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Moving to Greater Des Moines? Explore Our Cost of Living Calculator

What is the average cost of living in Des Moines, Iowa?

The affordable cost of living in Greater Des Moines (DSM) makes it an ideal place for people of all ages. Whether you're a young professional starting a career, have a family or want to retire, DSM is an ideal place to call home thanks to a cost of living that's 10% below the national average, according to 2020 stats from the The Council for Community & Economic Research.

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What factors go into cost of living?

Finding an average cost of living for a certain city or area means considering the cost for things most people need for daily living. Below, our cost of living calculator for Des Moines includes the average cost for larger expenses like housing, transportation, groceries and utilities. It also compares prices for household items like eggs, ground beef, detergent, shampoo and coffee. Figuring out the average cost of living in Des Moines, Iowa, is only helpful if you have a way of comparing it to the cost of living in other places. This is what our cost of living calculator does below.

What is the average house price in Des Moines?

Your rent or mortgage is likely one of your biggest monthly expenses, so housing costs are very important when considering overall cost of living in any city. The good news for anyone planning on moving to Des Moines is the low cost of housing. The 2019 Des Moines median home price of $173,000 is 28% less than the national median home price of $240,000.

Because of the affordable average house price in Greater Des Moines, DSM is consistently recognized as being one of the top metro areas for home buying and one of the most affordable places to live in the United States. Learn more about Greater Des Moines communities, and read our guide for how to choose a neighborhood.

Working in Des Moines

In addition to the lower average house price in Des Moines, you’ll also find a lower unemployment rate. Did you know DSM is the #1 place with good jobs and inexpensive housing? Des Moines’ unemployment rate is half the national average, and sources rank Des Moines as a top market for job seekers, citing increasing opportunities in fields like insurance services, education, data science, technology, real estate, healthcare and more!

Find a job you love in Greater Des Moines with one of our local employers! Visit the DSM USA Career Center to explore great job options.

Des Moines Cost of Living Calculator

Use the cost of living calculator below to explore the average cost of living in Des Moines, Iowa, in comparison to your current location or other cities you're considering.

How to Use the Cost of Living Calculator

  1. In the first field, enter your current annual salary.
  2. In the second field, choose your current city or another city you’re interested in.
  3. In the third field, choose IA Des Moines.
  4. Press Calculate

How to Read the Cost of Living Calculator Results

You will need to scroll in order to see the full results

  • Salary Comparison The calculator will use the base annual salary you entered to estimate a comparable after-tax income in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • If you move from __________ to Des Moines, Iowa This section will compare expenses in broad categories like groceries, housing, utilities, transportation and healthcare.
  • Total Monthly Expected Spending Comparison By Household Types View monthly averages for household spending in your city and Des Moines, along with the national average.
  • Index Comparison This is another way of comparing average cost of living in Des Moines, Iowa, with your selected city. National average is present in this section as well.
  • Average Price Comparison The last section in the Des Moines cost of living calculator includes a list of items and expenses, along with average prices for those items in Des Moines and your selected city. You can also see the national average price for each item. This list includes the average house price in Des Moines and the average prices for things like doctor visits, gasoline, eggs, detergent, toothpaste, dry cleaning services and beer.