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The cost of living in Columbia

Discover the cost of living for Columbia, including housing, transportation, and everyday expenses. Find out how Columbia, SC compares to the national average in terms of affordability.

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The HOPE installment is on Main Street on the 1500 block.

Photo by COLAtoday

Table of Contents

With Columbia constantly growing and announcing multiple high-profile developments this year, we figured it was time to talk about the cost of planting roots in the Capital City.

The median household income in Richland County is $59,850 according to the US Census Bureau. State-wise, South Carolina is No. 42 in the country for median income at ~$59,318 per household.

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The overall cost of living in Columbia is lower than the national average.

Screenshot from bestplaces.net

The overall cost of living in Columbia is lower than the national average, but slightly higher than the rest of the state.

In Columbia, the cost of healthcare is higher compared to other parts of the state + the US. However, the cost of groceries, housing, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses in the city have lower average costs than other cities in SC and the country overall.

Breaking down the numbers

Hypothetically speaking, if you live in a household that brings in $60,000 annually — according to experts — you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your monthly gross income on rent and utilities. The average monthly rent for an apartment in Columbia is $1,398 — nearing the top of your budget.

Meanwhile, if you’re wondering how much you can currently afford to spend on buying a home in Columbia, try using SmartAsset’s cost calculator. Factors like your marital status, annual pre-tax income, down payment, and monthly debt, will help determine that figure. According to BestPlaces, the median home cost in Columbia is $204,100.

While we’re crunching numbers, let’s also take a look at the chart below to see how Columbia’s cost of living compares to that of Raleigh, NC.

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Columbia has more affordable housing than Raleigh.

Screenshot from bestplaces.net

Interested in seeing Columbia’s cost of living compared to cities in other states? We played around on NerdWallet’s cost of living calculator, where you can put in any city along with your current pre-tax household income to find out what other cities you could afford to live in.

We took a look at the cost of living in Columbia compared to Richmond, VA. Here’s what we found:

  • The cost of living is 3% higher in Richmond.
  • To maintain our Soda City standard of living, we would need to bring in $61,959 to our household.
  • The median cost for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,363, which is $16 more than Cola.

Local housing + developments

Columbia has entities such as the Columbia Housing + other government-funded programs to help develop more affordable units.

There are also a number of local development firms working on apartments seemingly all the time — from Stream Development’s The Streams at Earlewood to the affordable housing development from MB Kahn at Haven at Palmer Pointe.

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