,837
Life, Physical, & Social Science$71,861
Community & Social Service$54,238
Education, Training, & Library$53,628
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, & Media$54,987
Healthcare Practitioners & Technical$102,388
Food Preparation & Serving Related$35,931
Building & Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance$41,430
Personal Care & Service$32,742
Sales & Related$35,438
Office & Administrative Support$44,555
Farming, Fishing, & Forestry$42,511
Construction & Extraction$76,312
Installation, Maintenance, & Repair$62,734

Now, we have the salary range of different jobs and one can find their skilled area from there. Finally, let’s get into the main point and find out the living expenses in Honolulu according to different criteria.

Rent per Month

Type of AccommodationRent
Apartment of 1 bedroom in City Centre2,106.25 $
Apartment of 1 bedroom Outside of Centre1,629.00 $
Apartment of 3 bedrooms in City Centre3,883.33 $
Apartment of 3 bedrooms Outside of Centre2,950.00 $
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre559.00 $
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre754.62 $

The rent of both one person and a family of 4 or more person house rent will be higher in the city center or near the city center. However, one can rent a room or a house at a cheaper rate outside the city center compared to the location of the city center. If one does not have the issue of distance and has a limited salary, they can simply live outside the city center near an urban area to avoid the high rental cost.

Monthly utility bills

Type of BillsAmount of Bills
Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage275.61 $
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local0.34 $
Internet,60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL62.43 $

The utility bills are not much in Honolulu compared to the rent of the house. It is quite average and normal compare to other cities in the USA and other cities of the world. Moreover, because of the war between Ukraine and Russia, the electricity and gas bills are having a 10% to 20% increase in Huawei. So, the people living in Honolulu will get affected by the increment.

Groceries Cost

regular Milk 1 gallon6.73 $
Loaf of Fresh White Bread 1 lb5.36 $
white Rice 1 lb3.12 $
Regular Eggs 126.29 $
Local Cheese 1 lb8.10 $
Chicken Fillets 1 lb8.25 $
Beef Round 1 lb8.33 $
Apples 1 lb3.34 $
Banana 1 lb2.10 $
Oranges 1 lb3.13 $
Tomato 1 lb3.07 $
Potato 1 lb2.33 $
Onion 1 lb2.29 $
Lettuce 1 head4.33 $
Water 1.5-liter bottle2.22 $
Bottle of Wine17.00 $
A domestic Beer 0.5-liter bottle3.50 $
Imported Beer small bottle3.47 $

There is a list of common groceries or must groceries one will need to survive. Those are the must groceries but one can be brought more than that like some more variety of vegetables, fruits, and other things. If they do so, the food cost will get higher.

Restaurants Foods cost

Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant18.00 $
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course87.50 $
McMeal at McDonald’s10.00 $
Domestic Beer 1-pint draught7.00 $
Imported Beer 12 oz small bottle9.00 $
regular Cappuccino5.38 $
Coke/Pepsi  small bottle2.13 $
Water small bottle2.04 $

Eating outside in a restaurant is one of the fun things to do in Honolulu. Because of the cultural diversity, one can experience different cuisine in Honolulu which attract many people to visit and live there. Moreover, one can eat a full belly for around $18 in an inexpensive restaurant. Moreover, eating a full course meal three times with family will be quite expensive in this city. Since is one of the hotspots for tourists, the food in the restaurant is quite expensive.

Cost of different transportation

Type of TransportationCost
One-way Ticket2.88 $
Monthly Pass70.00 $
Taxi Start3.50 $
Taxi 1 mile3.00 $
Taxi 1hour Waiting40.50 $
Gasoline 1 gallon5.21 $

Transportation is not a big concern in a city like Honolulu. Since it is a tourist spot, the transporting system is pretty developed and cheap. One can easily move from one place to another at a low cost. On the local train or bus, the regular price of the monthly pass will be around $70 and a one-way ticket will cost around $3 which is not expensive but affordable.

Expenses of Cloths

Type of ClothsCost
1 Pair of Jeans48.78 $
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store43.22 $
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes108.57 $
1 Pair of Men’s Leather Shoes139.89 $

Clothing is an extremely personal preference and different people like to wear different types of clothes. If we considered the most common clothes, a pair of jeans for both men and women will cost around $48 or more or less. Besides, some summer dresses for both gender will cost not less than $40. Moreover, individuals have to decide what they will wear and find the total cost of it.

This is the information on almost every cost one will be facing while living in Honolulu. However, the cost can be calculated differently according to family members, number of children, and number of members getting paid for their work in an individual family.

Family of one adult and one adult earning

In Honolulu, many single parents live with their children wanting a better lifestyle and diversity. Also, some people live alone in this beautiful city for education or jobs. Let’s see the expense and required income to live for a family with one earning adult and a different number of children.

Area of Expense1 Adult
0 Children1 Child2 Children3 Children
Child Care$0$9,420$18,830$28,2340
Required annual income after taxes$36,889$66,106$75,631$89,063
Annual taxes$10,314$18,863$21,581$25,414
Required annual income before taxes$47,203$84,969$97,212$114,476

Here we can see that one adult with zero children will need around $36880 after paying the text in Honolulu. However, the range of required income will increase in twice the rate with every child. That means if one is having 3 children then the required income will be 3x. Overall, it will be quite hard to live in this city with three children and one earning adult.

A family of two adults and one adult earning

If a family has two adults then the expense will be double compared to the first option. One will have to expense double on food, clothes, transportation, and many other things. Moreover, if that family has one or two children then the expense will increase rapidly. If that earning person is not holding a proper job that pays a healthy salary then their life in Honolulu will be a nightmare. In the table below, we can see that parents with three children will need at least $89,063 after paying the taxes to fulfill their basic needs.

Area of Expense2 Adults with 1 Working
0 Children1 Child2 Children3 Children
Child Care$0$9,420$18,830$28,2340
Required annual income after taxes$53,771$69,503$84,659$115,463
Annual taxes$15,343$19,833$24,158$32,946
Required annual income before taxes$69,115$89,336$108,817$148,409

Family of two adults with two earning adults

Life will be easier if both the parents are working together. Then surviving with three or more children will not be hard for them. As concerned, one will have to earn that much illustrated in the table if both of the parents are working for different child positions.

Area of Expense2 Adults, Both Are Working
0 Children1 Child2 Children3 Children
Child Care$0$9,413$18,826$28,239
Required annual income after taxes$53,771$75,519$94,457$117,302
Annual taxes$15,343$21,549$26,953$34,939
Required annual income before taxes$69,115$97,068$121,410$152,241

Overall, living in Honolulu is a wonderful option that a fool would want to refuse. However, one will have to keep in mind that living expenses in this particular city will be around 59% higher compared to the national average. Recently this percentage increased by around 2% because of the world crisis of natural disasters and manmade disasters. If one can afford it, then no city will be as good as this one in the USA, one will be living in a vacation spot which is literally a piece of heaven. However, let’s compare the living cost of Honolulu with some other popular cities in the USA.

Living cost comparison between Honolulu and San Diego

HonoluluSan DiegoDifferences
Cost of living for one person$2793$27451.4%
Cost of living Family$6531$61286.2%
One person rent$1742$1847-6%
Family rent$3210$31651.1%
Food expenses$775$57429%
Transport expenses$115$17545.6%
Average monthly salary after tax$5230$6150-16.3%

Overall, living in San Diego will be 1% cheaper than Honolulu. According to the official database of the USA, in living costs, San Diego placed 68th and the other one placed 58th. Moreover, income in San Diego will be a lot more than in Honolulu with other opportunities. Besides, house rent, food, and almost all the other things will be more expensive here. Therefore, in the same job one will be earning much, paying less, and living better in San Diego than in Honolulu with 97% of the quality of life.

Honolulu vs Miami, Compare the Living Cost

Areas of  costHonoluluMiamiDifferences
Cost of living for one person$2793$2821-1.7%
Cost of living Family$6531$6688-2.4%
One person rent$1742$1899-8.6%
Family rent$3210$3790-16.6%
 Food expenses$775$63719.5%
Transport expenses$115$137-17.5%
Average Monthly salary after tax$5230$4580-13.3%

Miami is another tourist attraction in the United States yet one of the developed cities. Overall, this city ranked 53rd in the world’s most expensive cities which is 5th place ahead of the other one. Specifically, living in Honolulu will be at least 0.9% cheaper compared to Miami. If one is in love with beaches and hills and they want to move to any of these two cities, Honolulu will be the better choice to pick.

Living cost comparison between Honolulu and Columbia

ExpensesHonoluluColumbia, OHDifferences
Cost of living One person$2793$249511.3%
Cost of living Family$6531$465733.5%
One person rent$1742$18304.9%
Family rent$3210$223935.6%
Food Expenses$775$47548%
Transport Expenses$115$4980.5%
Average Monthly salary after tax$5230$384530.5%

Columbia OH is another city with beaches, seas, and wonderful views. In case one does not want to have any vibe of the modern city and wants to be with nature as much as possible, Columbia Oh is a great choice. Also, the living cost in this city is so much less compared to Honolulu. However, the acceptance of life in this city will be lower compared to the other one.

In the end, let’s see the living cost of some other most popular cities in the USA and compare them with Honolulu. It will give the readers more clarity of an idea.

Table: Honolulu vs other cities of USA, living cost

The average living cost for one person in Honolulu is $2783

StateCost of livingDifferences
New York State$3,531-0.97%
District of Columbia$2,5807.60%
US Virgin Islands$2,34517.30%
Oregon State$2,01332.10%
New Jersey$1,99333.40%
New Hampshire$1,95135.10%
Rhode Island$1,89038.20%
North Carolina$1,84140.70%
South Carolina$1,83141.40%
Texas State$1,81342.20%
Oklahoma State$1,70548%
South Dakota$1,65750.70%
New Mexico$1,65151.10%
Puerto Rico$1,60094.20%
North Dakota$1,56556%
West Virginia$1,50959.50%

Overall, Honolulu in the USA is one of the amazing cities and the capital of Hawaii also is one of the most expensive cities. According to a study in recent times, this city comes into the top 5 expensive cities in United State. Moreover, the living expense of this city is almost 60% more than the national average. Furthermore, the groceries in this city will cost 70.9% higher than the national average. One of the biggest living costs is the utilities which are 102.2% expensive. Therefore, living in Honolulu will be an expensive decision to make. If one cannot secure a good job there it will be wise not to leave their permanent city or house for this living paradise.

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