Compared to the rest of the country, the cost of living in Nevada is high. It costs about 10.5% more than the national average to live in Nevada. If you’re a single-person household, it’s recommended that you make at least $33,788 to cover your essential living expenses—and then some.
From the dazzling lights of Las Vegas to the swathes of open-sky plains, Nevada has something new to offer all kinds of potential residents. Before you pack up your bags and make the state song “Home Means Nevada” a true statement for you, we’d encourage you to take a look at the numbers and see if the move makes financial sense for you.
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How high is the cost of living in Nevada?
Nevada has a cost of living index of 110.5. Compared to the national average of 100, this means that living in Nevada is 10.5% more expensive than the national average.
But, how do Nevada’s surrounding states compare? Its western neighbor
California has a sky-high cost of living index of 151.7 while
Idaho, Nevada’s neighbor to the north, has a considerably lower cost of living index of just 97.7.
Utah, on the other hand, has a cost of living index of 110.8.
So, Nevada’s cost of living falls in the middle for its area. Let’s take a closer look at what this cost of living index means in terms of real-world costs, with a little help from MIT’s
Living Wage Calculator. We’ll look at what Nevadans, on average, pay for essentials like groceries, healthcare, housing, and transportation.
Food: $333 to $980 per month
Let’s make one thing clear here: when we say “food,” we’re talking strictly about grocery stores. Your “treat yourself” DoorDash order and afternoon Starbucks aren’t accounted for in the following figures. A single person spends about $333 per month on groceries, while a family of four (with two working adults) $980.
These are some pretty broad ranges. In a 2020 report, the US Bureau of Labor found that the average US household spends $411 a month on groceries. So, depending on the size of your household, you could spend well below—or head and shoulders above—the average cost if you opt to live in Nevada.
Healthcare: $457 per month
According to data found in a 2020 report from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average annual cost of healthcare for an individual in Nevada is $5,486—which shakes out to about $457 per month.
With healthcare, though, keep in mind that the costs vary widely from individual to individual. If you need pricey prescriptions and regular visits to specialists, you’ll have more expensive healthcare costs and an overall higher cost of living in Nevada.
Housing: $633 to $1,631 per month
If you’re going to move to Nevada, you’ll need a roof over your head. But, just how much will that roof cost you? As of July 2022, the typical home value in Nevada is $467,453. That’s about 23.6% higher than it was in 2021, and it’s rising every month.
Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, here’s how big of a dent you can expect your housing costs to make in your budget:
Median monthly mortgage payment: $1,589
Average studio rent: $633
Average one-bedroom rent: $750
Average two-bedroom rent: $953
Average three-bedroom rent: $1,354
Average four-bedroom rent: $1,631
It’s worth mentioning that the figures above are just statewide averages, and exact costs can vary significantly across the state. Rent for a one-bedroom in
Las Vegas hovers around $1,300 and $1,350 in
If you zoom out and take a look at the national numbers, Nevada homes are more expensive, but renting remains affordable by national standards. The typical home value in the United States is $337,560, but rent is a record high of $1,904 per month.
Transportation: $411 to $1,121 per month
The next non-negotiable expense on our list is transportation. How you choose to get around in Nevada will impact your monthly budget. On average, Nevada residents pay between $411 and $1,121 in transportation expenses. And, to help out these numbers into perspective, the national average for a two-person household is $818.
Here are some noteworthy figures that influence your monthly cost:
Monthly RTC bus pass in Las Vegas: $65
Average commute length in Nevada: 24.3 minutes
Average cost of a gallon of gas, August 2022: $4.89
How much you need to live comfortably in Nevada: $33,788 to $98,287 per year
All tallied up, you will need between $33,788 and $98,287 per year to live comfortably in Nevada, depending on the size of your household. A single person can get by on $33,788 (or $16.24 per hour), while a family of four with two working adults will need closer to $98,287 ($47.25 per hour).
The bad news? Nevada’s minimum wage is currently just $9.50, making life in Nevada a bit of a struggle if you’re below that $16.24 per hour threshold. After all, it’s not just about making ends and only purchasing the essentials—you should also account for the other non-essential (but way more fun) expenses. Here’s how some of those costs in Nevada compare to the national average:
Average cost of a date: $119.19 (US average: $116)
Average cost of a night at the movies: $11.31 (US average: $12.09)
Average cost of Big Mac: $4.43 (US average: $3.99)
Average sales tax: 8.23% (US average: 5.09%)
But, just because you make less than $16.24 doesn’t mean that you can’t live in Nevada. Careful budgeting and being deliberate about where in Nevada you choose to live (which we’ll get into in the next paragraph) can make life in Nevada doable on almost any budget.
The Nevada Cities with the lowest cost of living
Got your heart set on Nevada but looking to save some money in the process? We’ve got you covered. The following five cities have cost of living indexes that are below the Nevada statewide average:
Carlin (COLI: 86.8): Carlin not only offers excellent access to fishing and hiking, but it also has some of the most affordable homes you can find in the Silver State.
Lovelock (COLI: 81.6): Located 90 miles northwest of Reno, the town of Lovelock gets its name from the town tradition of placing locks on a chain to symbolize everlasting love.
Ely (COLI: 84.9): Renters, rejoice! Ely has some of the cheapest rents in the state. Although it’s a small town in east-central Nevada, the town has both a museum, gambling hall, renaissance village, and more!
West Wendover (COLI: 95.4): When you drive into the town to the town of West Wendover, you’ll first be greeted by a 64-foot tall neon cowboy sign, and then by the friendly locals.
Elko (COLI: 100.1): Although it’s just a hair’s breadth above the national average, Elko is on our list because it’s below the Nevada statewide cost of living and (unlike the places on our list) is a larger city on a smaller budget.
How to easily find home and car insurance in Nevada
If looking at these numbers is making your head spin, there are still ways to make living in Nevada affordable! And downloading
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