Salt Lake City is one of the best places to live in the nation. U.S. News and World Report ranked the town as the 24th best place in the nation because of its affordability, access to five national parks, and several world-class ski resorts.

If you’re moving to Salt Lake City soon, we understand you’re not only worried about finding the perfect home in a safe, beautiful neighborhood. You probably wonder how much it will cost to support yourself in the city, and if it is affordable.

In this article, you’ll learn how much it costs to live in Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City’s Economy, Median Salary, and Unemployment Rate

Salt Lake City is experiencing phenomenal economic growth. The city, located near the Wasatch Mountain Range, has a population of 200,591 residents. Its unemployment rate is currently 6.2 percent. The median income for residents is $61,625. Salt Lake City topped’s 2020 list of The Best Cities for Millennials.” The study accounted for COVID-related unemployment and rent prices.

“Like our runner-up city, Salt Lake City sits at the sweet spot balancing affordability and job opportunities,” explained Brian Carberry, Senior Managing Editor of

It is also adding jobs at three times higher than the rest of the country. The area also has a fantastic quality of life that city dwellers will enjoy. They can take advantage of skiing and other recreational in the mountains. Residents will also love the year-round temperatures, outside activities, and opportunities for healthy living.

Right now, Salt Lake City’s Silicon Slopes are in the middle of a tech boom that’s drawing talent from around the nation. The area has a booming economy that’s growing at a skyrocketing rate of 9 percent annually, which is two times faster than the national average.

Calculating the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Cost of Living Comparison

The U.S. CPI estimates the national rate of inflation for standard selections of goods and services. The government sets this rate to 100 in the base period of 1982 – 1984, so a current index level of 200. It suggests that prices have increased by 100 percent. There is no CPI specific to the state. Utah’s Department of Workforce Services uses federal data. For October 2020, the CPI or the United States is 260.4, which is an increase of 1.20 percent from 257.3 in October 2019.

Although the CPI changes over time, the cost-of-living comparison shows differences in prices across regions. The Department of Workforce Services determines the total cost of standard for sets of goods and services in a specific region. Afterward, it compares the cost for the same sets of goods and services based on the national average. If the cost of living is 95 percent in a region, that would suggest that it costs five percent less to live in that area compared to the rest of the nation.

In 2020, the Average Cost of Living Index for Salt Lake City was 101.6 for 2019 Q3–2020 Q3, which is 1.6 percent higher than the rest of the nation. According to, the city’s Cost of Living is still 25 percent lower than regional cities like Denver, Colorado.

Median Housing Costs

Housing prices within Salt Lake City scored lower than the Cost of Living Average within the United States. Experts estimate it at92.6 points, which is eight percent lower than the national average. This data includes Salt Lake City’s median prices for buying and renting.

The score excludes the cost of utilities and property taxes. The median price for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home within the area was $395,599, according to NerdWallet. This cost was lower than Denver, Colorado’s average of $501,929.

Median Rents for Apartments

According to, Utah had the 24th highest rent in the nation out of the 50 states and other territories in 2020. Here are the average prices for apartments.

  • Studio Apartments: Are you looking for a studio apartment? The average price for studio apartments was $790.
  • One-Bedroom: On average, rents are $964 for these units.
  • Two-Bedroom Apartments: In Salt Lake City, the average rents for these residences are $1,176.
  • Three-Bedroom Apartments: The average price for a three-bedroom apartment is $1,649.
  • Four-Bedroom Apartments: You will pay an average of $1,870 for these residences.

Note: These are median rental rates. Rental prices may be higher or lower in some neighborhoods.

Average Food Prices

The overall cost for food and groceries within the Salt Lake City area is 95.8. This index rate is 4.2 percent lower than the national average. NerdWallet found Salt Lake City grocery prices are still five percent higher than other regional cities like Denver, Colorado. The average prices of typical groceries were:

  • Bread: $3.39
  • Dozen eggs: $1.64
  • A gallon of milk $1.55
  • 12-inch Pizza Hut Pizza: $10.99
  • McDonald’s Quarter-Pounder with Cheese: $4.34

Average Gas Prices

NerdWallet found the average cost for gas was $2.77, which is four percent higher than its closest regional neighbor Denver, Colorado, which was $2.63 per gallon.

Median Entertainment Costs

Are you looking to relax and unwind? Salt Lake City has significantly cheaper costs for entertainment. According to NerdWallet, the city’s entertainment costs are eight percent lower than another regional city, Denver, Colorado.

  • Movie Ticket: $10.28
  • Yoga Class: $18.33
  • 6 Pack Heineken beer: $8.30

Median Prices for Utilities

Natural gas, electricity, and other utilities are lower in Salt Lake City than in other U.S. areas. The indexed price for utilities in this Utah town is 94.1, which is 5.9 percent lower than the national cost-of-living index.

Average Healthcare Costs

Medical costs within the city were neither more expensive nor cheaper than in other areas.

  • Doctor’s visit: $115.75
  • Dentist visit: $107.17
  • Optometrist visit: $94.00
  • Cost of Lipitor: $488.70

Are you moving to the Salt Lake City area soon? If so, you can rely on the friendly professionals of Mesa Moving & Storage to handle your relocation. Our experts will streamline the process to ensure your move is a smooth, easy one. To schedule a consultation with our moving team, contact us today.