Before accepting a job offer or making the decision to relocate to Baltimore, prospective residents should be aware of the expenses they are likely to incur.

Thankfully, the cost of living in Baltimore is reasonable compared to other major cities on the East Coast. A newcomer's biggest living expense is likely to be accommodation. That said, there are a lot of cost-effective living options for those that are willing to commute. 

For those relocating to Baltimore for work, it's worth negotiating a health insurance contribution as part of their employment contract as this will be a significant monthly saving.

Cost of accommodation in Baltimore

Newcomers to Baltimore will be pleased to learn that property rental prices represent fairly good value, especially in comparison to other prominent East Coast cities such as New York, Boston and Washington DC. 

The cost of renting an apartment in Baltimore is between 40–50 percent less than the equivalent in Washington DC. For this reason, there are an increasing number of people who choose to live in Baltimore and commute to Washington DC on a daily basis. 

Cost of education in Baltimore

New arrivals to Baltimore with children will need to factor in the cost of education. Much of this will depend on the type of school they decide is best for their child.

Fees at private schools in Baltimore are expensive and parents will also need to budget for additional expenses such as uniforms, textbooks, extra-curricular activities and field trips. On the other hand, attending a public school in Baltimore comes at little to no cost. There are plenty of good charter and magnet schools in Baltimore, which offer a good standard of education without the hefty price tag.

Cost of healthcare in Baltimore

Baltimore has some excellent healthcare facilities. Both Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland Medical Center are world renowned, but it's worth noting that, as is the case throughout the US, high-quality medical treatment doesn’t come cheap.

Anyone moving to Baltimore should ensure they are covered by a comprehensive health insurance plan – it's wise to invest time exploring various insurance options and to be aware of the co-payments involved. 

Depending on one’s field of work, some employers will either cover the cost of medical insurance or at least make a contribution. If one is able to negotiate some sort of healthcare allowance into one's employment package, this will be a considerable saving in monthly expenses. 

Cost of transportation in Baltimore

Although it isn’t essential, most people living in Baltimore do own a car as it affords them greater freedom to get around and explore surrounding areas over weekends. The cost of petrol (gas) is not expensive and comparable to prices in other nearby cities. That said, parking in the city centre is pricey and will certainly add up for those who drive to work regularly.

Utilising Baltimore’s extensive public transport system remains the most cost-effective way to get around in the city. Prices are reasonable and those who plan on using public transport regularly will make significant savings by investing in annual, monthly or weekly passes. 

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Baltimore

The cost of entertainment and eating out will really depend on a person’s lifestyle. Those looking to splurge will find plenty of opportunities to do so at Baltimore’s slew of fine dining institutions, bars and clubs. 

On the other hand, enjoying leisure time in Baltimore doesn’t always need to break the bank. Newcomers will find that enjoying many of the city’s major attractions won’t cost a thing. Baltimore also has a wide variety of eateries to suit a range of budgets.

Being a university city also means that many bars and restaurants launch special offers to attract crowds. In many cases, these deals will also be extended beyond just the student population. 

Cost of living in Baltimore chart

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

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 1,600

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,060

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 2,300

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,860


Eggs (dozen)

USD 2.60

Milk (1 litre)

USD 0.90

Rice (1kg)

USD 4.30

Loaf of bread

USD 2.20

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 7.40

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

USD 8.30

Eating out

Big Mac Meal


Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 2.10


USD 3.90

Bottle of local beer


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

USD 65


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

USD 0.11

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

USD 75

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

USD 150


Taxi rate (per kilometre)

USD 1.60

Bus/train fare in the city centre

USD 1.90

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

USD 0.65

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