Delaware cost of living

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Where are you moving to?

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Moving to a new state is a mix of emotions — it can be full of new possibilities but also challenging and a bit scary. While a fresh start offers exciting opportunities and experiences, it's important to consider the practical side of things, too. Building new friendships, finding support and getting to know your way around takes time.

Moving can also be costly and emotionally draining. Whether you're relocating to Delaware for a job, a change of scenery or any other reason, understanding the cost of living in the state is crucial for a smooth transition.


Key insights

The median rent in Delaware is $1,788.97, versus the national median rent of $1,529.01.

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Residents in Delaware spend $92.24 weekly on food at home and $246.21 on food out.

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As of publishing, the average price per gallon of regular gas is $3.59 in Delaware.

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Recent data shows that employees in Delaware pay $1,927 annually for employee-sponsored health insurance coverage.

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Housing costs in Delaware

According to recent data from Zillow, the median rent in Delaware is $1,788.97, while the national median rent is $1,529.01.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows rent prices in Delaware broken down by home size. As of publishing, one-bedroom apartments in Delaware had a median cost of $1,121 per month, and the two-bedroom median cost was $1,261 per month. Three- and four-bedroom homes had median costs of $1,463 and $1,757, respectively.

As of publishing, the median home price in Delaware is $388,000, according to Redfin. The U.S. median home price is $436,000.

The median home price in the metro area that includes Wilmington was $342,500 in the first quarter of 2024, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The median home prices was a bit lower in the Dover area, at $323,600.

Delaware ranks No. 41 for highest effective property tax rates in the nation, according to the most recent Tax Foundation data, at 0.61%.

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Food costs in Delaware

According to recent census data, the average spent weekly on food to prepare at home in Delaware is $92.24, compared with the U.S. average of $270.21 at the time. Delaware residents spend an average of $246.21 weekly on food prepared outside the home, compared with the U.S. average of $109.21.

Transportation costs in Delaware

According to recent data from AAA, the average price per gallon of regular gas in Delaware is $3.59, compared with the U.S. average of $3.46.

The most recent National Association of Insurance Commissioners data shows that the average auto insurance premium (liability, collision and comprehensive coverage combined) in Delaware is $1,351.64, versus the national average of $1,189.50.

Public transportation costs

Delaware Transit Corporation provides a network of bus and train transportation services for commuters in the state. As of publishing, bus fares start at $2 ($4 for a daily pass).

Health care costs in Delaware

The most recent KFF data shows that, on average, employer-sponsored health insurance cost Delaware employees $1,927 annually, with employers covering the remaining $6,241 of the $8,168 total cost.

Nationwide, the average employee contribution was $1,637 out of a total premium of $7,590.

Utility costs in Delaware

According to the most recent data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average monthly electric bill in Delaware is $128.99, versus $135.25 countrywide.

Recent EIA data also shows that natural gas in Delaware costs $14.82 per thousand cubic feet, compared with $13.25 nationally.

Where are you moving to?

FAQ

Do I need a new driver’s license when moving to Delaware?

Yes, you’ll need to update your license within 30 days of moving to Delaware.

What are the most expensive cities in Delaware?

Based on NAR housing price data from the first quarter of 2024, Wilmington and Dover are among the most expensive places to live in Delaware.

What else should I consider when moving to Delaware?

An interesting tidbit: Delaware ranked No. 8 in our list of the states with the worst road rage (2024). If you’re a driver, this is something worth keeping in mind. On a lighter note, the state ranked 23rd for Halloween spirit in 2023, thanks to the prevalence of Spirit Halloween stores.


Article sources

ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

  1. Zillow, “Housing Data.” Accessed May 14, 2024.
  2. Redfin, "Redfin Data Center." Accessed May 14, 2024.
  3. Tax Foundation, "Where Do People Pay the Most in Property Taxes?" Accessed May 14, 2024.
  4. United States Census Bureau, "Week 63 Household Pulse Survey: October 18 - October 30." Accessed May 14, 2024.
  5. AAA Gas Prices, "State Gas Price Averages." Accessed June 14, 2024.
  6. National Association of Insurance Commissioners, "2020/2021 Auto Insurance Database Report." Accessed May 14, 2024.
  7. KFF, "Average Annual Single Premium per Enrolled Employee For Employer-Based Health Insurance." Accessed May 14, 2024.
  8. U.S. Energy Information Administration, "2022 Average Monthly Bill- Residential." Accessed May 14, 2024.
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