Cost Of Living In Seattle For Students [Updated Prices 2024] – UniAcco

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Are you considering relocating to Seattle? Seattle is a popular city in the United States, and it is also known for its culture, traditions, and job opportunities that welcome experts and students for higher education. Since 2010, Seattle has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, and it is expected to add nearly 200,000 more residents over the next 20 years. This expansion is due to the city’s vibrant culture and thriving tech scene. Unfortunately, this means that living in Emerald City is becoming more expensive. The average cost of living in Seattle is 53% higher than the national average. The most significant difference is in housing costs, which are approximately 109% higher than the state average.

If you have prepared ahead as an international student, we have put together this comprehensive guide on the cost of living in Seattle per month and everything linked to it so that you may budget your expenses before arriving in the city.

Cost Of Living Calculator

DescriptionCost (£)
Total Cost of Accommodation100
Total Cost of Transport50
Total Cost of Utilities30
Total Cost of Food70
Total Estimated Cost250

Cost Of Living In Seattle: An Overview

Seattle has a higher cost of living than many other cities in the United States on average. This Pacific Northwest city has a cost of living index of 172.3, compared to 118.7 for Washington state and 100 for the national average. Living costs in Seattle are on the expensive end, including student accommodation in Seattle, utilities, food, health care, transportation, and goods and services. The average cost of living in Seattle for students ranges between $2,027 to $2,534 per month. We have compiled a list of factors influencing the cost of living to assist you in determining your expenditures in Seattle and whether or not this city fits within your budget.

ParticularsCost (Monthly)
Off-Campus Accommodation $1,445
On-Campus Accommodation$938
Food Cost$402
Utility Cost$228
Health Insurance$80
Total Cost of Living with Off-Campus Accommodation $2,534
Total Cost of Living with On-Campus Accommodation $2,027
Annual Cost of Living$30,403

Housing Cost In Seattle

Housing costs are a major factor influencing the cost of living in Seattle. Rental rates in Seattle vary by neighbourhood, with Belltown, South Lake Union, and Denny-Blaine having the highest and Lake City and Laurelhurst having the lowest. The closer you are to the city centre, the higher the rent. However, bear in mind that even though you can find cheaper housing in some of Seattle’s outlying areas, if you work in the city’s downtown, you’ll also need to budget for commuting expenses.

Transportation Cost In Seattle

The cost of living in Seattle also includes your transportation costs. You’ll need transportation whether you’re commuting to and from work or school, exploring the city, or taking day trips to beautiful places like Mount Rainier National Park. The two major public transportation systems, King County Metro and Sound Transit can get you around Emerald City with ease. Sound Transit, formally known as the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority, operates the LINK light rail system, the Sounder commuter rail system, and the Sound Transit Express bus service in the Seattle metropolitan area. A one-way ticket on Seattle’s public transportation costs about $2.25, but you can save money by purchasing a monthly pass for $99 per month. 

Food Cost In Seattle

Food costs in Seattle may be up to 30% higher than the national average due to the abundance of fresh produce, locally caught seafood, and speciality food items. Visiting one of the many open-air farmer’s markets can help you save money on quality, locally-grown produce, homemade bread, cheeses, meats, and seafood. The following are the average prices you can expect to pay when trying to shop at a grocery store:

  • A dozen eggs cost $3.51
  • One loaf of bread costs $3.47
  • 1 gallon of milk costs $4.01
  • $6.02 for one pound of chicken fillets
  • 1 pound of ground beef costs $7.27

However, with so many fantastic world-class restaurants, boutique bistros, coffee shops, and beer bars to visit, you’ll want to budget for those expenses. A one-person meal at a low-cost restaurant costs about $20, and a three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant costs about $80.

Utility Cost In Seattle

The average cost of living in Seattle includes all your utility bills too. For a 915-square-foot apartment, basic utilities such as electricity, gas, water, and garbage will cost around $228 per month. Of course, these rates vary seasonally, as you will use more power to heat your apartment during the colder months. Residents of Seattle, Washington, pay 8% more in utilities than the national average. Make a plan for these utility costs ahead of time. 

The Bottom Line

Moving to Seattle can be a fantastic experience, especially if you enjoy coffee or boats, but it can be expensive when compared to other cities across the country. Before you take the plunge, you should consider how the costs in this article fit into your budget. Your current location and cost of living in Seattle may have a significant impact on whether it is the best fit for you.


Q1. What is the cost of living in Seattle?

Ans: Seattle, WA has a cost of living that is 36% higher than the state average and 54% higher than the national average. Housing in Seattle, WA is 114% more expensive than the national average, while utilities are about 8% more expensive.

Q2. What are the benefits of living in Seattle?

Ans: The benefits of living in Seattle include excellent career opportunities, there is no state income tax, it is a safe and intellectual city, there is an incredible food scene, and the city is breathtakingly beautiful.

Q3. How do you determine the cost of living in Seattle?

Ans: Simply add up all of your monthly fixed expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, as well as your variable expenses, such as food and gas. Consider one-time but expected purchases, such as new tyres. The resulting amount is your cost of living, assuming you don’t go into debt every month.

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