Cost of Living in Detroit, MI, United States

Detroit is the largest city in the US state of Michigan; it’s known for its Motown sound, rock music, world class museums, automobile culture, sports teams and theaters.

Just like in any other city, in the US or elsewhere, it depends totally on how you choose to live, what you choose to do, and what activities you select to do.

A good thing about Detroit is that it’s within driving distance of lots of great other U.S. cities, especially Chicago.

The people of Detroit are usually happy about their city though there’s always room for improvement.



Restaurant prices are a bit higher than in southern States, and lower than northern MI. However restaurant prices vary with the type of the restaurant. There are many upscale 4 and 5 star restaurants in the Detroit area but there are always inexpensive restaurants where you can eat for around 11$, as well as many fast food chains.



Detroit does not really have a lot of retail options within the city and as a result most city residents tend to head to the suburbs to do any major shopping. Food prices are generally lower in Detroit than in nearby cities by as much as 30%. Up until a while ago Detroit was the largest city in the US without a chain grocery store.



Gas prices are generally considerably higher in Detroit than southern states, and lower than more northern parts of Michigan. Detroit spreads over a large area, and it is difficult to be without a car – and an extensive freeway system with many available car parks make the region one of the most auto-friendly in North America. Car rental prices are reasonable.



Utilities are relatively expensive in Detroit. The utilities there amount to 170$ a month for basic ones like electricity, water, cooling, heating and garbage services. Internet remains pricey costing around 60$ a month. You cannot get staggeringly cheap mobile contracts, but something along the lines of 0.10$ per minute of prepaid mobile tariff can be found.

Sports and leisure


In some regions of this city it’s actually great to practice sports outside and save some money you’d otherwise spend on a gym. However, if gym or a fitness club is what you want, a membership will cost you around 25$ a month which is very cheap. As for leisure activities, the most popular one – going to the cinema will cost you around 11$.

Clothing and shoes


The lack of shopping nearby has long been a problem for the city and, while it is getting better, the problem still persists. While most of the region’s attractions are in the city of Detroit, tourists will find that nearly all of the shopping malls are located in suburbs, such as Troy. The prices are low: you can buy jeans for around 38$ and summer dresses and shirts for around 30$.

Rent per month


Housing prices are much lower in most communities around Detroit, the exception being upper class communities, and even then some good deals can be found. Rent and cost-of-living are incredibly low, per U.S. urban standards. It can be as “cheap” as renting a full apartment for about 780$ a month.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Detroit, MI

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $11.50
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $3.50
Water (0.33 Liter) $1.31
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $0.64
Loaf Bread (500g) $2.03
Eggs (12) $1.49
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $1.75
Monthly Pass $47.00
Gasoline $0.69
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $171.09
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.10
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $62.55
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $25.83
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $40.00
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $11.00
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $38.75
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $31.73
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $76.56
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $1174.71
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $788.75
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $1893.33

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Detroit, MI?

As expected, the biggest chunk of the paycheck of Detroit’s citizens gets spent on rent, since the standard is high in Michigan, and the percentage of income that gets spent on rent is extremely close to the percentage that gets spend on food.

The next huge expense is food, even though food in this city is rather cheap. Still, it’s a constant expense and everyone needs to eat, so it’s actually no wonder that food takes up nearly 30% of one’s entire salary.

Restaurants take up the next spot on the list, since fancy food is a very big part of this city, and the prices are the same for transportation too.

As usual, the smallest amount of money is spent on clothes and accessories.

Utilities (Monthly)
Sports & Leisure
Clothing & Shoes
Rent Per Month

Detroit, MI: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Minimum wage in Detroit is somewhere around 1600$ which for some might represent a problem, taking into account that rent takes up a huge chunk of people’s salaries and you have to manage your life with only a half of your salary.

The gap between the minimum wage and the average monthly net salary is pretty small, with the average salary being around 2000$.

Even though people’s expenses are high too, an average citizen of Detroit can live comfortably and relax.

The situation with rent will, however, always be a problem for those that earn less, but generally speaking, one could say that Detroit has a high standard of life.

Average Salary$2166.43
Minimum Wage$1655.33
Mortgage Interest Rate4.25%

Cost of Living by City in United States

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
Albany, NY 79.38
Albuquerque, NM 64.32
Anchorage, AK 93.19
Ann Arbor, MI 67.06
Arlington, TX 69.07
Asheville, NC 71.52
Atlanta, GA 72.05
Austin, TX 70.49
Bakersfield, CA 67.11
Baltimore, MD 73.85
Bellevue, WA 85.97
Bellingham, WA 72.14
Berkeley, CA 84.09
Birmingham, AL 71.87
Boise, ID 59.43
Boston, MA 80.46
Boulder, CO 77.16
Brooklyn, NY 90.31
Buffalo, NY 70.59
Burlington, VT 76.11
Charleston, SC 86.87
Charlotte, NC 73.33
Chattanooga, TN 63.28
Chicago, IL 77.33
Cincinnati, OH 62.65
Cleveland, OH 69.65
Columbia, SC 66.23
Columbus, OH 66.9
Dallas, TX 64.32
Dayton, OH 65.84
Denver, CO 72.02
Des Moines, IA 62.21
Detroit, MI 62.77
El Paso, TX 59.37
Eugene, OR 72.46
Everett, WA 74.36
Fayetteville, AR 64.84
Fort Myers, FL 71.5
Fort Wayne, IN 65.88
Fort Worth, TX 65.19
Fresno, CA 63.25
Gainesville, FL 63.62
Grand Rapids, MI 63.47
Greensboro, NC 64.46
Hartford, CT 79.85
Honolulu, HI 93.72
Houston, TX 62.16
Huntsville, AL 59.8
Indianapolis, IN 70.79
Irvine, CA 78.38
Jacksonville, FL 70.62
Jersey City, NJ 84.08
Kansas City, MO 65.74
Knoxville, TN 60.97
Las Vegas, NV 66.98
Lexington, KY 59.64
Little Rock, AR 60.31
Long Beach, CA 77.95
Los Angeles, CA 77.66
Louisville, KY 60.24
Lubbock, TX 62.4
Madison, WI 63.3
Memphis, TN 66.49
Miami, FL 75.83
Milwaukee, WI 68.81
Minneapolis, MN 72.93
Nashville, TN 68.78
New Orleans, LA 73.61
New York, NY 100
Oakland, CA 81.18
Oklahoma City, OK 61.72
Olympia, WA 70.57
Orlando, FL 70.18
Peoria, IL 69.84
Philadelphia, PA 79.25
Phoenix, AZ 64.31
Pittsburgh, PA 76.04
Portland, ME 74.81
Portland, OR 74.17
Raleigh, NC 69.18
Reno, NV 59.84
Richmond, VA 64.56
Rochester, NY 70.25
Sacramento, CA 75.54
Saint Louis, MO 69.02
Saint Paul, MN 71.94
Saint Petersburg, FL 70.49
Salem, OR 66.04
Salt Lake City, UT 62.94
San Antonio, TX 58.12
San Diego, CA 72.29
San Francisco, CA 96.88
San Jose, CA 76.28
Santa Barbara, CA 75.55
Santa Rosa, CA 88.27
Seattle, WA 85.51
Spokane, WA 66.6
Springfield, MO 60.56
Syracuse, NY 67.55
Tacoma, WA 74.21
Tallahassee, FL 67.24
Tampa, FL 68.61
Toledo, OH 60.35
Tucson, AZ 63.35
Tulsa, OK 62.67
Vancouver, WA 60.46
Virginia Beach, VA 67.86
Washington, DC 88.5
West Palm Beach, FL 74.79
Wichita, KS 63.18

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