Cost of living - Washington

How Much Does It Cost to Live in Washington, DC in 2024?

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What is the average monthly cost of living in Washington, DC?
The average cost of living in Washington, DC is $2,860.04 per month

Washington, D.C. is an important political center within the U.S. Capitol and various global organizations. Unlike most American cities, it was specifically planned to be distinct from the states.

If you’re considering moving to this federal district, you’re obviously wondering if you can afford to live there since living in Washington, D.C. can be pricey; however, there are a few affordable neighborhoods that offer a good quality of life.

If you’re considering making the move, read on to understand the costs involved in moving to the capital of the United States.

Cost of Living in Washington, DC – 2024


The main data collection source for this article is Numbeo and trusted Washington, D.C., related websites, including Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the website. The costs presented are estimates and pertain to an individual living alone on a monthly basis.

Housing costs in Washington, DC

Washington, D.C. is a major political center and there’s a constant demand for housing and office space, which may affect rental and home prices. That is why finding a property that is cheap to buy may be difficult as a result. As of August 2023, the median home price in Washington, DC, is $657,499, and the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,281. While houses in Washington, D.C. are certainly not cheap, the cost of renting isn’t much lower either. 

Below is the list of average costs for renting and buying properties in Washington, DC:

Cost of rent in Washington, DC


1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Washington, DC (Outside of city center)



Numbeo (Sept 2023), Rockethomes (August 2023) & Zillow (August 2023)

Cost of buying a property in Washington, DC


Average home price

Washington, DC


Zillow (Sept 2023) 

Utility costs in Washington, DC: Internet, electricity and water

Washington, D.C., has unexpectedly low utility rates for a normally expensive city. According to data from, a basic utility package for a 915-square-foot apartment in Washington, D.C. would cost you $226.22 per month.


Cost in Washington, DC


(Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft apartment t)



(60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)




Numbeo (Sept 2023)

What is the average monthly cost of utilities in Washington, DC?
The average monthly cost of utilities in Washington, DC is $226.22


Grocery costs in Washington, DC

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, DC households spent $88,767 in 2020–2021, significantly exceeding the national average of $64,187. The household expenditure in Washington, DC, is approximately 38.28% higher than the national average.

Grocery items


Milk (regular), (1 gallon)


Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb)


Rice (white) (1 lb)


Eggs (regular) (12)


Local Cheese (1 lb)


Chicken Fillets (1 lb)


Beef Round (1 lb)


Apples (1 lb)


Banana (1 lb)


Oranges (1 lb)


Tomato (1 lb)


Potato (1 lb)


Onion (1 lb)


Lettuce (1 head)


Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)


Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)


Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle)


Numbeo (Sept 2023) & BLS (2022)

What is the average monthly cost of groceries in Washington, DC?
The average monthly cost of groceries in Washington, DC is $284.56

Public transit in Washington, DC

Similar to numerous densely populated cities, Washington, D.C. relies heavily on public transportation. The city’s metro system ranks as one of the busiest in the nation. Washington, D.C., Metro will no longer have peak and off-peak hours as of June 2023.

Type of fare

Cost in Washington, DC

Single ticket


Weekly pass


Monthly pass


(VMATA – Sept 2023)

What is the monthly transit pass cost in Washington, DC?
The monthly transit pass costs in Washington, DC is $192.00

Entertainment costs in Washington, DC

Washington, D.C. is packed with famous monuments, free museums, theaters, and cultural events. Whether you love history or art, this city has something for you. The city invests a lot in the arts, and you’ll find cultural festivals happening all year, so there’s always something exciting to do.


Washington, DC

Mid-range restaurant meal


1h taxi ride


1 movie ticket


Numbeo (Sept 2023)

Sales tax in Washington, DC

Washington, D.C. imposes various taxes on goods and services. The general sales and use tax rate is 6%, applying to most tangible personal property and selected services delivered within the district. These tax rates contribute to the city’s revenue and help fund various public services and initiatives in Washington, D.C.

Please see below the applicable taxes for specific items:

Specific categories

Applicable Taxes



Restaurant meals, liquor, and rental vehicles


Hotel accommodations



$2.79 per barrel


$1.50 per gallon


taxed at $4.50 per pack of 20, with an additional surtax of $0.44 per pack, totaling $4.94 (Sept 2023)

Healthcare costs in Washington, DC

Washington, DC, has put in place initiatives to ensure that all people, regardless of income or health status, have access to health care. While health insurance costs more in Washington, D.C. than in many places, there are ways to make it affordable. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) can make healthcare cheaper for people who don’t make a lot of money.

Type of healthcare


Employer-sponsored health insurance


Non-employer-sponsored health insurance (average cheapest)




Numbeo (Sept 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Sept 2023)

What is the average monthly cost of employee-sponsored health insurance in Washington, DC?
The monthly cost of employee-sponsored health insurance in Washington, DC is $129.08


Living in the Washington, D.C. area is a tough decision to make. The monthly cost for an individual living in this area is $2,860.04, so making a smart move in budgeting is essential.

To prepare for your move, assess the average cost of living using the data provided below and look for the best movers in Washington, DC to assist you. This will help you properly plan your finances and check if living in Washington, DC, is a good fit for you.


Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center



Numbeo’s grocery list ($71.14 multiplied by 4)



Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage


Internet with 60 Mbps


Transit pass



Meal, taxi, movie


Gym membership 





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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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