Los Angeles is one of the most expensive cities in the United States. On average, the cost of living is 49% higher than average in cities in the USA. Housing prices are notably higher, whether you are buying or renting.
Nevertheless, salaries are also higher, allowing expatriates to find a certain balance. As you can see, adapting to the cost of living in Los Angeles means living there.
What is the Cost of Living in Los Angeles?
The cost of living in Los Angeles is much higher than the national average. Find out how much you can expect to pay for each item of expenditure.
Cost of Living in Los Angeles: Understanding All Expenses
Expenses Related to Housing
According to Numbeo’s calculator, renting an apartment in Los Angeles costs between $2,000 and $5,000 per month.
Here is a summary table of the budget to expect according to the location and size of the property:
|Type of housing||Monthly rent|
|One-bedroom apartment in the center||$2,450|
|One-bedroom apartment outside the center||$1,800|
|Three-bedroom apartment in the center||$4,400|
|Three-bedroom apartment outside the center||$3,500|
Prices are relatively high. The average price for a fully equipped apartment in the city’s center is $9,300.
For a fully equipped apartment outside the center, you can estimate a price between $5,000 and $6,000.
Food Expenses: Cost of Living in Los Angeles
As far as food is concerned, prices are higher globally than in other cities. Your lifestyle may impact your budget for groceries.
A couple should spend between $400 and $500 on monthly groceries.
To help you see more clearly, here is a table summarizing the price of essential food products:
|Bread (per unit)||$3,70|
|Milk (2.5 liters)||$3,80|
|Eggs (box of 12)||$3,65|
|Cheese (1 kg)||$12|
|Chicken (500 grams)||$6,42|
|Rice (1 kg)||$5,80|
|Apples (1 kg)||$4,5|
|Salad (per unit)||$2|
|Water bottle (per unit)||$2|
|Bottle of wine (per unit)||$12|
Transportation Costs in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, having your car is almost unavoidable. Indeed, the bus lines are pretty irregular, and cabs are not always available. The public transportation network is not as extensive as in other major cities such as New York or San Francisco.
Here are some examples of the costs associated with transportation in Los Angeles:
|Monthly bus pass||$95,28|
|Cab (one kilometer)||$3,8|
|Gasoline (per liter)||$1,64|
Electricity, Water, ADSL Subscription
The monthly electricity, water, and Internet subscription charges remain relatively high. The table below summarizes the monthly budget:
|Electricity and Water||$120|
In the USA, education is not free. If you have children, it is important to know the average budget for enrollment in a daycare or school:
|Private nursery||$1,400 per month|
|Private elementary school||Between $10,000 and $15,000 per year|
|High School||Between $15,000 and $20,000 per year|
|University||From $20,000 to over $50,000 per year|
Cost of Living in Los Angeles: The Average Budget for Unexpected Expenses
As far as the unexpected expense budget is concerned, everything depends on your lifestyle.
However, to give you a better idea of how much you should budget for your outings, you can consult the following table:
|Lunch in a popular restaurant||$30|
|A cinema ticket||$15|
|Gym membership||$50 per month|
|Tennis courses||$15 per hour|
|A menu in a fast-food restaurant||$10|
|A cappuccino in a restaurant||$5,6|
Cost of Living in Los Angeles vs Other Cities
The cost of living in Los Angeles is relatively higher than in other medium-sized cities in the United States.
On the other hand, prices are still more affordable than in the very large U.S. metropolises, as the table below shows:
|Service||San Francisco||New York||Los Angeles||Villes moyennes des USA|
|The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment downtown||$3,500||$2,800||$2,500||$1,500|
|Cost of a drink in a restaurant||$6||$6||$5||$4|
|Cost of a menu in a fast-food restaurant||$8||$7||$7||$7|
|Cost of a metro ticket||$3,25||$3,25||$2||$1,75|
|Cost of a kilo of rice||$7||$5||$3||$3|
Average Salary to Expect to Living Good in Los Angeles
According to GoBankingRates, to make a decent living in Los Angeles, you need to be able to earn an average of :
- $130,000 per year if you are a couple
- $60,000 as a single person
- Between $100,000 and $150,000 for a family.
Please note, however, that these figures are a guideline and may vary depending on your lifestyle. For your information, the average monthly salary in Los Angeles is currently $5,800.