Cost of Living in San Francisco, CA

Cost of Living in San Francisco, CA is
62.5% Higher
than the National Average

Did the Cost of Living in San Francisco, CA increase in 2019? San Francisco, CA area prices were up 4.5% from a year ago. The largest increases were found in Transportation, Food, and Housing.
By using Salary.com's Cost of Living Calculator, you can make a cost of living comparison of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and salary differentials of over 300+ US cities. Let us help you make an informed decision about what it will cost to live and work in the city of your dreams!


Cost of Living Calculator



Cost of Living in other Major Cities

City, State Compared to national average
City, State Washington, DC Compared to national average
+ 59.6%
City, State Miami, FL Compared to national average
+ 14.7%
City, State Chicago, IL Compared to national average
+ 16.7%
City, State Boston, MA Compared to national average
+ 39.5%
City, State New York, NY Compared to national average
+ 83.0%
City, State Dallas, TX Compared to national average
+ 1.7%

Cost of Living San Francisco, CA by Expense Category

Category Compared to national average
CategoryEnergy Compared to national average
+ 44.6%
CategoryFood Compared to national average
+ 30.5%
CategoryHealthcare Compared to national average
+ 14.4%
CategoryHousing Compared to national average
+ 80.5%
CategoryTransportation Compared to national average
+ 20.4%

Cost of Living Comparison with San Francisco, CA

If you move to San Francisco from one of these cities, you would have these the changes of your cost of living.


Move From Move To Cost Of Living Comparison
Move FromWashington, DC Move ToSan Francisco, CA Cost Of Living Comparision
+ 2.9%
Move FromMiami, FL Move ToSan Francisco, CA Cost Of Living Comparision
+ 47.8%
Move FromChicago, IL Move ToSan Francisco, CA Cost Of Living Comparision
+ 45.8%
Move FromBoston, MA Move ToSan Francisco, CA Cost Of Living Comparision
+ 23.0%
Move FromNew York, NY Move ToSan Francisco, CA Cost Of Living Comparision
-20.5%
Move FromDallas, TX Move ToSan Francisco, CA Cost Of Living Comparision
+ 60.8%

Based on this cost of living comparison, you can see:
If you move from Chicago IL, Dallas, TX, or Miami, FL, the percent increase of your cost of living could be 22.8%, 37.8%, and 24.8%. Looks like this move could have a negative net change in disposable income, so please think carefully!
If you move from New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, or Washington, DC, the percent reduction of your cost of living could be -43.50%, -23%, and -20.10%, that's good news to you that you could be looking at a positive net change in disposable income.


Comments about the Cost of Living in San Francisco, CA

If I plan on eating out occasionally will it be affordable in San Francisco, CA?

San Francisco, California going out to eat at a restaurant and buying food is considered to be affordable. Make sure you take this into account as you plan your overall cost of living in San Francisco, CA. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )

I love to go to sports events, what does San Francisco, California have to offer?

If you love sports, you will love San Francisco, CA! Since there are football, baseball, basketball, hockey teams, you can go to a lot of games. Keep in mind that the tickets tend to be expensive, so you need to manage your entertainment budget carefully. Sometimes you can get discount tickets on line. Some people purchase a season ticket with a group of friends and take turns going to the games. Sports tickets can increase your cost of living in San Francisco, CA, but if you are a true sports fan it is worth it. In San Francisco, CA, the games are usually shown on local TV and you can host a party of friends and watch the game together. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )

I am nervous about moving, what is the typical cost of moving to another city and what should I have to think about?

Even if you are moving within your current state, the cost of moving could be over $1,000 depending on the city, what you are moving, and how much professional help you hire. You can save some expense by packing boxes yourself, renting a U-Haul truck, and asking friends and family to help with the loading and unloading. You should call at least three moving companies for a moving estimate, the cost might be less than you think and you won’t have to worry about a friend hurting their back trying to move your heavy furniture. Another way to make your move easier – and save money – is by weeding out items you don’t need anymore. Why bother to move stuff that you do not even use! Have a yard sale or find a local charitable organization and donate items you no longer use. Make sure you include these moving costs into the overall cost of living for year one in San Francisco, CA. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )

I am moving with children, what should I do to make the move less stressful for them and myself?

Adults find that moving can sometimes be an emotional and stressful experience. Children, who don’t have the maturity, independence, and understanding of a parent may be even more sensitive to a move. If they are old enough to understand, include the children in making plans for the move. When moving to a distant place, help your children learn about the new area. Check out the website for San Francisco, California to find opportunities and activities in the new location like parks, beaches, museums, or playgrounds that kids will enjoy and look forward to visiting. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )

Electricity bills are a big part of my current cost of living and can be really high, what is the cost of electricity in San Francisco, California?

The current electric rate cost in San Francisco,CA is 19.39¢ / kWh, which is the fifth highest compared to the rest of the United States. Energy costs in San Francisco,CA are generally going up. The cost of electricity can have a bigger than average impact of your overall cost of living if you are required to pay heating or cooling costs or, if you use an electric stove, clothes dryer, or water heater. Newer appliances are typically more energy efficient so try to replace out dated appliances with more energy efficient models. Also keep in mind, that if electric utilities are included in your rent, most likely the pricing of electricity has been added to the rent amount. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )

I have a child, how much will child care cost per month in San Francisco, California ?

It is difficult to exactly predict the cost of child care in any city, which for parents, is a large part of the cost of living. There are different arrangements and lengths of time that are needed to care for a child, and costs may vary a lot depending on the services provided. Based on the state average, for San Francisco child care for a child up to 3 years could cost $11817 per year. California, is ranked NO. 11 in annual cost of child care in the U.S. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )

How do rental housing prices in San Francisco,California impact the overall cost of living?

In San Francisco,CA, the median rent for a 1 bedroom apartment is $2459, and for a 2 bedroom apartment is $3089. In general, in the past year, rental costs in San Francisco have increased by approximately 2.7%. Since rental expense makes up a significant part of the cost of living, you should consider this expense and how it might change when you calculate your cost of living in a new city. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )

I need to keep my cost of living under control, is there a lot to do in San Francisco, California that is not very expensive?

Because University of California at Berkeley, University of California, is located in San Francisco, there is a large student population. This is great, even if you are not a student, since there are always lots of free or cheap events to go to and plenty of cheap places to eat. Familiarize yourself with the places where students hang out, and take advantage of discounted or bargain prices, you are sure to be able to keep your cost of living reasonable. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )

Is there good public transportation in San Francisco, California?

You are in luck! San Francisco, California is ranked NO. 2 in the U.S. for public transportation quality. Having a good public transit system to use will reduce travel expenses and your overall cost of living. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )

I hate to drive in traffic, does San Francisco have traffic problems?

If you are planning to drive to work, you will be spending a lot of time and gas to get there. San Francisco, California is one of the Worst cities in the United States for driving. San Francisco, California is ranked number 99 out of 100 major cities. Plan on spending more on gas and auto expenses if you move to San Francisco, California, resulting in a higher cost of living. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )

How long does it take to get to work in San Francisco, California on average?

Getting to work is important. The weather, traffic, time of year, day of week and if there are accidents, can all impact your commute time. Hopefully you will have a smooth commute in San Francisco, California, but be prepared for delays. The time you spend commuting is time you do not have to do other things, so it is valuable. The average time for commuting in San Francisco is 44.56 minutes. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )

Cost of living in San Francisco, California is important, but what about the weather?

The weather in San Francisco is ideal. Based on data collected by NOAA National Climatic Data Center, San Francisco is considered to have one of the most favorable climates in the country based on comfort and number of days with clear skies. You will enjoy living in San Francisco, California. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )

What is the cost of public transit in San Francisco, California?

Public transit in San Francisco, CA will cost you around $91.00 per month. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )



Cost of Living Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Cost of Living index and how is it used?

In the simplest terms, a Cost of Living index is the estimated amount that represents the cost of the basic necessities required for an individual to live. A cost of living or COL estimate may typically include estimates for housing, food, energy, medical care, transportation, taxes, and other necessities. A COL index may be used to measure what the cost difference would be for a person living in a certain location compared to another location. This cost difference helps individuals make decisions about where they would like to live and what they can afford based on the costs in that location. It also can provide guidance about how an increase or decrease in these basic costs impacts necessary spending for an individual or a family. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )

What factors are included in estimating your cost of living?

The Salary.com cost of living calculator estimate is based on data related to five general categories: housing, food, healthcare, transportation, and energy. These are the universally recognized core components of any cost of living estimate and represent those expenses that apply to everyone. Obviously, there may be other factors that could contribute to your particular cost of living situation and not everyone has the same spending habits. For example, education and/or childcare costs might not apply to everyone, but for those who have those expenses, they could be significant and should be considered. We are providing additional data around those topics that can be helpful to gauge your particular situation. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )

The Salary.com cost of living calculator is unique in that it also incorporates current salary data for thousands of jobs specific to a chosen home or work location to provide a more refined estimate of the cost of living variations. You can see how your job and your salary will be impacted by a change of location. If you live in one location but work in another, the cost of living calculator will make those adjustments to provide an accurate estimate of the change in COL. The Salary.com cost of living calculator helps you to make living cost comparisons easily and quickly. ( 2019-03-17 salary.com )


Last Update: 2019-03-17