What's the Cost of Living in Michigan?

March 23rd, 2023

What's the Cost of Living in Michigan?

Cost of Living Michigan

Is Michigan an expensive place to live? Let's look deeper into the costs of living in Michigan, the average household income, typical expenses, and more!

Moving to the Great Lakes State? Well, you are in the right place to figure out the cost of living and some of the everyday expenses. Michigan is a great place to live and has 10.05 million residents, making it the 10th largest state by population. Here in Michigan, you will be able to experience a low cost of living, sandy shorelines, great arts, friendly people, and a lot of beautiful outdoor exploration. 

You can not miss out on all of the fantastic things this state offers, and since it is undoubtfully beautiful, it is one of the best places to relocate. Michigan has it all; whether it be the location, weather, housing, jobs, or affordability, you can enjoy it if you choose to make a move to Michigan.

Michigan Water View

So if moving to Michigan suits you, you are in the right place. Moving somewhere new comes with many things you need to consider, which can be overwhelming, but our team has put together this guide for you. In this guide, we will cover the cost of living in Michigan with data from all the significant areas. These categories will help you better understand what you'll need to budget to live in a place you love.

Cost of Living Michigan

Michigan has the 21st lowest overall cost of living compared to other states. Usually, metropolitan areas are more expensive; however, Michigan is home to 14 metro areas which are a little higher than the national average but not by much. The most costly part of the state would be the Ann Arbor metro area, where the cost of living is about 1.2 percent higher than the national average, which is not too much.

The cost of living in Michigan is 10 percent lower than the national average. The housing is 23 percent lower, while the utilities are only 1 percent higher. On the other hand, necessities like food, clothing, and groceries are about 4 percent lower than the national average. Check out some everyday expenses and costs from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to get a feel for what the overall cost of living would be like for you if you decide to move to Michigan.

Cost of Living Category Average Price
Median Home Price $521,225
Median Rent Price $1,585/month
Gas Price $3.19/gallon
Gallon of Milk $2.65
Doctor's Visit $158.51

Sourced from Payscale.

Real Estate

Homes prices in Michigan were up about 0.6 percent year-over-year in January. The median home price was selling at about $235,649. On average, the median number of days houses would be on the market is about 40 days, up to 14 years over the year. Michigan has also been known for being a seller's market for the last two years.

Over the past year, the real estate market has steadily grown with rising home prices and vigorous sales activity. The rental market also has been strong, with rising rents and low vacancy rates. The average median rent for an apartment is about $969 a month as of January 2023. Watch the housing market if you want to move to Michigan.

On the other hand, homes are selling five days slower than the annual average and are selling for $11,750 more than the yearly average. However, the housing market can be tricky, and Michigan maintains a large inventory. Still, the real estate market appears to be cooling down, and many home values are starting to plate, so keep an eye out on the market before making this big decision.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the average household income in Michigan is about $59,234, while the individual income is about $30,723 in the year 2020. Most salaries in Michigan range between $35,529 (25th percentile) and $64,325 (75th percentile) annually. 

White-collar workers comprise about 75.48 percent of the working population, while blue-collar workers comprise 24.52 percent. There are also 402,502 entrepreneurs in Michigan, which is about 9 percent of the population, 3,337,183 workers employed in private companies, which is 71 percent, and 505,992 people in governmental institutions, which is about 11 percent of the whole population of Michigan.

Automotive Industry inside


The average cost of utilities in Michigan is about $342.68, not including the average monthly trash bill. Sadly, Michigan is ranked number 12 in the most expensive energy bills, but the state does fall right in the middle of the back on average. On average, utility costs are about 9 percent lower than the national electric bill. 

Everyone's utility bills will vary since we all use things differently. Depending on the seasons as well, bills may spike. Since this state is up North and has very cold winters, a lot of its residents will have higher utility bills since heat is being used drastically throughout the entire state. So depending on what you use, where you live, what time of year, and other things will depend on your average utility bill.


In Michigan, the average single resident will spend about $3,423 annually on food, roughly $285.25 per month. For a family of 2, however, these costs will nearly triple to $10,068 annually, which is approximately $839 per month. Deciding what you will spend monthly or yearly on food/groceries is hard to put a specific estimate since everyone eats differently, whether it is a specific diet or even who you are feeding. At the same time, also every place/store will vary in price. So, the best way to determine your costs is to compare the average cost but do not use that for your budgeting.

On the other hand, food costs also include eating out as well. Some people eat out at restaurants more than others, but adding this to your food costs is crucial. Depending on where you are located, costs for eating out may be cheaper, but make sure you keep these small costs into account for the overall cost of living.


Healthcare costs are about 3 percent lower than the national average. Healthcare services such as doctor check-ups and dentists are mostly lower but also will always depend on your insurance plans and where you are located in the state. On average, a family of four in Michigan will cost you about $1,390 per month on healthcare insurance. However, these costs are not fixed and will always depend on other factors.

In all, it is difficult to determine an exact average of a healthcare bill because it always will vary depending on your insurance and how many times you have a medical expense. Thankfully, Michigan does have some of the best insurance companies, so make sure you find one that is right for you. Every family and location does vary.


Traveling around Michigan could be costly, with an annual average cost of $5,305 for a single individual. On the other hand, a family of four will expect to pay around $14,456 annually on transportation costs. However, this large state does offer about 82 transportation agencies that provide public transit providers like urban transit agencies, rural public transit agencies, and ferry boat agencies.

While using public transportation costs are high, you can also rely on your own transportation, which will be different costs. Every city varies gs prices but is around the national average, about $4.40. Additionally, you will have to spend money on other costs if you use your own transportation, like car repairs. Regardless of whether you choose public or private transportation, all costs will be around the same but in different areas, depending on your preference.

Michigan Street Sign


Michigan has a flat income tax rate of about 4.25 percent. However, some other cities do add their own taxes on top of that state ta. The overall taxes will range between 5.25 percent to 6.65 percent in Detroit. Michigan residents pay the country's 38th highest property taxes by average. The average property tax rate is about 1.54 percent. The state also has a base sales tax rate of 6 percent with no county or local sales taxes added on. However, gas taxes in Michigan are a little higher, at 27.20 cents per gallon. 

Michigan, however, does provide an exemption from sales or use tax on machinery or equipment used in industrial processing and in their repair and maintenance. The exemption does not include tangible personal property affixed to and becoming a structural part of real estate. 


Is Michigan a safe place to live?

According to a 2023 State of Safety survey, nearly half of the Michigan residents surveyed that they felt safe in their state. Michigan does have a higher-than-average violent crime rate overall, but its safest cities have a low violent crime rate, so it all depends on where you locate yourself in the state.

Is it expensive to live in Michigan?

The cost of living, however, in Michigan is about 10 percent lower than the national average, so looking at it in the bigger picture, no, it is not expensive. Housing and real estate costs are also 23 percent lower than the national average, but utility expenses are only just about 1 percent higher than the national average.

Is Michigan a cheap state?

With over 10 million residents, Michigan's cost of living ranks well below average. While comparing this state to other high-cost-of-living places, Michigan's biggest city, Detriot, is an excellent option for affordable urban living.

Is Michigan a tax-friendly state?

Michigan has a 6 percent state sales tax rate and does not levy any local sales taxes like other states. Michigan's tax system ranks 12th overall on the 2022 State Business Tax Climate IndexHowever, gas taxes in Michigan are a little higher, at 27.20 cents per gallon. 

What is the weather like in Michigan?

Michigan experiences large seasonal changes in temperature, with warm, humid summers and very cold winters. The Great Lakes play an essential role in moderating the climate of the state, causing it to be more temperate and moist than other north-central states.

What salary do I need to live in Michigan comfortably?

The living wage in Michigan is about $16.36 an hour, which is the primary wage needed to pay for all of the essentials such as housing, food, and necessities for an individual adult. On the other hand, if you have two kids, you would need about $27.46 an hour to live comfortably in this state. 

The Great Lakes at sunset

Finding the perfect place to live in Michigan

After considering the cost of living in Michigan, you can now decide where you would like to buy your next home. Weighing out all of the factors, such as the cost of goods, real estate, utilizes, taxes, and more, is crucial when deciding where to live. Moving somewhere new is stressful, but hopefully, this guide cleared the air about any questions you had.

Michigan is home to the beautiful Great Lake shorelines, bustling college atmosphere, low cost of living, friendly residents, and so much more. This state also has the 13th largest economy, with the University of Michigan, the fourth best public university, and many good-paying jobs throughout the state. No matter what location you choose, throughout the state, you will enjoy all of the opportunities it offers its residents, which you should take advantage of.

Finding an affordable place to live can make a huge difference when moving to a new home. Here in Michigan, you can easily find the perfect place for you. Being able to say you love where you live is something we want for you.

Our Realty Specialists are here to help you search for your dream home if you are considering moving to Michigan. Contact us here for all of your home-buying needs. Make sure to refer to tour other local area guides with information on moving to Michigan and the best places to live in Michigan.

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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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