What is the cost of living in Wisconsin?

1 min readLast updated March 6, 2024by Rachel Carey

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

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

Summary

  • According to some statistics, Wisconsin's cost of living is about 1% lower than the national average.  

  • The average home value in Wisconsin is estimated to be around $262,652.

  • The average monthly utility cost is around $395.

  • The average grocery shop costs about $385 on average each month. 

  • Speak to a financial advisor about getting and staying on top of your finances.

What is the average cost of living in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin is home to over 5.8  million people.  

According to some statistics, the state’s cost of living is about 1% lower than the national average.   

While according to data gathered in 2022 from MERIC, the Missouri Economic Research, and Information Center, the state ranks 23rd in a list of states with the lowest to the highest cost of living. 

How much does housing cost in Wisconsin?

As of March 2023, the average home value in Wisconsin is estimated to be around $262,652, according to the Zillow Home Value Index as of March 2023. This is 79% of the typical US price. 

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
Milwaukee $189,467
Madison $376,669
Green Bay $223,040
Kenosha $225,918
Racine $162,486

The average price of rental apartments nationwide is $1,702. However, Wisconsin apartments vary depending on which city you live in. For example, the average rent for an apartment in Madison is $1,567. 

How much do utilities cost in Wisconsin?

Utility costs play a significant role in Wisconsin's overall cost of living. According to Forbes, the average monthly cost is around $395.  

UtilityAverage cost in Wisconsin
Energy bill $100.18
Monthly water bill $18
Internet $40
Natural gas $77
Phone bill $114
Streaming $46.50

How much do groceries and food cost in Wisconsin?

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

According to Zippia, those in Milwaukee pay $385 on average each month.   

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.   

How much does transportation cost in Wisconsin?

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

According to MIT, a single adult with no children can expect to pay upwards of $5,300. 

Gas prices in Wisconsin are typically in and around the national average. Wisconsin was around 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.  

How much does healthcare cost in Wisconsin?

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

The specific healthcare costs in Wisconsin 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 $3,335
One adult, one child $8,231
One adult, two children $8,241
Two adults (one working), no children $7,024
Two adults (one working), one child $8,241
Two adults (one working), two children $8,166
Two adults (two working), no children $7,024
Two adults (two working), one child $8,241
Two adults (two working), two children $8,166

Check out the average cost of health insurance in the US here.

How much does childcare cost in Wisconsin?

Families in Wisconsin currently pay around $11,068 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.  

How much tax will I pay in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin’s state income tax rate works on a progressive system. It ranges between 3.50% and 7.65%.  

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

StateState Income Tax Rates
Wisconsin 4.00% to 7.65% (progressive)
Minnesota 5.35% to 9.85% (progressive)
Illinois 4.95% (flat)
Iowa 0.36% to 8.53% (progressive)
Michigan 4.25% (flat)

The current sales tax rate in Wisconsin is 5%. However, it's important to note that some municipalities in Wisconsin also impose an additional local sales tax, which can vary from 0.5% to 1.75%. Therefore, the combined state and local sales tax rates can range from 5.5% to 6.75%, depending on the location. 

Certain items in Wisconsin are exempt from sales tax, such as groceries, prescription drugs, medical devices, and certain agricultural products. 

The bottom line

The amount of money needed to live comfortably in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin. In addition, consulting with a financial advisor can 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.