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Cost of Living in Atlanta, GA [2024]

January 16, 2024
This article discusses a variety of ways to calculate the cost of living in Atlanta and how to budget accordingly before renting your next apartment.

Living in Atlanta comes with mild winters, award-winning restaurants and nightlife, and a growing economy. Although the cost of living in Atlanta is less expensive than in areas like New York, San Francisco, and Boston, you might still have questions about whether you can afford to move to a major metropolitan area. But fear not! Atlanta is actually surprisingly affordable.

Keep reading to learn more about Atlanta's cost of living and what to expect when moving to Atlanta.

Cost of Living in Atlanta

What Is the Cost of Living in Atlanta?

Atlanta is a major metropolitan area in the US, so the cost of living in this thriving city is bound to be a bit higher than most of the country, but not by much. According to BestPlaces, average cost of living in Atlanta is 13.3% higher than the national average. This chart shows how that breaks down by types of expenses:

Median Home Cost$364,300$240,400$291,700

Where you choose to live can dramatically impact your cost of living in Atlanta. The best Atlanta neighborhoods, like Buckhead, which are known for their amenities, safety, and quality schools will be more expensive than an apartment in a less exciting area.

Atlanta, Georgia, USA twilight rush hour - cost of living in atlanta

Where Is the Most Expensive Place to Live in Atlanta?

The Atlanta suburb with the highest cost of living is Druid Hills. The average cost of living in Druid Hills is 43.4% higher than the national average.

CityDruid HillsGeorgiaU.S.
Median Home Cost$670,000$240,400$291,700

Where is the Most Affordable Place to Live in Atlanta?

In East Griffen, the average cost of living in East Griffin is 18.3% lower than the national average.

CityEast GriffinGeorgiaU.S.
Median Home Cost$81,800$240,400$291,700

How Much Is Rent in Atlanta?

According to Apartment List's database of rental estimates, as of January 2024, the average rent in Atlanta is $1,528 a month. Let's take a look at how that breaks down by bedroom size for the apartments currently listed on our website:

BedroomsAverage Rent

At times, you might notice a discrepancy between what people are currently paying for rent (on average) compared to what is listed as available for rent, so do keep that in mind as you budget.

How Much is a 1-Bedroom Apartment in Atlanta, GA?

To rent a 1-bedroom in Atlanta, expect to pay an average of $1,835 for a one-bedroom. However, that number can change based on neighborhood, so here are a few examples of rent prices in different areas of Atlanta:

East Atlanta$1,386

How Much is a 2-Bedroom Apartment in Atlanta, GA?

Across Atlanta, the average rent for currently available listings is $2,465 a month. However, as we see below, that average can vary widely by neighborhood:

East Atlanta$1,318

What Salary Do I Need to Live in Atlanta?

While there are many ways to calculate average salary, from the perspective of a renter, it may be wise to use the amount you expect to pay in rent to figure out what a livable salary looks like. As a general rule of thumb, you should not spend more than 30% of your monthly income on rent. We found that the average rent of current one-bedroom apartments available in Atlanta runs around $1,835. So, your salary should be at least $6,116 a month, or $73,392 per year.

You can also use our rent calculator to find the best apartments for rent to meet your budget.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Atlanta is $77,655, which is just a little bit higher than the cost of living estimate we calculated above. That's good news for prospective job hunters! However, you can undoubtedly earn less and still find an apartment while living a reasonable yet frugal lifestyle.

To that end, it never hurts to get a first- person perspective on affordability. In this video by local real estate expert Shonnie Alridge, she explains how $4,500 will allow you to live comfortably in Atlanta:

How Much Is Housing in Atlanta?

Home prices are also reasonable around the Atlanta area. Although you can find multi-million dollar properties, the median home prices in Atlanta are around $334,200. The city’s home pricing index also makes it easier for renters to make the transition if homeownership is on their minds.

How Much Is Transportation in Atlanta, GA?

How much you spend on transportation in Atlanta depends on how much driving you plan to do. According to MIT's Living Wage calculator, if you're single with no children, you can expect to spend $5,477 a month on transportation. If you're in a household with two adults and one child, the cost rises to $14,484.

Atlanta is primarily a driving city, despite improvements in public transit and walkability. Traffic also isn't for the faint of heart. Atlanta can make even west coasters feel like they're right back at home.

Despite all the heavy traffic, the city's current walk score is 48. They also have a transit score of 44 and a bike score of 42.

It's also possible to live in areas around Atlanta like Old Fourth Ward, Downtown, Midtown, or Buckhead and rely on a combination of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority’s (MARTA) train and bus service, as well as rideshares.

Marta - Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority - Underground train station in Atlanta Georgia - cost of living in atlanta

How Much Are Groceries in Atlanta?

The average price for groceries can vary depending on your lifestyle. Overall, you'll spend around $3,926 on food if you're single with no children. A family of two adults and two children can expect to spend at least $11,564 on food per year.

You should expect to pay $15 for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant, or $65 for a three-course dinner for two people at a mid-range restaurant. Add on alcohol and multiple appetizers, and you'll quickly eat your way through your food budget each month.

How Much Is Healtcare in Atlanta, GA?

A single, full-time employed adult in Atlanta should expect to pay $3,198 per year in Atlanta on their medical and healthcare costs. A family of two full-time working adults and two children will add up to $9,149 per year for healthcare costs.

How Much Are Utilities in Atlanta, GA?

Atlanta utilities cost around $261.08 monthly. This total includes fuel bill, water bill, gas bill, and electricity bill costs. That's a little bit higher than the national average, which is $253.14. You'll need to add an additional $73.11 (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) for internet.

Atlanta weather is relatively mild, though there are some dips and slight snow in the winter months, as well as heat and humidity in the summers. The results are reasonable apartment utilities that fluctuate depending on the season.

Ponce City Market, a repurposed vintage factory building, now hip shopping and restaurant destination

Fitness and Entertainment

Atlanta received the nickname “City of Trees” for its plentiful outdoor spaces. The best place to start a good workout is jogging, rollerblading, and walking year-round in public parks and areas like the Beltline.

The former railway corridor turned multi-use trail is a beacon for exercise enthusiasts looking for some fresh air or pop-up fitness classes.

If you prefer a gym with more variety, workout equipment, and classes to choose from, plan to spend at least $39.05 for one adult. To compare, gym membership in Dallas runs $43.91 a month. You may be able to find an apartment in Atlanta with an on-site fitness center or set up a home gym in your apartment to save money.

How Much Are Taxes in Atlanta, GA?

Taxes can also make an impact on the cost of living in Atlanta. The city has a sales tax rate of 8.9%.

That figure breaks down to 7% for either Dekalb or Fulton county in Atlanta and 1.9% tax for Atlanta. The income tax rate in Georgia ranges from 1% to 5.75%, with top earners paying the highest rates.

Find Your Next Apartment in Atlanta

Atlanta's affordability, entertainment options, and year-round recreational opportunities make it a comfortable place to live, work, and play. With the right approach, you can find an apartment in Atlanta that meets your needs, whether you’re moving out of state or across town.

Ready to find a new apartment? Get started on your Atlanta apartment search with Apartment List.

FAQs: What to Know About the Cost of Living in Atlanta 2023

How expensive is an apartment in Atlanta?

Atlanta rents are rising. A one bedroom in Atlanta costs $1,551, and a two bedroom costs $1,550.

What is the cheapest rent in Atlanta?

Currently, the cheapest rent in Atlanta for a two-bedroom apartment. You’ll pay an average of $1,550 on rent.

How expensive is it to live in Atlanta?

The average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Atlanta is $1,551, although a two bedroom is slightly less expensive at $1,550 a month.

Public transportation fares start at $2.50 for a day pass with monthly rates available. Food costs about $3,551 a year in Atlant, which includes meals and snacks. Eating out will cost an average of $15 for a meal at a low-cost restaurant for a single entree, or $65 for two at a mid-range restaurant.

How far is Atlanta from Savannah?

Atlanta to Savannah is 248.1 miles via I-16 W and I-75 N. It takes about 4 hours and 12 minutes to drive from Atlanta to Savannah. Bus service and flights are also available.

How far is Atlanta from Nashville?

Atlanta to Nashville is 248.2 miles via I-24 E and I-75 S. It takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes to drive from Atlanta to Nashville. Bus service and flights are also available.

How far is Atlanta from Augusta?

The distance between Atlanta and Augusta is 145.7 miles via I-20 W. It takes 2 hours and 20 minutes to drive between Atlanta and Augusta.

How far is Atlanta from Orlando?

Atlanta to Orlando is 437.8 miles via I-75 N and takes about 6 hours and 45 minutes to drive. You can also fly from Atlanta to Orlando. The flight time is about 3 hours and 25 minutes.

What is the population of Atlanta?

According to the US Census Bureau, the population of Atlanta was 496,461 in 2021. The entire population of the state of Georgia is 10,912,876.

What is a good salary in Atlanta?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the average household income for Atlanta residents is $69,164. However, to stick to the rule of spending only 30% on your monthly income on rent, you will need an income of $62,040 to live comfortably in a one bedroom apartment.

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Dr. Katherine Blake
Dr. Katherine Blake is a content editor with Apartment List, where she helps ensure our renter and rental management content is fresh and informed by the latest data. Read More
Susan Finch
Susan is an accomplished freelance writer whose passion for rental real estate, travel, and digital marketing has been the driving force behind her nearly 15-year career. Throughout her professional journey, Susan has become a seasoned veteran in creating compelling and informative content focused on the tenant/landlord relationship. Read More
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