Cost of Living in Iowa [Report of 2024]

cost of living in Iowa

Due to the abundance of industries, manufacturing companies and natural gifts, Iowa has always been associated with peaceful, modest lifestyles. However, despite being one of America’s smallest and less-commercialized states, most cities in this state still provide excellent living standards.

But, what’s even more interesting is how affordable it is to reside in Iowa compared to most states in the United States. If you are trying to get away from the busy life of commercialized and glamorous states like California and Florida, to a state that provides a countryside atmosphere with lost costs but high standards of living, then Iowa is the state for you.

Here is an overview of the cost of living in Iowa.

Cost of Housing

Cost of Housing, cost of living in Iowa

One of the major contributing factors to the cost of living are expenses related to housing. The average house in Iowa is valued at $142,300, which is $62,600 less than the national average, which is $204,900.  

Additionally, the average price of rent in Iowa per bedroom is $766 per month, which is also $257 less than the average monthly rent nationwide, just over $1,000. Overall, housing costs in Iowa are over 20 percent lower relative to the national average.

Cost of Food

Cost of Food

The median yearly expenditure on food for an adult is $2,945 in the state, while the median expenditure for a household of four is $8,504. For comparison, the median yearly food costs in the United States for a household consisting of four members is $9,354, while it is $3,240 for a single adult. This is one of the main components of the cost of living in Iowa.

Check out this list of the cheapest cities to live in Iowa.

Cost of Transportation

89.5% of workers in Iowa drive to work, or use a vehicle to reach work. This is slightly higher than the national average, which stands at 85.5%. Moreover, the typical driver in Iowa may anticipate spending around $926 just on gas per year based on local gas prices. Additionally, the average cost of automobile insurance in the state is $1,327, which is quite lower than the average nationwide of $1,517.

Cost of Healthcare

Cost of Healthcare

Unlike most categories, this is one category where Iowa doesn’t provide costs lower than the national average. In comparison to the nationwide median cost of $4,266 for healthcare per year for an adult, the median cost of healthcare in Iowa is around $300 more per person annually, at $4,531 yearly. Overall, healthcare costs in the state are around 2 percent higher than the national average.

Cost of Childcare

In contrast to the nationwide average childcare cost of $8,903, the median yearly cost for childcare of a typical 4-year-old is considerably lower in Iowa at $7,875. The rate of childcare costs in Iowa only decreases in contrast to the national average, when we compare the childcare costs of an 8-year-old. Low cost of childcare is one of the most attractive things about living in Iowa.

These are the biggest cities in Iowa.

Utility Bills

The monthly utilities bills in Iowa are lower by 5 percent relative to the national average. A typical resident can expect to spend between $45 to $60 on water bills every month, and the average cost of electricity bills in the state is $90 monthly. The overall cost of utilities in Iowa is much lower than the average in the United States, which is $2,060.


Taxes are one of the few expenses that differ so greatly between states. The average individual employed in Iowa contributes $5,812 in taxes yearly after taking into consideration all state and federal income taxes and public payrolls. This is more than $700 less than the average cost of taxes in the United States, which is $6,542.

The overall average cost of living in Iowa is 9 percent lower than the average cost of living in the United States. Apart from healthcare, in all the other categories like childcare cost, housing cost, transportation costs, food costs, taxes and utilities, Iowa average lower costs than the national average.

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