Moving to DC? Here’s how the cost of living has changed in the past year

From its walkable neighborhoods to renowned restaurants and educational museums, D.C. has plenty to offer. But moving to the District doesn’t come cheap.

There are a few things to consider when it comes to just how much it costs to live comfortably, especially as the cost of living continues to rise.

According to, living in the District comes with a 53% higher price tag than the national average. The average rent is a whopping 153% higher than what renters can expect to find in other cities; just over the past year, the cost for a rental has gone up 6%.

There are a few affordable options to consider, like Washington Highlands or Arlington, just minutes outside the city. And transportation isn’t too bad, with a walkability score of 83 from Apartment Guide. But when considering utilities, D.C. costs shoot up to 16% above the national average.

Healthcare spending is a plus, coming in at an average of 7% less than other big cities.

If you’re still planning to move to the nation’s capital, a two-bedroom in the District for 30% of one’s gross income is doable with a salary around $126,000, accounting for other living costs.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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