If you’ve fallen in love with the city of Wilmington, DE, you might be ready to pack your bags and move there. But before you schedule your going-away party, you may want to have a look at the cost of living in Wilmington to be sure it matches your expectations – and your budget. We’ve broken down the important categories to help you get a sense of what to plan for and help you make the most informed decision possible.
Cost of Housing
Home values in Wilmington have been on the rise as people discover this gem of a city, and they are predicted to continue rising. The median price per square foot is currently $106, which brings the median price of a home to around $149,900. This is lower than the nearby Philadelphia metro area which comes in at $135 per square foot. Renters can also find well-priced options at a slightly more affordable median of $1,100 per month.
First and foremost, the rate of job creation in Wilmington, DE, has been rising rapidly in the last few years, most recently at a significant 4.1% with a predicted increase of 41.2% over the next ten years. That said, the income per capita is $25,686 with a median household income of $38,979. There isn’t any sales tax to worry about so your dollar goes farther, and the income tax is a fairly reasonable 6.8% (the national average is 4%).
Cost of Food
So really, how much does it cost to live in Wilmington, DE? What you save in rent you may end up spending on food. Things in Wilmington cost a bit more than the national average, though not by too large of a margin — the smart grocery shopper can still make a good food budget work well, and the range of restaurant prices will probably feel comparable to any similar city.
Cost of Utilities
The average total cost of basic utilities in Wilmington, DE, is about $20 per month higher than the national average, landing around $184 per month. Delaware’s climate won’t demand the same heating or cooling costs of some of its more northern or southern cousins, but you’ll still see all four seasons and the utility costs that go with them. Internet costs between $50-$60 per month for a package and phone plans are right around $30 per month.
Cost of Healthcare
While seeing an optometrist or dentist in Wilmington is more expensive than the national average, seeing the doctor will be decidedly less expensive. The average visit costs $84, prescriptions aside of course — so you can rest assured that your health will be taken care of in Wilmington. Maybe that’s even one of your top reasons to move if you currently live in an area with high healthcare costs.
Cost of Transportation
Since Wilmington does not have a comprehensive public transport system aside from a fairly good network of buses, you’ll probably want to keep your car. Gas prices tend to be slightly below the national average here, though you may end up paying a little bit more to keep your car serviced. Using the bus system whenever possible may help keep those costs down, with a one-way ride costing $2 and a day pass at $4.50.