Cost of Living in Cincinnati Compared to Other Cities

Cost of Living in Cincinnati Compared to Other U.S. Cities




I’m thinking of moving to Cincinnati, OH. What is the cost of living and how does it compare to other cities nationally? That’s what we are going to look at in today’s video.

Hey everyone! Welcome in. My name is Eric Sztanyo. I’m a Cincinnati real estate agent with Keller Williams Advisors Realty and, and what I wanted to do today is do a quick video on the cost of living in Cincinnati.

What is the Cost of Living in Cincinnati

So, if you are out there living in other cities and are potentially looking to move, this video is for you. Maybe you are on the West Coast and the cost of living is getting too crazy. Or maybe you are on the East Coast or Midwest and you are saying, “hey, I heard about Cincinnati. I heard it’s up and coming, and I heard that it’s extremely affordable to live in.” Well, that’s true!

I want to dive into the numbers today and take a look at the actual cost of living in Cincinnati for a few reasons. First, I love the city. I live here. I grew up in Northern Kentucky and have lived in Cincinnati basically my entire life. It’s a fantastic city and when you start to compare it to other cities nationally or in the midwest, the numbers are pretty fantastic in terms of cost of living. So, let’s dive in my looking at this website –

Lowest Cost Index in the Nation

Ok. I wanted to show you that there are a few websites out there that give you great stats on the cost of living in Cincinnati, particularly this one – REDI stands for the regional economic development initiative for the Greater Cincinnati area. This is a website that is pro-Cincinnati, but it gives some awesome tools as at why you might choose this city to live, including a cost of living index calculator.

The first thing I wanted to show you on this home page is that Cincinnati has the lowest cost index in the nation, among the 31 largest cities.

cost of living in Cincinnati - lowest cost index in nation - REDI

With the national baseline at 100, Cincinnati is coming in at 94.0, and among the 31 largest U.S. cities, Cincinnati is coming in at the lowest cost index. Cincinnati is the #1 lowest cost index in the nation. So, right off the bat, that should make your eyebrows raise a little bit if you are thinking about moving to Cincinnati.

Live Better for Less in Greater Cincinnati

There is all kinds of great information on this site, but I want to pop over to the LIVING HERE tab and the COST OF LIVING page. They have some great info on this page.

It says you can, “LIVE BETTER FOR LESS IN GREATER CINCINNATI”. What do they mean by that? Well, it says, “Visitors and transplants are often surprised by our region’s affordable cost of living. Residents can purchase beautiful homes in all kinds of arrays and styles of neighborhoods for a fraction of larger market prices.”

cost of living in Cincinnati - live better for less in Greater Cincinnati - redi

I recently had a friend who moved here who had lived in Oklahoma City, Dallas and Birmingham, and when moved up here, he told me, “this city is awesome! How come nobody knows about this place? It’s amazing!”

Median Home Price in Cincinnati

A few other things I want to point out here. First, is the Median Home Price in Cincinnati. This info is coming from the NAR, the National Association of Realtors from Q1 2017. It’s showing the median home price in Cincinnati compared to San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Boston and Atlanta.

In San Jose, the median home price is over $1M. Just a little bit pricey to live there in Silicon Valley. San Francisco’s median home price is upwards of $800,000. Seattle is $425,000. New York is about $400,000. Boston is $250,000. Atlanta is about $200,000. Cincinnati is coming in below these for a solid $145,000 price for a median home, which is incredibly affordable compared to these other cities. 

cincinnati cost of living - median home price chart - Redi

Let’s say you don’t want to buy a home, but plan on renting. Well, how much square footage can you get for $1,500/month? Just take a look at the amount of square feet you can get compared to New York, San Francisco, Boston, San Jose, Seattle and even Atlanta. Cincinnati is just kind of crushing it in terms of if you actually want some living space and an affordable house, this is the place to come.

Quality of Life in Cincinnati

Now, cost of living is one thing when you are considering where to live, but what about the quality of life? Let’s be honest. You don’t want to go live somewhere that sucks. That’s where you should dive into this site and some others, but there are some amazing amenities in Cincinnati, OH.

The site says, “but it’s the quality of life that’s truly impressive.” You’ll find leading edge healthcare, nationally ranked education from UC, Xavier, our different universities.

Here are some of the other amenities if you are considering moving to Cincinnati.

By the way, you have the Cincinnati Reds. You have these amazing parks like Washington Park and Smale Bark on the banks of the Ohio River. You have FC Cincinnati (football club), which just was chosen to be the latest MLS expansion team. So, welcome to the MLS, FC Cincinnati! If you’ve been following that at all, you’ll know that Cincinnati has a rabid soccer fan base that is incredible. They are consistently outdrawing other MLS cities in attendance, and now Cincinnati is the latest team to join the MLS.

fc cincinnati to the mls - great soccer fans

In terms of pro sports, you have the Cincinnati Reds, which are the first and oldest Major League Baseball team. You have the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL, and now you have FC Cincinnati to be the latest Major League Soccer expansion team. 

There is an incredible art scene in Cincinnati. There is the Contemporary Arts Center, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Cincinnati Ballet, the Cincinnati Opera. If you’re into the arts, Cincinnati is really a top notch city when it comes to the art scene.

cincinnati arts scene - music hall - cost of living in cincinnati

There is an incredible zoo that is nationally renowned. We host the Flying Pig Marathon every year.

And, if you are into drinking beer and listening to music, this is a good place to be. Cincinnati has a strong German heritage. We’ve been crafting beer here for literally hundreds of years and it shows. We have some incredible craft breweries here – Rhinegeist, Madtree, Braxton Brewery. If you like good beer, you will be very happy and pleased with the local craft breweries here in Cincinnati.

Startup Scene Driving Jobs in Cincinnati

And, it’s all within reach. What you are also seeing in Cincinnati is a lot of startups, a lot of businesses are moving to the midwest to cities like Cincinnati. They are saying, “why should I spend all of this extra money in New York or California, when I can go to the midwest and start my business for a fraction of the cost?”

What You Can Buy for 1 Hour of Work

I worked for a startup here locally as their Marketing Director for a while and found that the Cincinnati startup scene is a good place to work. So, if you are a software developer and jump into the startup scene here in Cincinnati, which is growing very quickly, what this is looking at is what you can buy for 1 hour of work compared to other cities.

cost of living in Cincinnati - what you can buy for 1 hour of work

Pro Soccer Tickets – you can buy 4.5 tix for one hour of work in Cincy, compared to 2.0 in New York, Boston and Atlanta. 2.5 in Seattle.

Domestic Draft Beers – You can buy 14 in Cincinnati for 1 hour of work compared to 9 in New York or 10.5 in San Francisco and 11 in Seattle.

Avocado Toasts – So, clearly this site was developed my someone trying to reach millennials and get them to move here. I think that’s pretty funny. 🙂 But, in Cincinnati, you can buy 9 avocado toasts for 1 hour of work, whereas you can only buy 3.75 avocado toasts in Atlanta … which is … truly disappointing. Atlanta is truly price gauging people with their avocado toasts down there, and it’s pretty sad to see. 

Days of Parking to Downtown – What about parking? Well, the commute in Cincinnati is really easy. It’s basically about 20 minutes wherever you are at, which is nice. And, you can park downtown with 1 hour of work for 14 days compared to 4 days in Seattle, 4 in San Fran, 2.5 in Boston and 1.5 in New York. And really, who owns a car in New York?

But don’t take our word for it … you guys ever watch Reading Rainbow?

Cincinnati Cost of Living Index Calculator

So, this tool at the bottom of the page is really cool, and I encourage you guys to jump on this website to use it. It’s a cost of living index calculator.

So, what you can do is compare the cost of living in Cincinnati to basically any other U.S. city. 

I’m going to choose Chicago, IL as an example. We’re about a 5 hour drive from Chicago. My aunt, who was living in Chicago, just moved because the taxes were getting too high.

cost of living calculator - cincinnati vs chicago

So, you just hit this calculate button and what it does is show you if you are earning $50,000 in after tax dollars in Chicago, IL, it shows you the comparable after-tax income in Cincinnati, OH, which is $37,000.

Because the cost of living in Cincinnati is so low, compared to Chicago, you are basically sticking $13,000 a year in your pocket if you are making that same income. So … that’s pretty awesome.

If you go down the list, you’ll see your groceries will cost 15% less. Housing in Cincinnati will cost 51% less than in Chicago, IL! Transportation is 20% less. And you can play around with this and go down each expense category to compare the differences in cost between Chicago and Cincinnati.

Let’s take a look at if you make $100,000/yr instead of $50,000. The comparable after-tax income in Cincinnati is $75,000. So, in this example, it’s like putting $25,000/yr in your pocket. If you make $200,000, the after-tax comparable is $150,000 in Cincinnati.

So, use this calculator! You can see how affordable it is to move to Cincinnati compared to other U.S. cities.

This Is Cincinnati

There are some other websites out there that are helpful when looking at the cost of living in Cincinnati. This one is pretty cool. It’s called

They have some similar statistics on the site. They say,

“In Cincinnati, you don’t have to fight to survive. In Cincinnati, you can thrive.”

I like that line, and I think that’s right. If you’re in another city and you are just scrapping paycheck to paycheck to get by, and you are fighting to just survive, you don’t have to do that here. The cost of living is so affordable in Cincinnati, that you can actually thrive here.

affordable cincinnati real estate - 40% below national average cost

It also shows that Cincinnati was ranked #9 on the Forbes list for Best Cities for Raising a Family. 

Cincinnati has affordable housing and beautiful architecture. Take a look at this stat. Cincinnati is one of the most affordable real estate markets, more than 40% lower than the national average.

Cincinnati is 40% lower than the national average in terms of real estate costs.

That’s outrageous. You can spend $700,000 for a home in San Francisco and you can get that SAME house here in Cincinnati for $120,000!

So, it’s up to you on where you want to live, but with the globalization of the world and more technology jobs, many people can work on the internet and live wherever they want to live. I’d recommend you move to Cincinnati! I’d love to meet you!

I hope this video was helpful for you guys thinking about moving and where you might want to live. If you need help and want to know more about Cincinnati and it’s neighborhoods, give me a call. Cincinnati is super diverse and there is a little something for everyone. There are 52 different neighborhoods. You can live in hipster land, downtown, suburbia, or in the country. Give me a call. I’ll help you find the perfect place to live if you are moving to Cincinnati.

We welcome you to our city! We’d love to have you move here. I live here with my wife and 4 kids. It’s a great place to raise a family, and as you can see, living in Cincinnati is super affordable.

At Team Sztanyo, we’d love to help you find the perfect place to live, get you moved here and start putting those extra dollars in your pocket.

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