Cost of Living in Arizona

cost of living in Arizona 2021

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    (Last Updated – 03/2023)

    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: $44,875 per year

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

    Arizona ranks 37th when it comes to which states have the lowest cost of living, according to MERIC’s 2022 Cost of Living Index . 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 19th lowest cost of living.

    So how much does coming in 37th place cost Arizona residents? According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis , the average total personal consumption cost in Arizona is $44,875 per year. Here’s how that total cost breaks down:


    Average Annual Per-Capita Cost in Arizona

    Housing and Utilities


    Health Care


    Food and Beverages (non-restaurant)


    Gas and Energy Goods


    All Other Personal Expenditures


    Housing Costs in Arizona

    Average Housing Costs in Arizona: $973 to $2,169 per month

    With more than 3 million housing units in Arizona, according to 2021 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 February 2023 was $409,196, 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: $1,545

    •  Median studio rent: $973

    •  Median one-bedroom rent: $1,047

    •  Median two-bedroom rent: $1,251

    •  Median three-bedroom rent: $1,478

    •  Median four-bedroom rent: $1,688

    •  Median five-bedroom (or more) rent: $2,169

    •  Median gross rent: $1,253

    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 January 2023.

    Arizona City

    Typical Home Price







    Lake Havasu City




    Sierra Vista


    Show Low








    Utility Costs in Arizona

    Average Utility Costs in Arizona: $408 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.


    Average Arizona 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 Arizona: $278.83 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 $3,346, which breaks down to about $279 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 2022, from lowest to highest.

    Arizona City

    Grocery Items Index



    Bullhead City











    Average Transportation Costs in Arizona: $5,316 to $15,073 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 , for the first quarter of 2023, 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


    Two working adults, no children


    Two working adults, three children


    Health Care

    Average Health Care Costs in Arizona: $6,828 per person, per year

    According to the 2021 Bureau of Economic Analysis Personal Consumption Expenditures by State report, the average annual per-capita cost of health care in Arizona is $6,828.

    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: $787 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 $787 a month for care in a preschooler classroom.

    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 these are the average monthly child care costs by type of care:

    Type of Child Care

    Average Cost Per Month, Per Child

    Infant Classroom


    Toddler Classroom


    Preschooler Classroom


    Home-based Family Child Care



    Highest Marginal Tax Rate in Arizona: 2.5%

    Arizona charges residents a state income tax, and the new flat tax of 2.5% will take into effect in the 2023 tax year.

    According to the Tax Foundation’s State Individual Income Tax Rates and Brackets for 2023 , the new flat tax of 2.5% will begin in the 2023 tax year (for the 2022 tax year, the top marginal tax rate in Arizona was 3.34% but started as low as 2.55%). 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 $25,457 in personal expenditures a year.

    Let’s look at where some of that spending might go (costs are accurate as of March 2023:

    •  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 $1,890 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 — 37th 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 2022.

    Bullhead City

    A cost-of-living ranking of 90.6 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.


    With nearly 150,000 residents, 52,205 households, 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 98.4 is a good sign for your wallet.


    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 95.8) 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.

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