What Is the Cost of Living in Utah?

The cost of living in Utah might surprise you. Learn how to find the cheapest cities—and how Utah compares to the national average.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
A single adult needs approximately $43,000 to live comfortably in
. The average cost of living in Utah is higher than you might think—but there are still affordable cities to be found here. 
From the rocky canyons in the south to urban arts and culture in the north,
is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of America. With surprisingly low healthcare costs and unfortunately high housing costs, what is the true cost of living in the Beehive State? 
Your guide to understanding how to navigate expenses in Utah is
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How high is the cost of living in Utah? 

Utah doesn’t have a reputation as an expensive state—but it’s actually pretty costly to live in the Beehive State. The cost of living index in Utah is 99, putting it barely below the national average. 
What does that number really mean? 100 is the figure associated with the national average cost of living. Any number above 100 means that the cost of living is higher than the national average. 
If you compare Utah’s COLI to other states, you can begin to understand the full picture. For instance,
ranks at 87.9 and
ranks at 102.5.
In other words, Utah is pretty much on par with the national average when it comes to cost of living—or maybe a few pennies more affordable.
Let’s get a bit more detailed about these figures. Here are some real data points for the cost of food, healthcare, housing, transportation, and more. We’ll also reveal a comparison between what Utahns pay for these essential expenses versus the national average.

Food: $333.25 to $980.33 per month

Everybody’s gotta eat! This portion of Cost of Living is food, which includes groceries but excludes eating out at restaurants. 
Data from MIT’s
Living Wage Calculator
shows that the annual cost of food in Utah ranges from $3,999 to $11,764. Of course, these figures will change depending on how many people are in the family, where they live, and their overall household income. 
A single-person household in Utah will spend at least $333.25 per month on groceries, whereas a family of four might pay closer to $980.33 per month
Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found in 2020 that the average monthly grocery bill was about $411.
Remember, this figure only includes groceries. Your afternoon dirty soda and your date night at the sushi bar are considered additional expenses on top of your monthly food bill. 

Healthcare: $209.33 per month

This is one area where Utah excels in comparison to other states. The average annual healthcare cost per person in Utah is $2,511.96, or $209.33 per month. That’s a lot lower than the national figure, which is $477 per month
Keep in mind that healthcare costs are difficult to average, since individuals and families may pay a wide range of costs. For instance, someone who needs a very expensive prescription will pay a lot more per month for coverage than the figure listed above.

Housing: $811.33 to $1,125.67 per month

Housing costs are a major part of a modern budget. In 2021, the average home value in Utah was about $460,000. It’s likely that this number will increase in the future.
How can we understand housing as a monthly cost? Well, your monthly payment depends on the type of home you live in (whether you’re paying the mortgage or renting an apartment): 
  • Median monthly mortgage payment: $1,551
  • Average studio rent: $835
  • Average one-bedroom rent: $922
  • Average two-bedroom rent: $1,055
  • Average three-bedroom rent: $1,237
  • Average four-bedroom rent: $1,580
Of course, these are just the state averages. If we look at downtown
Salt Lake City
, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom is higher than the state average at just under $1,070. This still comes in below the national average for a one-bedroom, which is $1,233.
How do Utah housing costs compare to the rest of the country? The average home value in the US is slightly lower than Utah’s average price. The US average home price is $337,560. However, the average rent price has skyrocketed (approximately $1,904 per month).

Transportation: $417 to $1,271 per month

Transportation is another unavoidable expense—and not everyone can save money by bicycling everywhere. However, some people use a combination of public transportation and personal automobiles. That’s why the range above is so wide. 
Utahns pay between $417 and $1,271 per month for transportation. If we look at the national figure, the average transportation cost for a two-person adult household is right in the middle of the Utah range: $818 per month.
To put those big numbers in perspective, here are a few important figures: 
  • Average annual cost of car insurance in Utah: $332 to $1,186 (
    only vs.
    full coverage
  • TRAX and Streetcar monthly pass in Salt Lake City: $85
  • Average
    commute length
    in Utah: 21.6 minutes
  • Average cost of a gallon of gas, June 2022: $6.25

How much you need to live comfortably in Utah: $43,000 to $66,000 per year

Based on the numbers above, a single adult would need to earn at least $43,000 per year, or $22.05 per hour, to live comfortably in Utah. A living wage for a family of four would be much higher, closer to $86,000 per year or $44.10 per hour
Taking into account Utah’s minimum wage of $7.25/hour, it is obvious that many people might struggle to meet their needs with such a high cost of living. Of course, there’s also a major difference between paying for the bare essentials and paying for things that enrich your life. 
Here are a few price checks for enjoyable, optional activities in Utah—and how these prices compare to the national average: 
  • Average cost of a date: $98.28 (US average: $116) 
  • Average cost of a night at the movies: $11 (US average: $10.61) 
  • Average cost of a Big Mac: $4.39 (US average: $3.99) 
  • Evermore tickets: $19 and up per person (US average theme park ticket price: $91)
  • Average sales tax: 4.85%(US average: 5.09%)
Budgets are as diverse as people. You might not need to spend a ton of money to live comfortably—or you may need more than the average income to meet all your needs. For the average person, $43,000 is the baseline for standard life expenses in the state of Utah.

The Utah cities with the lowest cost of living

Every city has a slightly different cost of living. Some cities in Utah are more affordable—or more expensive—than the state average. 
Here’s some happy news: there are a few Utah cities with a low cost of living compared to the rest of the state. The majority of Utah cities have a lower cost of living index (COLI) than the national average, but a few also register below the state average. Here’s your list: 
  1. Cedar City
    (COLI: 96.1): This lovely metropolis has a large Mormon population and is located in the southwest corner of the state—very close to exciting outdoor recreational opportunities. 
  2. Ogden
    (COLI: 96.3): Salt Lake City’s little brother, Ogden is a rapidly growing city with lots of art, culture, and educational opportunities—and the Great Salt Lake just around the corner. 
  3. St. George
    (COLI: 98): The cultural hub of the southwest corner of Utah, St. George has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment, hiking, and historic sites. 
  4. Logan
    (COLI: 95.2): Located in the northern part of Utah, Logan is rapidly developing thanks to its strategic location and wealth of natural resources. 
If you’re considering a move to Utah but you want to keep costs low, consider one of the cities listed above!

How to easily find home and car insurance in Utah

Cost of living is something you can’t really control. You’re probably not planning to uproot your entire life and move to a cheaper state just because things cost a lot.
Luckily, the price you pay for
car insurance
is more within your control than you might expect! You can actually save money by shopping for insurance with the
Jerry allows you to quickly compare prices from different major insurance companies. It helps you unlock discounts and tweak your coverage until you find the right fit.
If you find a cheaper rate, just use the app to switch. Jerry will handle the phone calls and paperwork so you can focus on more important things. Best of all, Jerry will even send you new quotes every six months, so you always have the best policy at the right price. 
was absolutely worth it. I saved $150, which might not sound like a lot, but really helps me as a Provo resident.” —Jameson T. 
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A single person in Utah needs approximately $3,114 per month to live comfortably.
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