What’s the cost of living in Virginia?

1 min readLast updated October 25, 2023by Rachel Carey

Wondering about the cost of living in Virginia? 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’re planning a move to Virginia, here are some current statistics related to the cost of living in the state that could help you make up your mind.    

The average cost of living in Virginia 

Virginia is home to over 8.6 million people, with U.S. News ranking it seventh in terms of overall quality of life. 

According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average cost of living in the state is $48,249. 

While 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. 

Housing costs in Virginia 

As of March 2023, the average home value in Virginia is estimated to be around $360,873, according to the Zillow Home Value Index as of March 2023.  

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 $373,345
Norfolk $277,514
Chesapeake $372,490
Richmond $328,875
Newport News $260,815

The average price of rental apartments nationwide is $1,702. Virginia apartments vary depending on which city you live in. The average apartment rent in Virginia Beach is $1,583.

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

Utility costs 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

Grocery and food costs in Virginia 

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

According to Zippia, those in Virginia Beach pay $298 on average each month. This is one of the highest amounts in 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 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. 

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

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

Healthcare costs 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 healthcare expenditure
One adult, no children $3,247
One adult, one child $9,925
One adult, two children $9,935
Two adults (one working), no children $6,748
Two adults (one working), one child $9,935
Two adults (one working), two children $9,860
Two adults (two working), no children $6,748
Two adults (two working), one child $9,935
Two adults (two working), two children $9,860

Childcare costs in Virginia 

Families in Virginia currently pay around $10,755 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 Virginia 

Virginia’sl state income tax rates range between 2% and 5.75%. 

Here's a comparison of income tax rates among some 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 Flat rate of 5.25%
Tennessee No state income tax
West Virginia 3% to 6.5% (based on income brackets)

The sales tax rate in Virginia is 5.3%. However, it's important to note that sales tax rates can vary by locality within the state, as some cities and counties in Virginia have additional local sales taxes. Therefore, the total sales tax rate may be higher in certain areas. 

The bottom line 

The amount of money needed to live comfortably in Virginia can vary depending on location, lifestyle, family size, and personal preferences. However, as the most expensive state in the US, you may need more than you first think. 

It's essential to consider these factors, along with personal circumstances and preferences, when evaluating the cost of living in Virginia. 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. 

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.