What's the Cost of Living in Delaware?

September 19th, 2023

What's the Cost of Living in Delaware?

Cost of Living Delaware

Is Delaware an expensive place to live? Let's look a little deeper into the cost of living in Delaware, the average household income, and typical expenses. 

Delaware is a small Mid-Atlantic state located on a peninsula that is known for its dune-backed beaches bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware River, and Bay. With a population of 1.003 million residents, Delaware is renowned for its scenic beauty, low taxes, and affordable housing, which makes it an ideal location to live.

Whether you enjoy hiking, art, or simply admiring miles of beautiful scenery, this small state offers something for everyone. Delaware is a fantastic state to live in, with a wide variety of opportunities for people of all ages.

Delaware has something for everyone, whether you're a young adult looking for education, a family looking to put down roots, or a retiree seeking a peaceful place to spend your golden years.

The welcoming community and small-town atmosphere make it easy to feel right at home here. Delaware is widely regarded as an attractive destination due to its excellent quality of life and reasonable cost of living. It may not be the cheapest, but it has something for everyone. 

If you're interested in moving to Delaware, check out some of the state's most beautiful homes to jump-start the process.

Keep reading to learn more about the cost of living and typical expenses in Delaware. 

Cost of Living Delaware

Delaware is becoming a popular destination for those seeking a moderate cost of living. The state's cost of living is only about 4 percent higher than the national average. Moreover, grocery and utility expenses are generally lower in Delaware, making it an affordable place to live.

However, the cost of living in Delaware is gradually increasing for various reasons, leading to an overall price rise. It's important to remember that natural disasters and other factors can also impact the cost of living. Since Delaware is situated on the coast, it may be more susceptible to such occurrences, which could influence the cost of living.

Downtown Delaware riverview

Every city in Delaware has a different cost of living. According to Payscale, Wilmington's cost of living is 10% higher than the national average, while Dover's is 2% higher. If you are searching for a place that is about in line with the state, check out Lewes.

Below are some of the median prices for things in Wilmington, Delaware, so that you can get a better understanding of the costs here. 

Cost of Living Category Median Price
Median Home Price $497,808
Median Rent $1,514
Gas $3.80
Gallon of Milk $2.69

Sourced from Payscale

Real Estate

Delaware can be an excellent place to settle down and call home. With a lower cost of living compared to many other states, it's hardly surprising that Delaware ranks 4th in the United States for home ownership. There are many appealing choices to select from, whether you prefer charming farmhouses or historic neighborhoods. But finding the perfect place to live is crucial when moving to a new area.

The median price for a home built before 1940 is approximately $204,900, while homes built in 2014 and later cost around $352,700. These prices are similar to the national average but can vary depending on the size of the house.

The median home prices in Delaware have increased by 0.6% over the past year. As of August 2023, the median selling price for homes was $338,200, and they were on the market for an average of 17 days. This is a decrease of 4 days from the previous year, indicating a faster selling time. 

When considering housing in Delaware, it's worth noting that costs can be a significant expense. At the same time, urban areas like Wilmington tend to have higher home prices and rural and suburban areas often offer more affordable housing options. It's essential to keep in mind that housing costs will vary depending on the location.

If you want to move to Delaware, you should check out some of the top cities throughout the state to find the best place as well as cost of living in other places such as Rehoboth Beach. Look at homes for sale in LewesMillsboro, and Middletown

Delaware neighborhood homes birdseye view


Delaware presents an excellent option for those seeking a promising job market and top-notch education opportunities. The state boasts of a diverse range of thriving industries, including but not limited to food, agriculture, education, healthcare, manufacturing, technology, and business.

The median individual income in Delaware is around $34,513, and the household median income is $69,110. Although this is slightly less than the previous year, it's worth noting that the unemployment rate in Delaware is lower than the national average.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there has been a 0.90 percent increase in job availability in Delaware since 2012, with 40,900 more jobs currently available. Additionally, the unemployment rate has decreased by 0.8 percent and now stands at 4.4 percent.

The working population in Delaware mainly comprises white-collar workers, accounting for about 80% of the workforce, while the remaining 20% are blue-collar workers. The rest of the working population is divided between entrepreneurs, private companies, and governmental institutions.


The average monthly cost of utilities in Delaware is around $421.99, which is similar to the national average of $422. Out of this, the electricity bill accounts for $150 per month, which adds up to $1,800 annually.

Despite being the smallest energy-producing state, Delaware consumes less energy than other states, as the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. In Delaware, 43 percent of households use natural gas, while only 37 percent use electricity. Delaware's industrial sector is the state's largest raw gas-consuming sector.

Please keep in mind that utility costs may vary based on your lifestyle and usage for each category. Each individual is unique, and you may experience higher bills during colder and hotter months.

Additionally, natural disasters can also affect your bills. It's essential to be aware that these numbers will also depend on your provider, so make sure to find the best providers in your area.

Bridge with sunset behind leading into buildings in DE


Food is an essential expense that can significantly impact the overall cost of living. In Delaware, a single adult's average annual food expenditure is $3,336, while a family of four typically spends around $9,634 per year.

Although these figures are slightly higher than the national average, they are still within an acceptable range. However, it's important to note that these estimates may vary based on your lifestyle and dietary choices.

If you want to reduce your food costs, it's crucial to budget wisely. Fortunately, the food costs in Delaware are comparable to those in similarly sized places. Below are some of the top restaurants to check out in Delaware.

  • Big Fish Grill on the Riverfront: The establishment in question is a restaurant that presents a diverse range of delectable seafood options in a relaxed and welcoming waterfront environment. It is conveniently situated in the charming city of Wilmington, Delaware.
  • Blue Moon: This restaurant, located in Rehoboth Beach, DE, serves upscale American cuisine in a bright, remodeled craftsman cottage with regular live entertainment.
  • Grey Fox Grille and Public House: This restaurant in Dover, DE, offers creative New American cuisine, complemented by an extensive wine list, in a charming venue featuring a fireplace and patio.


Delaware's latest yearly Benchmark Trend Report revealed that the state's healthcare costs average around $9,088 per resident, which is an 11.2 percent year-over-year increase. However, despite this increase, Delaware has been ranked #15 on the list of the best states for healthcare, which is based on access to healthcare, affordability, quality, and health outcomes. 

It is crucial to find the best healthcare providers. Some of the top-ranked healthcare facilities in Delaware are ChristinaCare, Beebe Healthcare, and Bayhealth Hospital. These hospitals have been ranked as the best in the US News and World Report.

In contrast, Delaware has higher out-of-pocket expenses and insurance premiums. The average cost for an individual in the state is roughly $5,114 per year, which is higher than the national average. For a family of four, the cost averages around $15,466, which is more than $2,000 higher than the national average.


Many people often overlook transportation costs, but they can significantly add up and contribute to the overall cost of living. For instance, taking into account the average fuel economy and cost of gas, an individual can spend around $1,026 on gas alone in a year. In Delaware, about 90% of the population drives to work, and the average person travels approximately 11,000 miles annually.

According to data from the EPI, the average single adult in Delaware spends roughly $9,755 annually on transportation, which includes other costs such as car insurance, gas, maintenance, and public transportation.


Delaware has a graduated state individual income tax system, where tax rates range from 2.20 percent to 6.60 percent, as per the Tax Foundation report. An individual's expenses may vary based on their taxes.

Taking into account state and federal income taxes, Social Security contributions, and Medicare, the average adult working resident in Delaware will spend approximately $6,988 annually on taxes, which is only slightly above the national average. 

However, you can enjoy tax-free shopping in Delaware as it is one of the few states with no sales tax. The property tax rate in Delaware is relatively low, and the state doesn't tax income below $2,000.

Business buildings in Delaware during nightime


How much does it cost to live comfortably in Delaware?

In order to comfortably cover all the expenses associated with daily living, a family consisting of two adults and two children in Delaware would require an annual income of approximately $93,136.

Why is housing so cheap in Delaware?

Delaware is a tax-free state, which means you don't have to pay sales taxes, and the property taxes are low. In the United States, Delaware ranks fourth for home ownership. If you're looking for a place to call home, you'll find many attractive options, including charming farmhouses and historic neighborhoods.

Is Delaware an excellent state to move to?

Delaware has consistently been recognized as a highly sought-after location to live in. The state's central location, favorable tax policies, excellent education system, breathtaking beaches, and other attractive features make it an ideal destination for those seeking permanent residence.

What are some of the main pros and cons of living in Delaware?

Delaware has a lot to offer in terms of affordable housing, exceptional education opportunities, tax benefits, and welcoming communities. Nevertheless, the state faces some challenges, including natural disasters, relatively high property crime rates, and the cost of healthcare.

Wilmington DE city overview with sunset

Cost of Living Delaware - The Bottom Line

Delaware is an excellent place to live due to its picturesque landscapes, low taxes, and reasonably priced housing. Its central location, beautiful beaches, and numerous activities make it an ideal location for many people.

Although it is a small state, Delaware has a lot to offer its residents. Its central location, lack of sales tax, moderate cost of living, and lovely beaches are some of the primary reasons why people love this state. Despite its size, Delaware has much to offer and has seen a lot of action.

If you or anyone you know is interested in searching to move to Delaware, please contact us. We can connect you with one of our Realty Specialists who will help you with this transition. We'll help you find the perfect home regardless of location, budget, or preference.

Feel free to contact us here today for any questions or help. 

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.

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