Cost of Living in Las Vegas Beats Other Major U.S. Cities

If you check out lists for the top 10 most expensive U.S. ciies to live in, you won’t find Las Vegas ranked there. Comparing the cost of living in Las Vegas to the cost of living in the most expensive city, NYC, shows far more affordability in Las Vegas.

If you check out lists for the top 10 most expensive U.S. cities to live in, you won’t find Las Vegas ranked there. Comparing the cost of living in Las Vegas, using CNN Money’s calculator, to the cost of living in the most expensive city — you guessed it! New York City — the Big Apple comes out a whopping 348% higher for housing costs alone compared to Las Vegas. With all the other living expenses also well above average you might want to say “fuggedaboutit!” if considering a move to NYC, unless you hit a jackpot in Las Vegas on the way there.

Life is Good in Las Vegas

Whether or not you’ve had some luck at the tables, making Las Vegas your home may just be in the cards for you, considering the abundant sunshine, wide range of entertainment options and the value of your dollars compared to other major U.S. destination cities.

Based on data from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) Las Vegas drops in at just about average for all the major expense indices:

  • Groceries
  • Housing
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Healthcare

The cost of living in Las Vegas doesn’t beat that of the number one least expensive U.S. city: Harlingen, Texas. Making your home there requires roughly 23% less than Las Vegas for housing and groceries, according to our calculator. Of course, then you’d be in Harlingen, not Las Vegas.

If You’re Thinking of Living in…

You may dream of living in a major West Coast city such as Los Angeles, San Diego, or San Francisco. Remember that Top 10 Most Expensive U.S. Cities list? Well, they’re on it. Ditto for popular East Coast towns Washington D.C. and Boston. And if you have a Honolulu, Hawaii fantasy (who doesn’t?), that’ll cost you too.

Chicago and Miami didn’t quite make Top 10 status but both come out at a higher cost of living when compared with Las Vegas. Phoenix and Dallas are close cousins with Las Vegas, hovering right around the national average mark, while Anchorage is significantly higher at 32% more. If you like the idea of living in Knoxville or Memphis, TN, you’ll find them somewhat more affordable than Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Has a Winning Hand

The associated costs of life in most major U.S. cities is not only above the national average, but the majority of these areas actually make up the Top 10 Most Expensive list. In contrast, Las Vegas provides an opportunity for a more affordable cost of living.

Thinking of making the big move? Check out our home buyer resources.


Subscribe to Blue Matter and get the latest updates


  1. Letter to a First Time Home Buyer
    October 28, 2013

    […] cost of living in Las Vegas stacks up pretty favorably against major competitive markets. For instance, cities such as New […]

  2. Elizabeth Dayrit
    May 4, 2014

    What is the cost of Living in Las Vegas? And what is the median price in home ownership?

  3. Tim Fowler
    September 11, 2014

    The cost of living may be 20 to 30 percent less than other major US cities, but good
    luck making more that 8 to 10 an hour.
    This includes teachers, pilots, or people with degrees; the job market
    is so terrible no one will pay decent wages.

  4. Ne0
    April 3, 2015

    The article failed to mention vegas has one of the highest suicide rate in the country.

  5. Lee
    July 22, 2015

    I’d have to disagree Tim. Surely you can find a job at the Community College or (UNLV for example) that would pay more than $10 an hour as a person with a degree. Also what about the property management industry?

    and NE0….. Living in Las Vegas has nothing to do with the suicide rate.. Those people would be unhappy anywhere. Yes the casinos are everywhere but a strong person can resist wasting money like that.

  6. doug
    October 6, 2015

    Been to Vegas a bunch of times I live in the Bay area been here all my life but it’s getting so expensive here and unless you make over 30 dollars an hour or just loaded your quality of life is limited Vegas seems better for opportunities as well as there’s 0 state taxes forclosed homes sound bad but with the outrageous real estate costs in California could be an investers dream come true

  7. April Schmid - Gulling
    July 29, 2016

    I have a big concern have they taken into consideration and adding in the budget for people who live in apartment complexes raising the rent each year. The numbers do not match up for people who are on fixed income and a lot of us are working on call jobs to supplement for food, etc.


Leave a Reply

Share on Facebook Share on Twiiter Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Share on Telegram Share on Email