Cost Of Living in Washington State 2023, is this affordable?

By: Mahmuda Afreen / Read more about us.

One may assume that living costs in Washington State which is the capital of America will be high. Proving that assumption wrong, this State is one of the most affordable ones among all the others. Specifically, the cost of living in Washington State will require only 13% lower than the national average.

Moreover, with a tax-free income one can easily bear all the expenses and lead a luxurious life here. Expect Seattle will require 54% more than the national average, and all the other cities in this state will cost less than 20% of the national average. Furthermore, one will find more information below.

Annually, a single person will need $38,240 to cover all the living expenses including rent and food. On the other hand, a family with one child will need $74,452 and with three children they will need $118,610. With every addition of children, the cost will increase by almost 70%. Covering all those living expenses will be easier for a family if it has two or more earners.

Cost Of Living in Washington State

Many people mistake New York City for the capital of the United States. However, it was for a few years longer before but now it is not. Washington State or D.C. or the District of Colombia is the capital of the United States at the current time. It is situated on the east bank of the Potomac River consisting of a beautiful and natural diversity of the USA.

Specifically, because of good rain and sunny weather, this state is a paradise for nature with greenery everywhere. This state has big green forests, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and many diversity of nature. If one loves rain, sun, and nature, they will love living in DC.

Also, the education system and opportunities in this state are pretty impressive. The universities here are the best offering high-quality education and helping to build the future of the students. Besides, in DC the crime rate is supper low which makes it a suitable place to live with family in the USA.

However, while planning to move to DC, one must index their living cost here. They need to make sure that the money they will earn will support them well to cover their living cost. The good thing is DC is one of the most affordable states in the United States. It ranked 39 among all the states for living costs. Moreover, the expense of living here will be only around 12% higher than the national average according to the White House. That means living here will be affordable.

A significant mention is that one does not have to pay any personal income tax in Washington State. That means this city is a hub for earning a handsome amount of money. Overall, the job market here is also developed and people with minimum skills also get handsomely paid jobs.

Specifically, the minimum wage per hour in DC is $15 and the monthly salary is $6,100 on average. Annually, it is around $72,700 on average. People in the management and IT fields earn the most in DC. However, every profession here can earn well compared to the other state of America.  Let’s see the scenario of living costs in this state according to BSL for a single person and a family.

Cost of living in Washington DC for one person

Living single in Washington DC can be fun with the extreme security of life and so much to do. Also, the living cost here compare to the salary for a single person is quite low. One can live a wonderful life here with their monthly average income. Also, they can save a good amount of money for their education and other expenses.

Area of ExpenseAnnual Cost
Required annual income$38,240

Here, we can see that a person will need $38240 annually to cover his or her living expense. However, some people may need more or less. The living cost here will be extremely subjective and vary highly from person to person. However, the average income of a person is almost twice the average living cost of a person.

Cost of living in Washington DC for a family

The living cost of a family will depend on the number of family members and the age group of the members. The lower the number of the family will be the lower the cost will be. Moreover, a family with more children of different education levels will also cost much. As for now, we will be estimating the cost of a family of two earning adults and one to three children in DC.

Area of expenseOnly two adults1 Child2 Children3 Children
Child Care$11,290$22,571$33,857
Required annual income$53,520$74,452$95,258$118,610

Therefore, living in DC as a family of two adults will cost around $53520. Moreover, with the addition of children, the cost will start increasing by 70% at least. Overall, living with three children will cost $118610. Since two of the parents or two of the adult is working, they can easily bear the living expense for themselves and their children. Also, they can assure a good lifestyle and a future with their average yearly income.

However, if only one adult is working and the family has one more adult and three children, it will be pretty tough to cover the expense with the income of one person. In that case, they will face hardship to live in Washington DC.

Now let’s break down the cost for the differences as of this state to give a clearer overview. One can calculate the living expense using the help of those breakdown data.

Rent and Utilities in D.C.

1 bedroom apartment in Downtown$1300
Cheap 1 bedroom apartment$1100
3 bedroom apartment in Downtown$2550
Cheap 3 bedroom apartment$2100
Utility Bill for one person$110
Utility Bill for a Family$170
 Internet, 50 Mbps+ 1 month unlimited$64.3
Mortgage Interest Rate for 20 Years3.36%
Apartment price to Buy in City Center each 10 ft2>$6000
House price to Buy in Suburbs each 10 ft2>$3060

The rent for accommodation will depend on the type of house according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. On average, one can find a living place under $1300 in a good place. As for a family of three, a suitable apartment will cost around $2500. Moreover, the housing cost in DC is quite high because of less availability. One will have to pay 20% more in housing compared to the national average.

Besides, the utility bills for a single person will be around $110 and for a family, it will be $170. However, this also can have increments and decrement according to the use of electricity, water, and other things. The good thing is the utility bills in this state are comparatively low. As of the record, it will be 9% lower than the state average.

Transportation Cost

Local transport ticket$2.38
Monthly ticket local transport$67.2
Taxi Ride, 8 km or 5 mi$18.1
Gas / Petrol, 1 L or 0.26 gal$1.04

According to IRS the transportation in D.C is quite advanced and comfortable. However, the cost will be almost 20% more than the national average yet lower than many states.

Daily Needs Cost

1 L Milk $0.89
0.5 kg Bread $2.96
1 kg Rice$4.15
1 kg Cheese$13.1
1 kg Chicken Breast$9.95
1 kg Round Steak$13.9
1 kg Apples$4.44
1 kg Banana$1.96
1 kg Oranges$4.05
1 kg Tomato$4.54
1 kg Potato$2.14
1 kg Onion$2.47
1 L Water$1.21
2 L Coca-Cola or Pepsi$2.21
Mid-priced Wine$13.5
Cold medicine$8.36
Hair Shampoo$4.9
Toilet paper$3.9

Overall, the food and other daily expense rate in this state will be 9% higher compared to the national average. However, the cost is too affordable if we compare the range with the salary range of a person. Having a mid or any job in DC can easily cover the expense of healthy and good food.

Healthcare and Personal care

Expense areaCost
Gym Membership for 1 month$43.8
Doctor’s visit$116
Self-care products for Men$100
Self-care products for women$300

The expense of self-care is extremely subjective for anywhere one will live. Some people may need little to care for themselves. But some people need a lot of things for self-care. For average health care and self-care women will need to pay more compared to a man in DC. Also, women concerned about their looks are likely to expense a lot every month.

Since Washington State have many cities and those will have differences in living cost. Some of the cities will require a maximum living cost while some of them will provide a minimum. Let’s know about the living expense of the best cities in D.C.

The expense and International students will need in Washington State

Area of expenseCost
Mandatory Fees$720
Room and Board$6,300
Living Expenses in total per month and 6 months$1000 and $6000
Estimated Semester Total (6 months)$19680
Estimated Year Total$39,720

Because of the quality of life and excellent opportunities in the educational field, many students from different countries came to this state for education. For international students there are several good universities like the University of Washington State offers a good number of Bachelors’s and Masters’s courses.

Though living here for anyone is easier because of highly paid jobs and lower living costs, for an international student, it can be a little rush. Because they will have to pay a high tuition fee every semester. So, a student needs to calculate everything down including the tuition fee before wanting to come to DC.

Overall, for a student doing a bachelor’s or master’s from a good university, the living cost will be around $19680 for a semester or 6 months according to WSU. It will be hard for him or her to earn besides study if no one finances them. However, some jobs here paid well which will help cover everything easily.

Living Expense in Seattle, WA

NameOne personFamily of 4
Without rent$776$2608
Rent & Utilities$1364$2392
Monthly salary$2500$5300
Average Monthly Salary in Seattle$5,854

Among all the cities in Washington DC, Seattle is one of the most beautiful and expensive cities to live in. Overall, this city requires 37% more living expenses compared to the state average. That means that compare to the other cities in this state, people will be paying 37% more for their living expenses. However, this city ranked 16th among the best cities to live in the United States. So, the experience of living in Seattle will be wonderful including everything.

Living cost in Washington State infographic

Cost of living in Bellingham, WA

In D.C, Bellingham is the second most expensive city which has a 7% higher living expense rate compared to the state average. Let’s have a detailed description of it.

NecessitiesOne personFamily of 4
Total with rent$2180$4750
Without rent$800$2535
Rent & Utilities$1387$2214
Monthly Salary$2200$4800
Monthly salary$5570

Overall, the living expense of this city will be higher than in other cities but lower than in Seattle. However, the differences are not much to look over this one before Seattle. But one can move here if they have better opportunities here. Because maintaining the living expense here will not be hard which is only 20% higher than the national average.

Living expenses in Mount Vernon, WA

NeedsOne personFamily of 4
Without rent$780$2490
Rent & Utilities$1130$2250
Monthly salary$2000$5000
Average Monthly Salary in Seattle$4,417

This city of DC ranked 481 out of 2022 for living expenses. So, one can say according to the range of the salary and everything living here will be moderate. People with fewer expenses like living single can enjoy their living in this city properly. However, a person with 4 or more family members will face issues if that family has only one earning hand.

All the other things except food will have a lower price rate. However, one will have to pay more for the food here. Moreover, the total living expense will be 4% higher camper to the state average and 17% higher compared to the national average.

Expenses for living in Olympia, WA

Living needsOne personFamily of 4
Without rent$730$2280
Rent & Utilities$1270$2070
Monthly salary$2000$4500
Average Monthly Salary in Seattle$5340

The average living cost of this city falls into the top 5% of the most expensive cities in the world. Also, it placed 332 United States cities which is quite acceptable. Because the living expense here is lower than in the state but higher than the national average. Specifically, people will need expenses 3% lower compared to the other expensive cities. However, according to the national average, living here will require 10% extra expenses.

Spokane, WA living expense

NeedsOne personFamily of 4
Without rent$735$2550
Rent & Utilities$1060$1990
Monthly salary$2000$4500
Average Monthly Salary in Seattle$6,087

The cost of living in Spoken will not be high amount compared to the other cities in DC and America. Moreover, this is one of the most populated cities in this state but the living cost will be 5% lower compared to the state average. According to the expense database of America, the expense will be

Among all the cities of Washington DC, Spokane is one of the cities which a highly paid salary rate. Even though the living expense here is low which is only 7% higher than the national average, the wage rate is quite high here. That is the reason this city is densely populated compared to the other cities. Here, people can earn well and live well.

Wenatchee, WA Cost of Living

Living needsOne personFamily of 4
Without rent$720$2340
Rent & Utilities$1540$2050
Monthly salary$2300$4500
Average Monthly Salary in Seattle$6,050

This is another densely populated city with excellent weather conditions D.C. living here as a single person will cost around $2260 and for a family, it will be $4400 which is higher than Seattle. The total rent and utilities here will be higher compared to the most popular city. It is because of the high rate of utilities. However, the food, transport and another cost will be low. Also, the salary range here is quite good which will easily cover the monthly expenses.

Kennewick, WA expenses for living

NecessitiesOne personA Family
Without rent$774$2620
Rent & Utilities$1140$2004
Monthly salary$2000$4700
Monthly salary after tax$5200

With around 94 thousand population and a $5200 average salary, it is not tough to lead a decent life here. Specifically, a person living alone will need around $1920 which is 9% lower than the state average. Moreover, a family of four-person will need $4620 for a month or more. Some of the families having more members will need more expenses. In that case, they will have to have more than one earning person.

Yakima, WA living cost

NecessitiesOne personA Family
Without rent$774$2620
Rent & Utilities$1140$2004
Monthly salary$2000$4700
Monthly salary after tax$6070

This is another city with a lower living cost rate but a high salary rate than Washington DC State. Moreover, the living expense here will be lower compared to the national average. A person can earn well in this city but they will be expensing less money for their needs like rent, food, and other things.

Moses Lake, WA living expense

AreaOne personFamily of 4
Without rent$700$2300
Rent & Utilities$1090$1840
Monthly salary$2000$4500
Average Monthly Salary in Seattle$3600

Among the best living cities in Washington DC at the lowest living expense, Moses Lake is one of the names. This city has lower rent, lower priced food, and utilities. Though the transportation cost does not have much difference, the overall cost will be 14% lower than the state average. Also, it will be 4% lower than the national average. That means one can easily live a healthy and comfortable life here with their minimum earnings.

Excluding every information about living costs in DC, one may want to know and compare the living cost of other states of America. We have already mentioned that the living cost in this state is affordably low compared to the other state. The information on that statement is given below.

Living costs in Washington State Vs Other States of America

The average living expense in Washington State is $2000
StateAverage Living CostDifferences
Iowa State$164020.1%
Kansas State$168017.8%
New Hampshire$19502.5%
New Jersey$19900.5%
New Mexico$164819.6%
New York State$2810-33.8%
North Carolina$18408.3%
North Dakota$156424.6%
Northern Mariana Islands$134539.3%
Oklahoma State$170515.9%
Oregon State$20120.9%
Puerto Rico$160921.8%
Rhode Island$18895.7
South Carolina$18309.1%
South Dakota$165519.1%
Texas State$181510.1%
US Virgin Islands$234015.8%
West Virginia$151027.9%

According to the above data, Washington State will have a maximum difference in living expenses from Wyoming state and New York State. Specifically, living in Wyoming will be 30.5% cheaper compared to Washington DC. However, living in New York State will be 33.8% more expensive compared to this state, Also if you compare the living cost with sun diego, this is some product match their cost.

Moreover, living in Arizona and DC will be the same in the perspective of expenses for living. Also, the expense will be almost similar to or close to Maine, Virginia, Vermont, Oregon state, and many other states of the USA. All those discussions may create little curiosity about the living expense of the capitals of other countries. So let’s compare DC with other popular Capital cities.

Washington State Vs Capitals of other countries

In Washington DC average cost of living will be $2000 which is 21st in the world rank
CapitalsCost of LivingDifferences
Hong Kong$204010% more expensive, ranked 1st
Zurich$21608% more expensive, ranked 2nd
Tel Aviv$19807% more expensive ranked 6th
Singapore$11006.1% more expensive, ranked 13th
Tokyo$16007.6% more expensive, ranked 4th
Paris$15708% more expensive, ranked 2nd
Copenhagen$17206.8% more expensive,  ranked 7th
London$17157.6% more expensive, ranked 4th
Amsterdam$1735Less expensive, ranked 44th
Abu Dhabi$1523Less expensive, ranked 22nd

According to the data in the table above illustrated by our experts, the comparison of the most popular capital and DC is quite intense. As we can see most of the capital has quite a high rate of living expenses compared to Washington.

Overall, living in the capital of America will be a comparatively cheap fact that it is the capital. One can lead a healthy, stress-free life by earning tax-free and expensing properly to ensure a good lifestyle. However, the crisis of accommodation in this State is a real deal. Some area like Seattle is hard for housing. So, one will have to plan through everything before moving. Also, all the estimated details of living expense is an average calculation for general living. Since living expense is extremely subjective, they can go high or low for individuals. 

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