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What’s the cost of living in Columbus? Taking a closer look

We’ve broken down the cost of living in Columbus, Ohio, comparing it to other states and the US national average.

CBUStoday - Photo via City of Columbus - City Hall Facebook

What’s the cost to call Columbus home?| Photo via City of Columbus - City Hall Facebook

Table of Contents

With Columbus constantly growing and announcing multiple high-profile developments this year, we figured it was time to talk about the cost of planting some roots in CBUS.

The median household income in Franklin County is $62,352 according to the US Census Bureau. State-wise, Ohio is No. 36 in the country for median income at ~$58,116 per household.

Columbus chart

The overall cost of living in Columbus is lower than the national average. | Screenshot via bestplaces.net

The overall cost of living in Columbus is lower than the national average, but higher than the rest of the state.

In Columbus the cost of healthcare is higher compared to other parts of the state. And, the cost of groceries, housing, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses in the city have higher average costs than other cities in Ohio.

Breaking down the numbers

Hypothetically speaking, if you live in a household that brings in $50,000 annuallyaccording to experts — you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your monthly gross income on rent and utilities. Don’t worry, we did the math for you — your max monthly budget would be $1,250. The average monthly rent for an apartment in Columbus is $1,164 — leaving you little to no wiggle room.

According to a recent study by Attom Data Solutions, it’s currently more affordable to buy a home in Madison County than to rent.

Take a look at the chart below to see how Columbus’ cost of living compares to that of Cincinnati.

Columbus vs. Cinci

Columbus has slightly less affordable health care than Cincinnati. | Screenshot via bestplaces.net

Interested in seeing Columbus’ cost of living compared to cities in other states? We played around on NerdWallet’s cost of living calculator, where you can put in any city along with your current pre-tax household income to find out what other cities you could actually afford to live in.

We took a look at the cost of living in Columbus compared to Cincinnati. Here’s what we found:

  • According to reports by NerdWallet, the cost of living is 4% higher in Cincinnati.
  • To maintain our standard of living, we would need to bring in $51,821 to our Cincinnati household.
  • The median cost for a two-bedroom apartment is $968, which is $116 less than Columbus.

Columbus also has entities such as the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority + other government-funded programs to help develop more affordable units.

There are also a number of local development firms working on apartments seemingly all the time — from the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority and The Community Builders “AspireCOLUMBUS” project to the affordable housing development Easton Place Homes.

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