Cost of living in Richmond, VA

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.

Photo by @stabomediaphotography on Instagram

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 $51,421 according to the US Census Bureau. State-wise, Virginia is No. 10 in the country for median income at ~$76,398 per household.


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

Screenshot via

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 + the US. The cost of groceries, housing, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses in the city 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 annuallyaccording 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 $1,459 — putting you over budget.

According to a recent 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

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 20% higher in Baltimore.
  • To maintain our standard of living, we would need to bring in $59,799 to our Charm City household.
  • The median cost for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,755, which is $650 more than Richmond.

Richmond also has entities such as the Better Housing Coalition + 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 12-story building at Broad and Lombardy Streets to the affordable housing development from Dakota Partners at Brady Square.

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