The cost of living in Boston is high, and new arrivals should prepare their budgets carefully to avoid any nasty surprises. In Mercer's Cost of Living Survey for 2022, Boston was listed as the 30th most expensive out of 227 cities, up from 50th in 2021. 

Employment packages may include some contribution toward accommodation and health insurance. Nonetheless, new arrivals should be aware of their possible monthly expenses before negotiating their salary.

Cost of accommodation in Boston

Accommodation is likely to be the largest expense for those moving to Boston. As there is a high demand for accommodation in Boston, rental costs are expensive. Tenants often need to pay their first month's rent as well as a security deposit to secure their lease. This, combined with rental agency fees, means that new arrivals need to budget for hefty initial housing costs.

Cost of eating out and entertainment in Boston

There is much to see and do in Boston, but recreational pursuits aren't cheap. Since Boston is considerably smaller than many other cities in the US, there is less competition between businesses, so eating out and entertainment costs remain high. That said, expats on a budget who spend smartly can live comfortably while still enjoying the city.

Cost of transport in Boston

Thankfully, there isn't a need to invest in some wheels when moving to Boston, as the city boasts a comprehensive and reliable public transport network that is accessible at reasonable prices. Boston is also fairly bicycle-friendly for those wanting to commute by bike to save and improve their physical health.

Cost of education in Boston

Education in Boston is of a high calibre. The city is home to some of the country's top public schools, which are free to attend for US citizens and legal residents. On the other hand, fees for private and international schools can be steep, so newly arrived parents planning on taking this route should try to negotiate the inclusion of fees into their relocation contracts.

Cost of living in Boston chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Boston in February 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 2,750

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,975

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 5,100

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 3,420


Eggs (dozen)

USD 4.26

Milk (1 litre)

USD 1.11

Rice (1kg)

USD 4.33

Loaf of bread

USD 3.98

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 14.18

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

USD 13

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

USD 10.60

Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 2.30



Local beer (500ml)


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

USD 95


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

USD 0.21

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

USD 62

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

USD 185


Taxi rate (per kilometre)

USD 1.86

Bus/train fare in the city centre

USD 2.40

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

USD 0.98

Expat Health Insurance

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Cigna Global

If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.

Get a quote from Cigna Global

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