The cost of living in Atlanta might not be cheap, but it's far lower than that of many other major American cities. The biggest living expense in Atlanta will likely be accommodation, but for those willing to commute, cheaper alternatives can be found in the outlying areas and suburbs of the city.

Mercer's Cost of Living Survey for 2024 ranked Atlanta 27th out of 226 cities, which makes it considerably cheaper than New York City (7th), Los Angeles (10th), San Francisco (13th) and a number of other major US cities.


Cost of accommodation in Atlanta

Housing will likely be the largest expense for expats living in Atlanta. There's a range of options for accommodation to suit all tastes and needs, from houses to apartments and everything in between.

Demand for accommodation in Atlanta is high, with new developments constantly springing up, so rental and purchasing costs in some areas can be pricey. Budget-friendly options are available but can be difficult to find, so if house hunters are lucky enough to find a good deal, they should snap it up before someone else does.


Cost of transport in Atlanta

Most people living in Atlanta tend to own a car. While petrol is affordable, the cost of maintaining a car can quickly add up. Parking can be expensive, and car owners will also have to account for insurance costs as well.

Alternatively, Atlanta is served by reliable and comprehensive public transport links, with buses and trains travelling all over the city.


Cost of groceries in Atlanta

In contrast to the prevailing notion that Atlanta's living expenses are steep, the city offers a silver lining when it comes to grocery shopping. Grocery prices in Atlanta are noted to be slightly more wallet-friendly than the state average. This affordability is particularly evident in local markets and supermarkets, where essentials like milk, bread, and vegetables are competitively priced. 

Residents have the advantage of choosing between a variety of shopping venues, from budget-friendly big-box stores to local farmer's markets that offer fresh produce at reasonable prices. For those looking to stretch their dollar further, exploring seasonal sales and local specials can provide additional savings, making the cost of groceries in Atlanta a manageable aspect of living in the city.


Cost of entertainment and eating out in Atlanta

Atlanta, often referred to as the City of Trees, not only offers a lush landscape for an outdoor lifestyle but also a diverse array of dining and entertainment options catering to a broad spectrum of budgets. Whether one is in the mood for a simple meal at an inexpensive restaurant or a more elaborate dining experience at a mid-range establishment, the city's culinary scene has something to offer everyone. 

Atlanta's entertainment scene, from movie theatres showing the latest international releases to fitness clubs and tennis courts, ensures that residents have ample choices for leisure and recreation. 


Cost of education in Atlanta

The spectrum of educational costs in Atlanta mirrors the diversity of its academic institutions. From public schools that offer education at minimal cost to private and international schools known for their premium fees, families in Atlanta can choose based on their educational preferences and financial capabilities.

Esteemed universities such as Emory University, Georgia State University, and Georgia Institute of Technology provide higher education options at varying price points, reflecting the city's commitment to accessible education. These institutions' tuition fees, while constituting a significant portion of expenses for students and their families, are part of Atlanta's investment in a robust educational system.


Cost of healthcare in Atlanta

In the realm of healthcare, Atlanta presents a somewhat reassuring picture, with costs that tend to sit below the national average. This affordability extends to health insurance premiums, offering some respite in a country where healthcare expenses can be a significant concern. This lower cost threshold is particularly beneficial in a city where the overall cost of living is slightly above the national average, providing a cushion against the financial demands of healthcare and insurance.


Cost of living in Atlanta chart

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for March 2024.

Accommodation (monthly rent)
Three-bedroom apartment in the city centreUSD 3,400
Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centreUSD 2,500
One-bedroom apartment in the city centreUSD 1,900
One-bedroom apartment outside the city centreUSD 1,540
Food and drink
Dozen eggsUSD 4.08
Milk (1 litre)USD 1.07
Rice (1kg)USD 5.64
Loaf of white breadUSD 3.36
Chicken breasts (1kg)USD 7
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)USD 8
Eating out
Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurantUSD 100
Big Mac MealUSD 12
Coca-Cola (330ml)USD 2.55
CappuccinoUSD 5.21
Bottle of beer (local)USD 3.47
Utilities/household
Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)USD 0.56
Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)USD 70
Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)USD 240
Transportation
Taxi rate/kmUSD 2.49
City-centre public transport fareUSD 2.50
Gasoline (per litre)USD 0.90

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