Cost of Living in Arizona

cost of living in Arizona 2021

On this page:

    (Last Updated – 12/2021)

    Get ready to enjoy blue skies if you make your way to Arizona. The Grand Canyon State has an average of 286 sunny days a year, which is a lot more than the national average of 205.

    That means you can hit the trails in Saguaro National Park without having to worry about too much rain. There are also plenty of big cities with flourishing housing markets such as the like Phoenix housing market and the Tucson housing market in Arizona.

    If sunshine isn’t enough to sway you, read on for a better idea of what the Arizona cost of living is like so you can see if a move to the state will keep your budget happy and healthy.

    What’s the Average Cost of Living in Arizona?

    Average Cost of Living in Arizona: $35,264 per year

    It turns out that living in Arizona may put a significant dent in your monthly budget.

    Arizona ranks 36th when it comes to which states have the lowest cost of living, according to MERIC’s 2021 Cost of Living Index data gathered in the third quarter of 2021. If you’re looking to move to the Southwest, New Mexico is a much more affordable option. In the same ranking, New Mexico was found to have the 10th lowest cost of living.

    So how much does coming in 36th place cost Arizona residents? According to 2020 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average total personal consumption cost in Arizona is $35,264 per year. Here’s how that total cost breaks down:

    Category

    Average Annual Per-Capita Cost in Arizona

    Housing and Utilities

    $6,673

    Health Care

    $6,418

    Food and Beverages (non-restaurant)

    $3,288

    Gas and Energy Goods

    $772

    All Other Personal Expenditures

    $18,112

    Housing Costs in Arizona

    Average Housing Costs in Arizona: $788 to $1,551 per month

    With more than 3 million housing units in Arizona, according to 2019 census data, you should have no trouble finding a home in Arizona, as long as the housing prices are within your budget. The typical home value in Arizona in late 2021 was nearly $392,000, according to Zillow.

    How much you’ll spend on housing each month will vary depending on if you rent or buy. Here’s what you can expect to spend, according to the latest census data.

    •  Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,434

    •  Median studio rent: $788

    •  Median one-bedroom rent: $889

    •  Median two-bedroom rent: $1,083

    •  Median three-bedroom rent: $1,284

    •  Median four-bedroom rent: $1,551

    •  Median gross rent: $1,101

    Where you want to live in Arizona can play a big role in how much it costs to buy a home. Here are typical home values for some major Arizona cities, according to Zillow, as of late 2021.

    Arizona City

    Typical Home Price

    Phoenix

    $410,028

    Tucson

    $301,455

    Prescott

    $451,786

    Lake Havasu City

    $335,278

    Yuma

    $226,341

    Flagstaff

    $527,172

    Sierra Vista

    $197,749

    Show Low

    $325,709

    Payson

    $307,760

    Nogales

    $195,525

    Safford

    $213,848

    Utility Costs in Arizona

    Average Utility Costs in Arizona: $421 per month

    Even once you own a home and pay it off fully, you’ll still need to pay for utilities every month. Here’s what the average monthly utility bill expenses look like in Arizona.

    Utility

    Average Arizona Bill

    Electricity

    $137

    Gas

    $116

    Cable & Internet

    $104

    Water

    $64

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

    Groceries & Food

    Average Grocery & Food Costs in Arizona: $301 per person, per month

    Food is a major ongoing expense no matter where you live, but how much should you plan to spend on food per month in Arizona?

    As previously noted, the Bureau of Economic Analysis found Arizona’s average annual (non-restaurant) food cost per capita to be $3,614, which breaks down to about $301 per person, per month. That said, where you live in Arizona can play a role in how much food costs you.

    According to the Council for Community and Economic Research, , which ranks food expenses in major American cities, these are the rankings for Arizona cities’ grocery costs for the second quarter of 2021, from lowest to highest.

    Arizona City

    Grocery Items Index

    Surprise

    92.6

    Bullhead City

    93.9

    Phoenix

    99.2

    Tucson

    99.2

    Yuma

    102.2

    Flagstaff

    112.7

    Transportation

    Average Transportation Costs in Arizona: $4,900 to $13,317 per year

    Getting from place to place can add up, especially if you have two commuting adults or children in your family.

    The following data from MIT’s Living Wage Calculator can give you an idea of how much you’ll spend on transportation in Arizona, depending on your family structure..

    Family Makeup

    Average Annual Transportation Cost

    One adult, no children

    $4,900

    Two working adults, no children

    $8,987

    Two working adults, two children

    $13,317

    Health Care

    Average Health Care Costs in Arizona: $6,418 per person, per year

    According to the 2020 Bureau of Economic Analysis Personal Consumption Expenditures by State report, the average annual per-capita cost of health care in Arizona is $6,418.

    It’s worth noting that how much you’ll spend on health care can vary greatly depending on your specific health care needs and what type of coverage you have.

    Child Care

    Average Child Care Costs in Arizona: $981 to $1,283 per child, per month

    No matter what your family’s financial situation is, child care is likely to be a large expense for you, especially during the early years of your child’s life. How much you’ll spend each month can depend on your child’s age.

    For example, in Arizona you’ll spend an average of $1,283 a month on care in an infant classroom but $981 a month for care in a toddler classroom.

    If you need help paying for childcare costs, the Alabama Department of Human Resources lets eligible families apply for Subsidized Day Care Services. Check out the Federal Child Care and Development Fund website for more information.

    For assistance covering these expenses, the Arizona Department of Economic Security offers child care assistance for working low-income families, teen parents attending high school or GED classes, domestic violence or homeless shelter residents, and parents who can’t care for their children because of emotional or physical conditions.

    According to 2021 data from costofchildcare.org these are the average monthly child care costs by type of care:

    Type of Child Care

    Average Cost Per Month, Per Child

    Infant Classroom

    $1,283

    Toddler Classroom

    $981

    Home-based Family Child Care

    $1,080

    Taxes

    Highest Marginal Tax Rate in Arizona: 8%

    Arizona charges residents a state income tax. While some states have a flat income tax rate, Arizona’s is offered in graduated brackets based on income.

    According to the Tax Foundation’s State Individual Income Tax Rates and Brackets for 2021 , the top marginal tax rate in Arizona is 8% but starts as low as 2.59%. A potential rate of 8% may seem high, but for comparison’s sake, California’s graduated-rate income tax tops out at 13.3%.

    Miscellaneous Costs

    Once you’re done funding all of your necessities, it’s time to have some fun. The Bureau of Economic Analysis found that the average Arizonan can expect $18,112 in personal expenditures a year.

    Let’s look at where some of that spending might go (costs are accurate as of Nov. 17, 2021):

    •  A visit to Bearizona, in Williams, to check out the bears: $20 to $35 depending on age and if you go during the week or on the weekend. Children 3 and under can enter for free.

    •  An adrenaline-pumping Pink Jeep Tour in Sedona: As much as $2,850 if you book a private tour.

    •  Entrance to Grand Canyon National Park for the whole family: $35 per vehicle.

    If you want to save on a trip to the Grand Canyon, there are a handful of entrance fee-free days throughout the year.

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

    We all have our own idea of what it means to live comfortably, but most of us share a general set of living standards we hope to afford. Arizona is not one of the more affordable states to live in.

    U.S. News & World Report’s Affordability Rankings found Arizona to be the 29th most affordable state. That ranking measures the average cost of living in each state against the average amount of money most households in that state have.

    The MERIC ranking found Arizona even less affordable — 36th for states with the lowest cost of living. (Mississippi had the lowest; Hawaii, the highest on that list.)

    What City Has the Lowest Cost of Living in Arizona?

    To make it easier to obtain a comfortable lifestyle in Arizona, let’s get to know the three major Arizona cities with the lowest cost of living, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index for the second quarter of 2021.

    Bullhead City

    A cost-of-living ranking of 91.6 snagged Bullhead City the top spot on the council’s index for Arizona. Bullhead City is on the east bank of the Colorado River and spans 57.2 square miles, so you’ll have plenty of areas to explore if you move there.

    Surprise

    With more than 140,000 residents, 48,600 households, and 7,000 businesses, according to the most recent census data, this Arizona city is sure to hold plenty of pleasant surprises for new residents. And a cost-of-living index of 94.9 is a good sign for your wallet.

    Yuma

    In Yuma, getting moving and enjoying the great outdoors is a piece of cake. Close proximity to the Colorado River gives you the opportunity to enjoy water activities; plus Yuma (cost-of-living index of 96.1) has tons of scenic trails you can hike on.


    SoFi Home Loans

    The cost of living in Arizona isn’t low, but if the land of cacti and coyotes speaks to you, you may be on the hunt for an Arizona home and a home loan.

    Although there are many home loans on the market to choose from, SoFi offers a range of home 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/Davel5957
    SoFi Loan Products
    SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

    SoFi Home Loans
    Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. SoFi Home Loans are not available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility-criteria for more information.

    Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products 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.
    SOHL1021032