Cost of Living in Utah

cost of living in Utah 2021

On this page:

    (Last Updated – 03/2023)

    If you visit Utah you may notice a lot of people with smiles on their faces. Utah is the fourth happiest state in the country, according to a 2022 study by WalletHub, which took factors like economic, emotional, physical, and social health into consideration when ranking all U.S. states.

    If you want to get in on some of that happiness, a move to Utah may be in order. To get a better idea if a move to the Beehive State is the right fit for your finances, keep reading to learn more about the Utah cost of living. That way you can keep your budget happy too.

    What’s the Average Cost of Living in Utah?

    Average Cost of Living in Utah: $42,653 per year

    Before you make any decisions about where to put down roots, you might want to take your monthly budget into consideration.

    Thinking about moving to Utah? Get ready to tap your savings or earn quite a bit, as Utah has the 30th lowest cost of living across the United States, according to MERIC’s 2022 Cost of Living Index data gathered in 2022.

    If Utah is out of your price range, you can consider making a move to Wyoming, which is in the same region but ranks 16th for states with the lowest cost of living.

    How much does it cost to live in Utah? According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis , the average total personal consumption cost in Utah is $42,653 annually. Let’s take a closer look at that spending:


    Average Annual Per-Capita Cost in Utah

    Housing and Utilities


    Health Care


    Food and Beverages (non-restaurant)


    Gas and Energy Goods


    All Other Personal Expenditures


    Looked at as average monthly expenses, that’s $3,554.

    Housing Costs in Utah

    Average Housing Costs in Utah: $946 to $1,840 per month

    Housing in Utah can be expensive, but it can also be on the affordable side. How much you’ll spend depends on what type of living arrangements you choose. With more than 1.19 million housing units, according to 2021 census data, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

    Utah’s typical home value was $500,077 in February 2023, according to Zillow, but this is what you can expect to spend monthly if owning or renting, the 2021 census data shows.

    •  Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,682

    •  Median studio rent: $946

    •  Median one-bedroom rent: $976

    •  Median two-bedroom rent: $1,167

    •  Median three-bedroom rent: $1,380

    •  Median four-bedroom rent: $1,697

    •  Median five-bedroom (or more) rent: $1,840

    •  Median gross rent: $1,208

    Where you live in Utah can play a major role in how much you spend on housing. These are the typical home values for a handful of major Utah cities, according to Zillow, in January 2023.

    Utah City

    Typical Home Price

    Salt Lake City






    St. George






    Cedar City






    Utility Costs in Utah

    Average Utility Costs in Utah: $271 per month

    How much should you budget for utilities every month if you plan to live in Utah? Here’s what the average monthly utility costs look like.


    Average Utah Bill





    Cable & Internet




    Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Sales, Revenue, and Average Price, 2021;; DoxoInsights, U.S. Cable & Internet Market Size and Household Spending Report 2022; and, What Is the Average Water Bill?

    Groceries & Food

    Average Grocery & Food Costs in Utah: $259 per person, per month

    How much you spend on food each month can vary depending on where you live. The Bureau of Economic Analysis found that Utah’s average annual (non-restaurant) food cost per person is $3,112, which equates to about $259 a month.

    The Council for Community and Economic Research , which ranks the food costs in American cities, ranked Utah major cities’ grocery costs for the second quarter of 2022 (shown from lowest to highest).

    Utah City

    Grocery Items Index



    Cedar City




    Salt Lake City



    Average Transportation Costs in Utah: $5,316 to $15,073 per year

    From weekend ski trips to more mundane weekday commutes, transportation expenses add up. To get a clearer idea of how much you’d spend on transportation in Utah, take a look at the following annual estimates from MIT’s Living Wage Calculator , based on data from the first quarter of 2023.

    Recommended: 7 Ways to Save Money on Commuting to Work

    Family Makeup

    Average Annual Transportation Cost

    One adult, no children


    Two working adults, no children


    Two working adults, three children


    Health Care

    Average Health Care Costs in Utah: $5,735 per person, per year

    The average annual per-capita cost of health care in Utah comes out to $5,735, according to estimates from the 2021 Bureau of Economic Analysis Personal Consumption Expenditures by State report.

    What you’ll actually spend on health care will depend on your specific care needs and coverage.

    Child Care

    Average Child Care Costs in Utah: $786 to $1,381 per child, per month

    Many parents struggle to make room for child care costs. Utah residents who need help covering the costs can look into state child care assistance programs .

    To get a better understanding of how much you’d need to spend on child care in Utah, these are the average costs in that state, per 2021 data from .

    Type of Child Care

    Average Cost Per Month, Per Child

    Infant Classroom


    Toddler Classroom


    Preschooler Classroom


    Home-based Family Child Care



    Tax Rate in Utah: 4.85%

    Utah residents pay a flat-rate state income tax of 4.85%, according to the Tax Foundation’s State Individual Income Tax Rates and Brackets for 2023 .

    That’s fairly low when you consider the fact that not too far away, Californians are paying as much as 13.3% in a graduated-rate state income tax system. That said, a change in plans and a move to Nevada will result in you not having to pay any state income tax at all.

    Miscellaneous Costs

    After you pay all of your bills, it’s time to kick back and relax. What does it cost to pass the time in Utah? According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal expenditures come out to $25,367 per person, per year.

    These fun outings may be where some of that money is going (costs are accurate as of March 2023):

    •  A family-friendly educational day at the Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City: $0 to $19.95, depending on age.

    •  More family fun at the Hogle Zoo, also in Salt Lake City: $0 to $23.95, depending on age and season.

    •  Exploring Zion National Park: $35 per vehicle for seven days.

    Recommended: The Average Monthly Expenses for One Person

    How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Utah?

    How accessible a comfortable style of living feels to you will vary depending on your family’s needs and your chosen lifestyle, as well as where you live.

    So, just how easy is it to live comfortably in Utah? Utah ranks 34th in the U.S. News & World Report’s Affordability Rankings which means it’s one of the most expensive states in the country to live in. The rankings measure the average cost of living against the average amount of money most households in that state have.

    As mentioned, MERIC gave Utah a better but still high ranking (30th) on its lowest-cost-of-living list.

    What City Has the Lowest Cost of Living in Utah?

    To make it easier to have a lower-cost lifestyle in Utah, take a look at the three major cities with the lowest cost of living, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index for 2022.

    Cedar City

    With a cost-of-living index of 98.1, Cedar City is the most affordable major city in Utah, the council says. How many people call Cedar City home? About 37,200, according to the most recent census data from 2021. If you enjoy a low cost of living and a small-town feel, Cedar City may be the right fit for you.


    Ogden came in second place, with a cost-of-living ranking of 100.4. Ogden is just 35 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport, so you can easily get away for a vacation or enjoy everything the local area has to offer. You’ll also be close to Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, where you can explore hundreds of miles of hiking and mountain biking trails.


    If Cedar Valley is too small for you, try Provo (cost-of-living index of 104.4), which is home to over 114,000 people, according to 2021 census data, but home values in the Provo-Orem metro area are on the steep side.

    SoFi Home Loans

    Living in Utah has its perks, including close proximity to world-renowned ski resorts, but keep in mind that the cost of living in Utah is relatively high. If you’re drawn by all the buzz of the Beehive State and want to buy a home, you might need to secure a mortgage.

    Although there are many home loans on the market to choose from, SoFi offers a range of fixed-rate mortgage loans at competitive interest rates and with as little as 5% down.

    You can check your rate in just two minutes.

    Learn More

    Photo credit: iStock/Rui Mesquita Cordeiro

    SoFi Loan Products
    SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see Equal Housing Lender.

    SoFi Mortgages
    Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See for more information.

    Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

    External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.