Is Nevada expensive to live in?

Nevada might be popular for Las Vegas and the casinos. But there’s more to the state than that. It’s a great place to live and has recently seen an influx of new residents. If you’re considering moving too, you’ll want to know what to expect. So, how expensive is Nevada?

Yes, Nevada is fairly expensive. The cost of living here is 10.5% above the national average. At that rate, it’s not unaffordable, especially compared to other states. It’s the 16th most expensive state in the country. Residents spend most of their income on childcare, housing, and transportation.

Nevada is a great place to move to if you want an affordable state with warm weather and great entertainment options. Here, we discuss whether Nevada is expensive.

How Expensive is Nevada?

Nevada’s cost of living index is higher than the average nationwide by 10.5%. It’s the 16th most expensive state in the US, which makes it quite expensive compared to many states. But it’s still a cheaper option than places like New York, California, Massachusetts, etc.

However, location matters when discussing the cost of living in Nevada. The urban metro is more expensive to live in than rural areas. There are three metro areas here, with the Reno metro being the most expensive. About three-quarters of its residents live in Clarks County, which contains the Las-Vegas-Paradise metropolitan area.

Cost of Living Breakdown for Nevada

If you’re planning to live in Nevada, it helps to know how much everything costs. Here is a breakdown to help

1.  Accommodation

In Nevada, like almost every other state in the US, housing is what most residents spend the highest percentage of their income on. According to Zillow, the typical value of homes in Nevada is $463,340, compared to the US, which is $349,816. Homes in Nevada didn’t use to be this expensive. But that has been changing in the past few years. It has increased by over 30% year-on-year already.

The typical renter in Las Vegas also pays $1,471, which is fairly expensive. But only about 8% of rental properties here will cost you more than $2,000 per month. The rents here aren’t so expensive, especially considering that the median rent in the US was $1,827 in April, according to Realtor.

The percentage of renter-occupied homes in the state is 43.38% as of the 2019 census. But it has likely increased due to the migration here, especially during and post-pandemic. This generally shows just how in-demand rental properties are in the city. Nevada has one of the highest renter populations of any US state.

2.  Transportation

This is a crucial part of any cost of living. In Nevada, the MIT Living Wage Calculator estimates that a single person will spend $4,938 on transportation annually. The number goes up for families and can be as high as $13,456 for a family of 4 with two kids. A family with three kids is expected to spend $14,613. With the current high cost of gas, that’s likely to have increased. 

The average motorist in Nevada drives 14,016 miles a year. This is lower than the average nationwide by more than 200 miles. But only a small percentage of its population go to work via public transport. Most people here drive. Fortunately, the average minutes for commuting here is lower than the national average, which might mean spending less on transport overall.

Since the state is largely car-dependent, most people here also need to consider the other costs that come with car ownership. This particularly refers to the average car insurance costs. Car insurance is expensive here. It costs about $1,802 annually, which is 26.2% higher than the national average.

3.  Healthcare

Here’s something cheaper in Nevada. As far as out-of-pocket healthcare costs and health insurance are concerned, it’s all fairly low in the city. The cost of healthcare here is 7.6% lower than the national average. Average medical costs for a single person here are $2,714. A family of 4 spends about $9,359. Health insurance also costs less than you’ll have to pay in other states.

4.  Food and Grocery

You can’t exaggerate the importance of food spending on the overall cost of living. While they don’t cost as much as housing, they’re equally important. Food costs vary from one state to another. In Nevada, groceries are slightly more expensive than the national average. The MIT wage calculator estimates that a typical single person in Nevada spends $3,999 while a family of 4 spends $11,764.

However, the cost will vary based on eating habits. For instance, the amount you spend on food will increase if you eat outside. Generally, eating out is more expensive than cooking at home.

5.  Childcare

Being a parent is a major expense in the US, and that’s also true for Nevada. Childcare covers the cost of education, babysitters, and all other expenses that a family won’t incur if they don’t have a child. Having one child adds $9,553 to your annual bill in Nevada, and you can multiply that by the number of kids you have. The age of the child will also be a factor. Usually, you’ll spend more on childcare as the child grows up.

6.  Taxes

One of the reasons people move to Nevada is because of Texas. This is especially true for Californians. Nevada doesn’t have a state income tax for individuals and companies. But there is a 6.85% sales tax in the state and maximum local 1.53% sales taxes. The average combined sales tax in the state is 8.23%. Property taxes are 0.60%.

The state is very tax-friendly for businesses and retirees. The silver state doesn’t tax social security income or ahh pension funds. Still, some taxes, such as federal taxes, Medicare Payments, social security contributions, etc. This puts the overall tax bill for a person in Nevada at around $4,713.

In Conclusion

Nevada is an expensive state. But not a very expensive one. It’s 16th on the list of the most expensive states in the US and more affordable than several other states. This explains why several Californians have been moving to Nevada in recent years.