The cost of living in Richmond is one of the main reasons so many people have been flocking to the city in recent years. With a convenient location on the East Coast, a good economy, great quality of life and plenty to see and do, Richmond's cost of living has stayed surprisingly low, and new arrivals will discover that most expenses in Richmond are lower than the US average. In fact, in Numbeo's 2021 Cost of Living Index, Richmond ranked 244th out of 598 world cities analysed, making it more affordable than 58 other American cities on the list.

As in most cities, the largest portion of a Richmondian's salary will likely go to accommodation and utilities. Transport expenses will also have to be budgeted for.


Cost of accommodation in Richmond

Richmond boasts a variety of accommodation options, from inner-city apartments and condos to suburban Cape Cod-style mansions, rowhouses and cottages. New arrivals will undoubtedly find something to their style and liking – and at a reasonable price too. Rental costs here are low compared to the US average, while, thanks to the influx of new residents which increases demand plus the upward trajectory of the city's economy, purchasing a house in Richmond is considered a solid investment.

The cost of utilities is also below the US average, so newcomers are often able to lead a better quality of life than they did in their home state or country.


Cost of transport and driving in Richmond

Public transport is relatively affordable in Richmond compared to other East Coast cities. But given that Richmond's public transport infrastructure is rather limited outside of downtown and central areas, most Richmondians own a vehicle. Driving isn't cheap when one considers the purchase cost, maintenance, gas (petrol), insurance and parking, but those who choose to settle in Richmond's suburbs will have no choice but to budget for these costs.


Cost of healthcare in Richmond

For those who can afford it, the standard of healthcare in Richmond is world class. For patients without insurance, healthcare can be mediocre at best and completely inaccessible at worst. Major traumas can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and, although emergency services must be provided by law to everyone, patients can often expect to pay hefty fees subsequently. We therefore recommend that newcomers to Richmond and expats invest in a good health insurance policy so that all costs are covered. This comes at a price though, so we'd advise that employees negotiate for a healthcare subsidy before starting their new job.


Cost of entertainment in Richmond

Of course, entertainment costs come down to lifestyle and preference. Generally though, having a good time in Richmond doesn't cost an arm and a leg. One could visit a good restaurant or brewery, take a walk through a museum, take in a game at one of the local stadia and top it off with a shopping spree, and one would walk away relatively unscathed. There's also plenty to do without even reaching for the wallet, including a host of fun adventurous activities on and alongside the James River, a stroll down any of Richmond's historic streets, or a picnic in one of the city's many green spaces.


Cost of education in Richmond

Public education in Richmond doesn't cost a cent, apart from buying stationery and the like. School admittance is determined by catchment areas, so parents will have to consider carefully before choosing a neighbourhood, as not all public schools in Richmond are of a good standard. 

Parents can also choose from several private schools in Richmond, which aren't bound by zoning regulations, but which do come with steep tuition fees, not to mention myriad extra costs such as uniforms, field trips, books and more.


Cost of living in Richmond chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for January 2021.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 1,140

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 920

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 1,940

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,620

Shopping

Eggs (dozen)

USD 1.40

Milk (1 litre)

USD 0.76

Rice (1kg)

USD 3.20

Loaf of white bread

USD 2.60

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 7.45

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

USD 6

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

USD 8

Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 2

Cappuccino

USD 4.60

Bottle of local beer

USD 5.90

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

USD 60

Utilities

Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

USD 0.15

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

USD 70

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

USD 150

Transportation

Taxi rate (per kilometre)

USD 1.55

Bus/train fare in the city centre

USD 1.75

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

USD 60