Cost of Living in Boston

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cost of living in BostonBoston is one of the most expensive cities in the US. In Mercer's Cost of Living Survey for 2015, the city was ranked the 64th most expensive city in the world, ahead of other big American cities like Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle.  

Expats working in Boston will likely receive high salaries to compensate for the equally high cost of living. Employment packages will often include some contributions toward accommodation (usually an expat's biggest expense) and health insurance. However, in some cases wages are not increased enough in proportion to the cost of city living in Boston so it is important that expats are aware of the expenses they are likely to incur before negotiating their salary. 

While Boston has some of the country’s top public, private and international schools, the fees can be exceptionally steep, and therefore expats should negotiate this into their contracts, if possible. 

There is plenty to see and do in Boston, but recreational pursuits don’t come cheap. Due to the fact that Boston is considerably smaller than other cities in the US, there is less competition so eating out and entertainment costs remain high. However, expats on a budget can live comfortably, while still enjoying the city. 

Thankfully, expats moving to Boston will not need to invest in their own car as the city has a reasonably priced public transport network, which is comprehensive and relatively efficient.

Cost of living in Boston chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for June 2016.


Furnished two bedroom house USD 4,500
Unfurnished two bedroom house USD 3,700
Furnished two bedroom apartment USD 4,000
Unfurnished two bedroom apartment USD 3,500


Eggs (dozen) USD 3.60
Milk (1 litre) USD 0.90
Rice (1kg) USD 2.95
Loaf of white bread USD 3.10
Chicken breasts (1kg) USD 11
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) USD 10.30

Eating out

Big Mac Meal USD 7
Coca-Cola (330ml) USD 1.75
Cappuccino  USD 3.75
Bottle of local beer  USD 1.60
Three course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant USD 70


Mobile to mobile call rate (per minute) USD 0.11
Internet (Uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)  USD 60
Basic utilities (per month for small apartment) USD 160


Taxi rate (per kilometre) USD 1.75
Bus/train fare in the city centre  USD 2.50
Petrol/gasoline (per litre) USD 0.60

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