What’s the cost of living in Delaware?

1 min readLast updated January 18, 2024by Charlie Barton

Wondering about the cost of living in Delaware? This article summarizes everything you need to know, from tax rates to healthcare costs.

When considering a move to a new state, understanding the cost of living is vital for effective budgeting and financial planning. If you have your sights set on Delaware, let's delve into the current statistics related to the cost of living in the state.

The average cost of living in Delaware 

Delaware's cost of living tends to be higher than the national average, with studies putting it 6% above the national average. This means if you choose to move to Delaware—for retirement or perhaps a career change—you could spend more.  

Housing costs in Delaware 

Housing costs in Delaware are generally higher compared to the national median. As of March 2023, the average home value in Delaware is estimated to be around $359,000, according to the Zillow Home Value Index as of March 2023.  

However, it's important to note that housing prices can significantly differ across various regions within the state. Here are some examples of typical home prices based on Zillow's data:

CityAverage Home Value
Wilmington $295,843
Dover $300,935
Newark $328,141
Middletown $487,998
Smyrna $370,759

For those considering renting in Delaware, monthly rental prices for a two-bedroom apartment range between $491 and $3,785.  

In addition, understanding these costs in relation to the average salary in Delaware is crucial for realistic budgeting.

Utility costs in Delaware 

Utility costs play a significant role in Delaware's overall cost of living. According to Forbes, the average monthly cost is around $435.

UtilityAverage cost in Delaware
Energy bill $118.85
Monthly water bill $46
Internet $30
Natural gas $80
Phone bill $114
Streaming $47

Grocery and food costs in Delaware 

When it comes to groceries and food costs, Delaware generally aligns with prices found elsewhere in the United States.   

According to Zippia, those in Wilmington pay over $380 on average each month. This is within the higher half of the country. 

According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average spending on food at home is $5,259 annually, or about $438 per month for US households.   

Transportation costs in Delaware 

Transportation costs, including gas prices and vehicle maintenance, impact Delaware's overall cost of living.  

Gas prices in Delaware typically stay close to the national average. However, these prices fluctuate over time.   

It is also worth noting that prices can vary across different regions within the state.  

Healthcare costs in Delaware 

Understanding healthcare expenses is crucial when considering the cost of living.  

The specific healthcare costs in Delaware can vary depending on factors such as insurance coverage and individual circumstances. Therefore, it is advisable to research and consult with healthcare providers and insurance companies to obtain accurate cost estimates. 

MIT estimates:  

ScenarioAnnual healthcare expenditure
One adult, no children $3,326
One adult, one child $9,129
One adult, two children $9,139
Two adults (one working), no children $6,719
Two adults (one working), one child $9,139
Two adults (one working), two children $9,064
Two adults (two working), no children $6,719
Two adults (two working), one child $9,139
Two adults (two working), two children $9,064

Childcare costs in Delaware 

Childcare costs in Delaware are relatively affordable compared to the national average. Families in Delaware currently pay around $9,244 per year for childcare for one child. This figure doubles for two children.   

However, it's important to note that this figure can vary across the state.  

Taxation in Delaware 

Delaware’s state income tax rates ranges from 0% to 6.6%.  

Here's a comparison of income tax rates among some neighboring states:

StateIncome Tax Rate Range
Delaware 0% - 6.6%
Maryland 2% - 5.75% (plus local income taxes)
Pennsylvania Flat rate of 3.07%
New Jersey 1.4% - 10.75% (plus local income taxes)
New York 4% - 8.82% (plus local income taxes)

Delaware does not impose a sales tax on goods and services. It is one of the five states in the United States that does not have a statewide sales tax. This means that consumers in Delaware do not need to pay any additional sales tax on purchases made within the state. However, it's important to note that there may still be local taxes or fees on specific goods and services in certain jurisdictions within Delaware. 

You can also check out the complete guide to taxes in Delaware here

The bottom line

Delaware offers a higher cost of living compared to the national average. Housing costs, in particular, tend to be higher. However, the state boasts a high standard of living and excellent educational institutions.  

It's essential to consider these factors, along with personal circumstances and preferences, when evaluating the cost of living in Delaware. In addition, consulting with a financial advisor can provide valuable insights and assistance in managing expenses and financial planning. 

Whether you’re retirement planning or considering relocating to chase a new career, Unbiased can assist you with your move's financial ins and outs. Find the right advisor for your needs today. 


Charlie Barton

Charlie Barton is a writer at Unbiased. He has been writing about personal finance and investing since 2017, with extensive knowledge of platforms and products. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics.