As with any city, the cost of living in Detroit will vary depending on the lifestyles and tastes of individuals. That said, the Motor City is quite affordable overall, as evidenced in its ranking of 80th most expensive out of 227 cities surveyed on the Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2023, placing it well below other large cities in the US. 

Cost of accommodation in Detroit

The cost of accommodation in Detroit varies. Owing to the constant redevelopment of the city, there are many opportunities to buy or rent properties on the cheap, but this will often entail extensive maintenance and renovations. New arrivals looking to avoid these extra costs would do better to seek out accommodation that is slightly more expensive but requires less renovation.

That said, housing overall remains relatively cheap and rent is usually affordable, even within the upmarket suburbs near the city centre.

Utilities are not usually included in the advertised monthly rental price and will need to be paid for separately, so newcomers will need to account for these additional costs in their monthly budget. 

Cost of education in Detroit

Those who send their children to local public schools will have few expenses, as fees are free of charge. Parents will only need to take care of stationery and school lunches at public schools. Attendance at international schools, on the other hand, usually tends to be pricey.

Cost of transportation in Detroit

Most of Detroit's residents usually own a car, although motor insurance is notoriously expensive. New arrivals should also budget for petrol (gas), as Detroit is a large city and they may find themselves driving long distances.

While public transport in the city isn’t as extensive as the systems found in other US metros such as New York or Boston, there are reasonably priced bus services, including Greyhound, Megabus and SMART, that travel through both the suburbs and city centre.

Cost of living in Detroit chart

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

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 2,720

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,600

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 1,300

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 860


Eggs (dozen)

USD 3.50

Milk (1 litre)

USD 0.89

Rice (1kg)

USD 3.41

Loaf of white bread

USD 2.94

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 13.22

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)


Eating out

Big Mac Meal


Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 2.05


USD 4.66

Bottle of local beer

USD 4.25

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

USD 60


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

USD 0.33

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

USD 79

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

USD 263


Taxi rate (per kilometre)

USD 1.24

Bus/train fare in the city centre


Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

USD 0.93

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