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Cost of living in Richmond

We’ve broken down the cost of living in Richmond, VA, comparing it to other states and the US national average.

The Richmond skyline as seen from the James River

The overall cost of living in Richmond is lower than the national average.

Table of Contents

With Richmond constantly growing and undertaking multiple high-profile developments this year, we figured it was time to talk about the cost of planting some roots in the River City.

The median household income in the City of Richmond is $54,795 according to the US Census Bureau. On the state level, Virginia is No. 11 in the country (counting DC) for median income at ~$80,963 per household.


The overall cost of living in Richmond is lower than the national average.

Screenshot via bestplaces.net

The overall cost of living in Richmond is lower than the national average and lower than the rest of the state.

In Richmond, the cost of healthcare is lower compared to other parts of the state but just under the national average. The cost of groceries, housing, and transportation expenses in the city also have lower average costs than other cities in Virginia and the country overall.

Breaking down the numbers

Hypothetically speaking, if you live in a household that brings in $50,000 annually — according to experts — you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your monthly gross income on rent and utilities.

Don’t worry, we did the math for you — your max monthly budget would be $1,250. The average monthly rent for an apartment in Richmond is $1,476 — putting you over budget.

According to a 2022 study by Attom Data Solutions, it’s actually more affordable to buy a home in the City of Richmond than to rent.

Take a look at the chart below to see how Richmond’s cost of living compares to that of Arlington.


Richmond has more affordable health care than Arlington.

Screenshot via bestplaces.net

Interested in seeing Richmond’s cost of living compared to cities in other states? We played around on nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator, where you can put in any city along with your current pre-tax household income to find out what other cities you could actually afford to live in.

We took a look at the cost of living in Richmond compared to Baltimore, MD. Here’s what we found:

  • The cost of living is 13% higher in Baltimore.
  • To maintain our standard of living, we would need to bring in $56,549 to our Charm City household.
  • The median cost for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,823, which is $540 more than Richmond.

Richmond also has entities such as the Better Housing Coalition and other government-funded programs to help develop more affordable units.

There are also a number of local development firms working on apartments seemingly all the time — from the new high-rise apartments going up in Manchester to the renovated affordable housing development in Blackwell.

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