Living in Los Angeles

Can one manage the cost Of Living in Los Angeles in 2023? (a comparative discussion)

The living cost in LA has increased up to 3.2% over the next year and at least 5% than a couple of years back. The experts expect that it will rise for quite a long time because of the current scenario of the world.

Specifically, living in this city will be 7% higher than the state average and 51% higher than the national average. Moreover, the housing here will be 18% higher compared to the country’s average. However, some of the areas like utility bills are 15%, transportation is 4%, and food is 2% less than the average national cost.

The Cost of Living in Los Angeles will be more expensive than 88% of cities in the USA and 95% of cities in the world. Moreover, a single person will be able to manage to live with at least $36,452 annually. Besides, a family of four will need $75,731 per year.

Los Angeles night view

Cost Of Living in Los Angeles

The most iconic, financially, and commercially rich, and cultural center of the State of California. This city is well known for the residence of many popular celebrities, actors, and actresses of Hollywood. There is a reason why those famous people chose this city to be their home.

Well, the main reason can be the beautiful sight, peaceful air, and the aura of this place. Los Angeles is the largest city in California and the 2nd most popular city in the United State. This city is extremely known for its Mediterranean climate and cultural diversity.

People from all around the world live here. So, it is nothing less than a dream of many people to live in this amazing place. Many are planning to move here from another country or even another city in the USA.

Well, before moving to any place one has to calculate so many things. Because moving means starting from scratch and starting completely new. One will have to leave behind their old life and start a completely fresh life.

That means a lot of unwanted and wanted costs will be added to their lifestyle. Of course, they will have to have the ability to tackle all those expenses. It is not possible to manage if they do not have a proper paying job that will cover those.

That is why one must calculate the living cost of a city and compare that with the salary of their expertise. For example, if one is an expert in A and this expertise is going to give him a job with payment of $2000 in the city C. however, a family will need at least $3000 to live in that city C. that means the salary of that person is insufficient to live there.

Let’s calculate that statement for our selected city to give an estimate to our readers.

According to the consumer index given by BLS, the cost of daily necessities has been quite fluctuating since 2019 but suddenly rose high in recent years.


From the chart above, in the mid of 2019, the cost index was 3%. having a sharp fall to 1% till 2021 it suddenly starts rising. From 1% it increased to 7.5% within a year and a half. From these statistics, one can guess that living in Los Angeles will not be cheap anymore but quite expensive. So, they have to get prepared for the consequence if they are planning to come.

First, we will be seeing the scenario of overall living cost here and then calculate the minimum and average salary range to just the cost.

It should be calculated as follows,

Basic needs budget= {Food cost + childcare cost + (insurance premiums + health care costs) + housing cost + transportation cost + other necessities cost + civic engagement + broadband}

Calculating those, we will be comparing with the income one have to have to fulfill that need

Cost of living for one person

Living anywhere as a single person is easier. Because one can cut so many extra expenses. Moreover, they can adjust to a minimum. Let’s see the table below to get an idea of how it will be living in LA as a single person.

Child Care$0
Required annual income after taxes$36,452
Annual taxes$9,084
Required annual income before taxes$45,536

In the table above we have estimated an annual cost for a single person. The maximum expense will be in the housing which is $17775. This cost will be highly different based on the apartment type and neighborhood.

Other high expenses will be on the transport and the food, it will also depend on person to person, how they travel and what they eat. On average, we have calculated a person will need $4,938 for transportation and $3,999 for food (Groceries and eating out).

To cover all those expenses that person will need to earn $36452 after paying the income tax. Otherwise, it will be hard to keep up with the cost.

How much it will be living with family in Los Angeles?

One may think that living with a family will be multiplied by a single person’s cost. Well, things do not work like that. A family of more than one member will have different costs. Because they will have different characteristics, responsibilities, and so on. So, giving an exact calculation is not possible but an estimate is. Have a look at the table to get a proper idea.

Areas of Expense2 members3 members4 members5 members
Required annual income after taxes$54,044$66,206$75,731$86,345
Annual taxes$16,372$20,056$22,941$26,157
Required annual income before taxes$70,416$86,262$98,673$112,502

As in the calculation above, the highest expense will be the accommodation whether one has two, three, or more family members. For example, a family of two members will need an apartment of at least two rooms which will cost around $20,839. Moreover, a family of 5 members apartment will have a rent of $35,511.

Along with the accommodation expense, there will be transportation and food expenses which will be around $14,000 for a family of five. The other costs will be medical, civic, entertainment, and so on. There will be another important expense, childcare. If the family both adults are working and there is no one to take care of their child, they must have childcare which will cost around $11,191 for every child.

Moreover, there will be education costs if any of the children are going to school which is expensive too. One will get help from the government for the children but eventually, the maximum cost will be on the parents.

Overall, living with a family will cost a minimum of $54,044, and the maximum range is not labeled since a family can have any number of members and needs to fulfill.

Now we will be demonstrating all the costs in different segments. It will help people to compare the expenses in a broad range and in a more understandable way. If the calculation above seems complicated to compare, the explanation below will help.

Housing and utility expenses in Los Angeles

We have already stated that the housing and utilities bills are going to the majority of the expense of living. It is no secret that housing in LA is one of the most expensive. Let’s see how many options one will have.

1 bedroom apartment in City Center (40 m2 or 430 ft2)$2067
Cheap 1 bedroom apartment (40 m2 or 430 ft2)$1559
3 bedroom apartment in City Center (80 m2 or 860 ft2)$3489
Cheap 3-bedroom apartment (80 m2 or 860 ft2)$2759
Utility Bill one person, electricity, heating, water, etc.$93.5
 Utility Bill for a Family, electricity, heating, water, etc.$145
Internet plan, 50 Mbps+ 1 month unlimited$62.8
Mortgage Interest Rate for 20 Years5.1%
Apartment price to Buy in City Center (1 m2 or 10 ft2)$9199
House price to Buy in Suburbs (1 m2 or 10 ft2)$5846

For a person sharing a flat with other people will be $1500 at least for a room. If he or she is looking for a studio apartment, it will be not less than $2000. In most of the neighborhoods, it will be much more than our calculated one.

For an apartment of three rooms for a family, it will be a nightmare a rent. Selecting the expensive apartment will cause $3489 and for the cheap one, the rent will be $2759. Moreover, people can always go for the option of buying a property. It may look expensive in the first place. But if you calculate a lifetime, it is the most convenient option.

Besides, the utility bills here are quite affordable, $93 for one and $145 for a family. Overall, the choice of the person who is going to move and their financial condition.

The expense of food in LA

Eating is the most activity for human beings for living. Like breathing, eating healthy food is important. At the expense of food, there will be the price of groceries one will need for their home and the cost of eating outside.

Eating in a restaurant is not mandatory. But people working the whole day outside need to eat somewhere. Moreover, passing time with family, eating outside, and going somewhere nice also significantly contribute to making a happy family.

Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant$19.50
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course$88.59 
McMeal at McDonald’s (or Equivalent Combo Meal)$10.00 
Domestic Beer 0.5-liter draught)$8.00 
Imported Beer 0.33-liter bottle)$8.00 
Cappuccino (regular)$4.96 
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle)$2.62 
Water 0.33-liter bottle)$2.26 
Milk (regular), (1 liter)$1.12 
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)$3.67 
Rice (white), (1kg)$5.61 
Eggs (regular) (12)$3.67 
Local Cheese (1kg)1$2.34 
Chicken Fillets (1kg) $11.39
Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) $17.99
Apples (1kg) $4.19
Banana (1kg) $1.80
Oranges (1kg)$3.50 
Tomato (1kg)$4.00 
Potato (1kg) $2.69
Onion (1kg)$2.11 
Lettuce (1 head) $1.76
Water 1.5-liter bottle) $2.01
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) $12.00
Domestic Beer 0.5-liter bottle) $2.62
Imported Beer 0.33-liter bottle) $3.24
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro)$11.50 

As we can see, the price of groceries and the food in the restaurant are pretty much like most cities in the USA. However, the overall food costs in LA will be 2% lower than the national average. So, one can rest in assurance and spend some quality time at the dinner table or restaurant eating their favorite food.

How much will be the transportation in LA?

The transportation cost in LA is quite affordable compared to other popular cities in America. Also, the system is pretty well constructed. So, people will feel easy-going, comfortable, and safe using the public transport as we as the private.

Transportation typesCost
One-way Ticket (Local Transport)1.75 $
Monthly Pass (Regular Price)73$
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)4.00 $
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)1.68 $
Taxi 1-hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)29.19 $
Gasoline (1 liter)1.60 $

As I was saying, transportation will be 4% lower than the national average. Also, one will find the different options in public transport tickets starting from around $2 and regular monthly subscriptions from $73.

Moreover, this city does not have a record of bad traffic jams. So, it will be okay to drive a personal car to the office, school, or anywhere else.

Comparison of living costs between LA and other popular cities

If one wants to move to any of the popular cities in the USA popular like LA, they should look for the other cities too. I have listed some of the cities and compared the total living cost with LA.

CitiesCompare to LA
San Francisco, CA-45.0%
Washington, DC-15.0%
Miami, FL+ 29.5%
Chicago, IL+ 26.1%
Boston, MA-9.9%
New York, NY-39.4%
Dallas, TX+43.7%

According to the table, living in Dallas, TX will be 43.7% more expensive comparatively. This one is also the most expensive city in the United State. Moreover, Miami, FL, and Chicago, IL will be expensive compared to these cities.

Choosing a more affordable city but exciting than LA, San Francisco, CA, and New York City, NY will be the best options.

cost Of Living in Los Angeles

How much is the income range in LA for different occupations?

The average income in LA is quite high compared to the national average. Here, the minimum wage will be from $10 to $15 depending on the different occupations. Also, the median household income will be around $65000 annually.

Let’s have a look at the table for the minimum wage of the different professions in LA.

Occupational AreaTypical Annual Salary
Business & Financial Operations$84,198
Computer & Mathematical$119,872
Architecture & Engineering$105,770
Life, Physical, & Social Science$91,100
Community & Social Service$58,272
Education, Training, & Library$64,168
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, & Media$69,625
Healthcare Practitioners & Technical$105,245
Healthcare Support$33,159
Food Preparation & Serving Related$31,993
Building & Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance$37,461
Personal Care & Service$34,047
Sales & Related$38,049
Office & Administrative Support$46,994
Farming, Fishing, & Forestry$31,169
Construction & Extraction$62,681
Installation, Maintenance, & Repair$58,497
Transportation & Material Moving$37,578

The information above is after conducting the income tax which starts from 3%. As we can some of the professions will provide a handsome wage to live happily with a big family. However, some job is not enough to provide for a family but a single person. Now, one can compare those salary data with their expertise and living costs to decide.

Overall, Los Angeles is one of the most beautiful cities in this country with exciting beaches and beautiful sights all over the city. Moreover, the job expectation, education, and living quality here are so high that living here will is so comfortable.

If the income of the person wants to move justifies the living cost, it will be great to live in this ever-green city.

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