What Is The Cost Of Living In Cincinnati, Ohio? (Taxes, Housing, & More)

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

The third-largest city in Ohio, Cincinnati has a population of over 300,000 residents. Despite having fewer residents than Columbus and Cleveland, the Cincinnati area is actually the largest metropolitan area in the state.

At 84.6, Cincinnati is nearly 20 points lower on the cost of living index than the US average of 100. The average home value in Cincinnati is around $150,000, also lower than the national average. Rent in Cincinnati varies depending on the number of bedrooms you’re seeking, but the average price is $927.

If you’re thinking about moving to Cincinnati, consider the costs for taxes, utilities, groceries, transportation, and activities below. By looking at these factors, you can determine if moving to Cincinnati, Ohio, is fiscally and personally beneficial.

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Housing Costs in Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati housing prices are on par with the rest of the state but may skew slightly higher. The median cost of a home in Ohio is around $150,000 and $153,238 in Cincinnati. This is much lower than the national average of about $300,000.

Because of this, the cost of living in Cincinnati is also only slightly higher than the average Ohio cost of living. Ohio’s cost of living is 82.6 on the cost of living index, and Cincinnati’s is 2 points higher. However, both of these costs of living are still relatively low compared to the national average of 100.

In the last 20 years, Cincinnati’s real estate has appreciated on average 1.86% per year. That makes for a less than 50% increase in real estate value since 2000. This is much lower than the national average appreciation rate of 3-5% annually.

If you plan to put down roots in Cincinnati, this city is a great place for cheaper real estate. However, if you’re looking to buy and sell in a few years, your home likely won’t appreciate much in value.

Median Home Prices in Cincinnati, Ohio

Home PricePercentage of Homes
> $1,236,0000.7%
$927,001 – $1,236,0001.0%
$618,001 – $927,0003.2%
$494,001 – $618,0003.2%
$371,001 – $494,0005.8%
$247,001 – $371,00011.8%
$124,001 – $247,00033.1%
$62,001 – $124,00031.0%
$0 – $62,00010.3%

Rental Costs in Cincinnati, Ohio

In Cincinnati, Ohio, more people rent than own their homes. 63.8% of homes in Cincinnati are rented compared to the 36.2% owned. This is much lower than the national average of ownership, which is around 63%.

You’ll spend less than $1,000 on rent in Cincinnati, around $940 on average. This will get you on average 869 square feet of home, but size will always vary with the price. Renting an apartment in Cincinnati is around $400 cheaper than the national average.

Average Rental Cost by Bedroom Size in Ohio

Housing SizeCincinnatiCincinnati MetroOhioUnited States

Neighborhood Rental Costs in Cincinnati, Ohio

The more popular the neighborhood in Cincinnati, the more expensive the rent will be. Areas with expensive rent often come with nearby businesses and entertainment. If you opt for cheaper rent, you may be sacrificing walkability.

Most Affordable Cincinnati Neighborhoods

If you want to move to Cincinnati but not break the bank, check out Sayler Park, Queensgate, and West End Cincinnati. These neighborhoods have rent that averages from $607 to $653/month, making them the most affordable in the city. Other areas with rent well below the city average are College Hill, Winton Hills, and Carthage.

A cheap but popular area of Cincinnati is Westwood. The average monthly rent in Westwood is only $753/month, almost $300 less than the Cincinnati average.

More Expensive Cincinnati Neighborhoods

If no rent is too high, don’t be afraid to look into the town’s pricier neighborhoods. The most expensive neighborhood in Cincinnati is Mount Auburn, with rent topping $1600/month. Over – The Rhine and Pendleton follow closely at $1,594/month.

If you want to move somewhere well-established, look into Cincinnati’s most popular neighborhoods. These include Corryville at $1,315/month, followed by CUF at $1,254/month. Other favorites are The Heights at $1,315/month and Downtown Cincinnati at $1,594/month.

Tax Rates in Cincinnati, Ohio

Taxpayers in Cincinnati, Ohio pay three main forms of state and local taxes: local property taxes, a state income tax, and state and local sales taxes. Although the state income tax rate is comparatively low, Cincinnati collects an income tax of their own.

Sales tax in Cincinnati is also levied at the state and local level. Hamilton County, where Cincinnati is located has an average effective property tax rate that is higher than the national average.

Sales Taxes in Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati’s sales tax rate is 7.8%, a combination of state, county, and city tax rates. Ohio’s sales tax rate is 5.75%, and the county sales tax rate is 2.05%. Cincinnati has a 0% city tax rate.

You can pay taxes for dinner in a restaurant, but sales tax won’t apply to take-out in Cincinnati. The same applies to unprepared foods at grocery stores. However, you’ll find that soda and juice have a sales tax, but drinks like coffee are considered food and exempt.

Income Taxes in Cincinnati, Ohio

Similar to the federal government, Ohio has a progressive income tax system. This means that the amount of income tax you will pay at the state level varies based on your tax bracket. In other words, the higher the taxpayer’s income, the higher their property tax rate. There are six income tax brackets in total, ranging from as low as 2.85% to as much as 4.80%.

The chart below can help you figure out how much tax you will pay based on your annual income.

Income Tax Rates in Ohio

Tax BracketMarginal Tax Rate

In addition to the state income tax, many Ohio municipalities also collect an income tax, with rates as high as 3% in some locations. Whether you live in Cincinnati or just work in Cincinnati, you’ll pay a local income tax of 2.10%. This is assessed at a flat rate, compared to the state and federal rates with different brackets based on income level.

Property Taxes in Cincinnati, Ohio

Despite having cheaper rent than the national average, Cincinnati has a higher property tax than the country’s average. Ohio has a property tax of 1.48%, which is .41% higher than the national average.

Cincinnati is in Hamilton County, which has one of the higher property taxes in the country. Out of 3,143 counties, Hamilton County is 332nd for its property tax rate of 1.53%.

Utility Costs in Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio’s utility costs are only slightly lower than Ohio and national utility cost averages. According to the cost of living index, Cincinnati is 98, whereas the U.S. and Ohio are 100 for utilities. The utility number on the cost of living index includes electricity, natural gas, and other fuels.

The average water bill in Cincinnati is around $48 per month. Sewage service tends to cost approximately $49 a month in Cincinnati.

The average cost of electricity in Cincinnati is around 30% lower than the Ohio average. The average price of natural gas in Cincinnati is about $99/month. Wifi costs in Cincinnati will vary between providers but may be anywhere from $40 to $60 per month.

If you lived in a 915-square-foot apartment, your utility bill would come out to about $130 a month. With added Wi-Fi costs, you’ll pay somewhere between $170 and $190 a month. You can save costs on utilities by being energy conscious. Turn off lights when not in the room and limit water use. Smaller apartments will have lower utility bills.

Income & Economy in Cincinnati, Ohio

The average income of a Cincinnati resident is approximately $25,256 per year, compared to the national average of $28,555 a year. Whereas, the median household income in Cincinnati is about $34,002 a year. This is around 36% lower than the nationwide average of $53,482.

Though, this is a generally livable salary when you consider the fact that the estimated monthly costs for a family of four is $3,053, excluding rent. For a single person, the estimated monthly expenses are $858, without rent.

The unemployment rate in Cincinnati is 4.9%, compared to the US average of 6%. Cincinnati has experience a marginal job market increase over the last couple years and future job growth is predicted to be 29.8% over the next 10 years.

Food & Grocery Costs in Cincinnati, Ohio

Food costs in Cincinnati are slightly cheaper than the national average but more expensive than Ohio’s average. According to the cost of living index, Cincinnati is 97.6, Ohio is 96.1, and the U.S. is 100.

Most people budget 11% of their yearly income on food, with 6% being groceries. You should allot the remaining 5% to dining out. Cincinnati’s median income is around $43,00, making your food budget roughly $4,700 per year.

Compare the cost of groceries in Cincinnati to other major U.S. cities in the table below. Groceries in Cincinnati are slightly more expensive than the rest of Ohio. However, they are much cheaper compared to other major cities in the country.

Comparison of Grocery Costs in Cincinnati to Other Major U.S. Cities

GroceryCincinnatiNew YorkPhiladelphiaAtlantaSan Francisco
Milk (1 gallon)$2.44$4.43$4.20$3.12$4.56
Bread (1 loaf)$2.21$3.39$2.70$2.49$3.24
Rice (1 pound)$1.73$2.73$1.78$1.84$2.49
Chicken (1 pound)$3.49$6.40$3.99$4.77$6.00
Bananas (1 pound)$0.65$1.37$0.79$1.43$0.85
Lettuce (1 head)$1.22$2.16$1.79$1.57$1.74
Eggs (1 dozen)$1.41$3.42$2.70$2.45$3.62

Transportation Costs in Cincinnati, Ohio

Compared to the rest of Ohio, Cincinnati’s transportation costs are high. However, in comparison to the U.S. average, Cincinnati has cheaper transportation. According to the cost of living index, Cincinnati is 93.6, Ohio is 83.9, and the U.S. is 100.

Transportation costs are another important factor that you must consider in order to determine the overall cost of living in a particular location. These include expenses such as gas prices, public transportation costs, and car insurance premiums.

The majority of the individuals who commute to work in Cincinnati, a whopping 70.9%, drive by themselves. Less than 7% utilize public transport to get to work.

While many drive to work, there are several options for public transportation in Cincinnati. You can ride the local street-car system, Cincinnati Bell Connector, or take the Metro. If you’re more eco-friendly, utilize the city’s shareable bike program, Cincy Red Bike, or rent a Bird Electric Scooter.

Comparison of Transportation Costs in Cincinnati to Other Major U.S. Cities

GroceryCincinnatiNew YorkPhiladelphiaAtlantaSan Francisco
Gas (1 gallon)$1.75$2.87$2.74$2.54$3.25
Bus Ticket (Single Trip)$3.00$2.75$2.50$2.50$3.00
Taxi (1 mile)$2.00$3.00$5.00$3.50$3.89

Public Transportation Costs in Cincinnati, Ohio

A monthly pass for the Metro provides unlimited rides and costs as little as $70. A one-way ticket on the Metro will cost you $1.75. You can ride the Cincinnati Bell Connector for free. However, it covers a smaller area than the Metro.

Driving Costs in Cincinnati, Ohio

If public transit and biking aren’t your style, driving around Cincinnati will be just as effective. The national average price of a gallon of gas is $2.38, whereas the Cincinnati average is $1.75. The average commute time in Cincinnati is 22.6 minutes, about 4 minutes less than the national average.

Some individuals who work in Cincinnati have “super commutes” of over 90 minutes. However, this is a result of living far outside the metropolitan area, not because of traffic.

The average cost of auto insurance in Cincinnati is $792, much cheaper than the national average of $1,424. Your car insurance will vary based on the make and model of your car, your age, neighborhood, and insurance company. Geico offers the cheapest insurance in Cincinnati, followed by Erie and Grange Insurance.

You can find the average car insurance costs in Cincinnati in the table below. If you have teenagers, expect their car insurance costs to be astronomical. If you are in your 50s or 60s, you’ll have the cheapest insurance of anyone.

Average Car Insurance Costs in Cincinnati By Age

AgeAverage Yearly Cost
20 Years$1,705
30 Years$1,173
40 Years$1,124
50 Years$1,058
60 Years$1,093
70 Years$1,384

Biking Costs in Cincinnati, Ohio

More individuals walk to work than bike in Cincinnati. However, if you love biking, it’s certainly doable in the city. Some streets feature bike lanes, and there are a wide variety of bike trails in local parks.

A single ride pass for a Cincy Red Bike is $3 per 20 minutes of riding. A day pass costs $10, though this only technically gives you a 2-hour trip. To check out a Cincy Red Bike for longer than two hours, you can pay $30 for a full 24-hour period.

Health Costs in Cincinnati, Ohio

The cost of healthcare in Cincinnati is about 15% cheaper than the national average. If you plan to move to Cincinnati, you’ll pay on average $500 per person on a major medical insurance plan. Healthcare costs will vary based on the plan, provider, health, and employment.

Activity Costs in Cincinnati, Ohio

There are many things you can do for fun in Cincinnati without spending a dime. Enjoy nature in Smale Riverfront Park, Eden Park, and Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum. Visit the Contemporary Arts Center, the Weston Art Gallery, and the Taft Museum of Art for free tours.

  • Two tickets to the movie theater will cost you around $23. Main floor seats to a theatrical performance at the Cincinnati Theater will likely cost you over $100 for one ticket. 
  • You can enjoy a domestic beer at a local pub for $5 and an imported one for $6. A cocktail will go for around $10. 
  • If you’re thinking about joining a local gym, it will cost you around $31/month. To rent a local tennis court for an hour, expect to pay approximately $27. 
  • If you’re planning on visiting Cincinnati for a vacation, you’ll likely spend around $122/day. Meals will likely cost about $30 and transportation $20. 

Related Questions

Is Cincinnati, Ohio safe?

Cincinnati has a higher crime rate than the national average and is only safer than 4% of U.S. cities. On a scale of 1 to 100, the U.S. average is 22.7, whereas Cincinnati is 46.8. This is double the national average. The annual number of violent crimes in Cincinnati is 2,562. You have a 1/119 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Cincinnati and 1/341 in Ohio. On a scale of 1 to 100, the U.S. average for property crimes is 35.4, and Cincinnati’s is 74.6. There are 13,073 property crimes in Cincinnati annually. Your chances of becoming a victim of property crime are 1/23 and 1/49 in Ohio. 

What is the weather like in Cincinnati, Ohio?

In Cincinnati, you’ll experience warm and humid summers and icy winters. It’ll be partly cloudy throughout the year with around 176 days of sun. Temperatures in Cincinnati can range from 24 degrees to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The best months in terms of temperature in Cincinnati are May, June, and September. The temperatures won’t be too hot or cold. December and January are the least bearable months because of the cold and snow. On average, Cincinnati sees about 44 inches of rain, which is higher than the national average of 38. The city usually sees about 15 inches of snow per year, which is lower than the national average. 

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Summing It Up

Cincinnati is a relatively inexpensive place to live, with rent significantly lower than the national average. You can also find homes much cheaper than the national average. As other expenses go, you’ll find that living in Cincinnati is less expensive than other cities of a similar size.

If you want to save money but still live in a metropolitan area, Cincinnati is an excellent option. The low costs of rent, groceries, and utilities make Cincinnati a perfect place for young professionals to work and save.

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Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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