What is the cost of living in Virginia?

1 min read by Rachel Carey Last updated May 23, 2024

This guide summarizes everything you need to know about the cost of living in the state of Virginia, including tax rates, house prices, and healthcare costs. 

Summary

  • Virginia is one of the states with a higher cost of living.

  • Virginia’s cost of living is 1% higher than in the average US state.

  • The cost of living varies across the state, with prices fluctuating depending on your location.

  • When considering a move to a new state, understanding the cost of living is vital for effective budgeting and financial planning.

What is the average cost of living in Virginia?

According to data gathered in 2022 from MERIC, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the state ranks 30th in a list of states with the lowest to the highest cost of living. 

Looking for trusted financial advice?

Unbiased can connect you with a financial advisor who can help you develop a financial plan to meet your goals.

The cost of living index from The Council for Community and Economic Research states Virginia’s cost of living is 1% higher than in the average US state. However, this cost of living varies across the state, with prices fluctuating depending on your location.

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

How much does housing cost in Virginia?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Virginia ranks 12th most expensive in the country for median monthly housing costs for both renters and homeowners, at $1,572.

As of May 2024, the average home value in Virginia is estimated to be around $389,500, according to the Zillow Home Value Index. This is up 6.1% year-on-year.

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
Virginia Beach $402,140
Norfolk $297,110
Chesapeake $389,971
Richmond $352,439
Newport News $279,396

According to Zillow Rental Manager, the average price of rent for all bedrooms and property types in Virginia is $1,950. This is 8% lower than the national average and a decline of $50 year-on-year.

How much are utilities in Virginia?

Utility costs play a significant role in Virginia's overall cost of living.

According to Forbes, the average monthly cost is around $430.  

UtilityAverage cost in Virginia
Energy bill $130.92
Monthly water bill $36
Internet $20
Natural gas $80
Phone bill $114
Streaming $49.25

What are the average grocery and food costs in Virginia?

When it comes to groceries and food costs, Virginia's prices generally match those elsewhere in the United States.   

According to Zippia, those in Virginia Beach pay $298 on average each month. 

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) living wage calculator states the average single adult pays $4,485 a year on food. At the same time, the typical family of four spends just under triple that, at $13,181.

How much does transportation cost in Virginia?

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

According to MIT, a single adult with no children can expect to pay upwards of $5,400 per year. While a typical family of four spends nearly $17,000 annually.

Gas prices in Virginia are typically in and around the national average. At the time of this writing, Virginia was below the national average. These prices fluctuate over time.   

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

How much does healthcare cost in Virginia?

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

The specific healthcare costs in Virginia 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 medical expenses
One adult, no children $3,127
One adult, one child $9,252
One adult, two children $9,137
Two adults (one working), no children $6,696
Two adults (one working), one child $9,137
Two adults (one working), two children $9,609
Two adults (two working), no children $6,606
Two adults (two working), one child $9,137
Two adults (two working), two children $9,609

How much does childcare cost in Virginia?

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the annual average cost of infant care in Virginia is $14,063 or $1,172 per month. While childcare for a 4-year-old costs $10,867 annually and $906 per month.

The research put this into context, showing that a typical family in Virginia would have to spend 32.2% of its income on childcare for an infant and a 4-year-old.

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

The table below breaks down the average cost of annual childcare expenses based on different family scenarios according to the MIT living wage calculator:

Scenario Annual childcare expenses
One child $12,472
Two children $24,943
Three children $35,933

How much will I pay in taxes in Virginia?

Virginia’s state income tax rates range between 2% and 5.75%. The rates are broken down as follows:

Tax rateTaxable income bracketTax owed
2% $0-$3,000 2% of taxable income
3% $3,001-$5,000 $60 plus 3% of the amount over $3,000
5% $5,001-$17,000 $120 plus 5% of the amount over $5,000
5.75% $17,001 and up $720 plus 5.75% of the amount over $17,000

These tax rates are similar to those of Virginia’s neighboring states.

StateState Income Tax Rates
Virginia 2% to 5.75% (based on income brackets)
Maryland 2% to 5.75% (based on income brackets)
North Carolina A flat rate of 4.75%
Tennessee No state income tax

Virginia’s state sales tax rate is 4.3%. However, local sales taxes increase the amount of tax you pay, with the general sales tax rate coming in at 5.3%.

Get expert financial advice

The amount of money needed to live comfortably in Virginia can vary depending on location, lifestyle, family size, and personal preferences.

When evaluating the cost of living in Virginia, these factors, along with personal circumstances and preferences, must be considered. Consulting with a financial advisor can also provide valuable insights and assistance in managing expenses and financial planning. 

Get expert financial advice and learn more about the cost of living and how to manage it with an SEC-regulated advisor. Let Unbiased match you with the best financial advisor for your needs. 

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.

Looking for trusted financial advice?

Unbiased can connect you with a financial advisor who can help you develop a financial plan to meet your goals.