Cost of Living in Salem, OR

Cost of Living in Salem, OR

What is Cost of Living?

Cost of living is the estimated amount of money that an individual needs to maintain a certain standard of living in a particular location. If you have plans on moving to a new city, state, or country, this type of information can help you determine if you are financially ready to relocate. You can check the cost of living index, a theoretical price index that measures the relative cost of living between locations over time, to compare the costs of the basic goods and services in your current location with that which you are considering relocating to. When comparing the cost of living index of two or more locations, the values under the primary location are all constant at 100, while the values for the other location/s may be higher or lower than 100, depending on whether the cost of the expenses being compared with the primary location are more expensive or cheaper in these areas. When comparing cities from different states, the primary location is usually the United States; whereas, when comparing cities from the same state, the primary location would be the state. For detailed information about cost of living in Salem. OR, please contact Jared Sabin

2019 Cost of Living Index in Salem, OR

Planning to move to Salem, OR? The table below would be able to help you decide whether or not you are financially capable to relocate to Oregon’s capital city.


Based on the table above, you can see that the overall cost of living index in Salem, OR is 108.7 – just 8.7 points higher than that of the national index. This means that Salem residents are generally paying 8.7% more on basic expenses compared to the rest of the people in the whole nation. Not bad, considering that its overall cost of living index is relatively lower than the state of Oregon, which is at 124.4. From the same table, you can also see that the highest expense in this city is housing, with an index of 139.7, followed by transportation, with an index of 105.6. On the other hand, the costs of utilities and healthcare are considerably lower, at 79.3 and 82.8, respectively.

A Woman Having a Haircut at a Salon in Salem, OR

Cost of Basic Goods and Services in Salem, OR

The cost of some of the basic goods and services in Salem, such as personal grooming, are a bit higher compared to the national average. A price for a regular haircut is 79.3% more expensive here, at $28.83, while the national average is $16.09. A treatment at the beauty salon costs around $48.67, while the national average is $37.33. A tube of toothpaste costs $3.31, higher than the national average which is $2.45; and a bottle of shampoo is usually priced at around $1.10, a little over the national average, $1.00. When it comes to recreation, the costs are only slightly higher than the national average. A movie ticket goes for $10.90 (national average is $10.28) and the hourly rate for bowling is $5.23 (national average is $4.93).

Salem, OR Housing Costs

In Salem, OR, the median home value is $284,500 and the median list price per square foot is $193. This is lower than the Salem Metro average of $194. The median price of homes listed in Oregon’s capital city is $319,995, while the median price of homes sold is $278,500. For renters, the median rent price in Salem is $1,425, which is lower than the Salem Metro median of $1,450.

A List of Monthly Bills, a Calculator, and a Pen

Utility Costs in Salem, OR

The average rate for basic utilities in Salem for a household living in an 85-square meter apartment is $146.64. This includes electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage. You can see a more detailed price range on the city’s official website. They also have a page where you can calculate an estimate of your monthly utility bill.

Cost of Food and Groceries in Salem, OR

Want to know how much a trip to the grocery store would cost? A liter of milk is $0.81; a loaf of white bread, $2.22; a kilo of white rice, $4.41; a tray of one dozen eggs, $2.71; a kilo of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, $7.72; a kilo of beef round, $14.33; and a kilo of apples, $4.37. When dining out, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant would cost around $15, while the bill for a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is $50 on average.

Transportation Costs in Salem, OR

Salem has a transit system of public buses, but most of the residents prefer to drive. According to the May 2019 data from GasBuddy, a gallon of gas in Salem goes for $3.32, which is significantly higher than the national average which is $2.90. The commute time is relatively short and you can just walk to the downtown area of the city. Amtrak provides train service between Salem and other metro areas along the West Coast. There is no major airport in Salem, so residents usually fly out of Portland International Airport. The HUT Shuttle offers regular transportation between Salem and the airport.

Oregon Taxes

Oregon has a progressive income tax system, with rates ranging from 5% to 9.9%. The top rate of 9.9% is the third highest in the nation, next to California and Hawaii. The state of Oregon has no sales tax, on both the state level as well as local sales taxes. The average effective property tax rate in the state ranges from 0.61% to 1.28%.

Infographic Showing the Cost of Living in Salem, OR

Moving to Salem, OR

Are planning to move to the capital city of Oregon? We hope that this information about the cost of living in Salem, OR has helped you in assessing how the potential move to this location may affect your budget. And, if you have decided to relocate and would like to buy a home here, I would be more than happy to show you all the best options available for you. Feel free to give me a call at 503.932.8639 or send me an email at to schedule a meeting!

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