With a convenient East Coast location, a thriving economy, and excellent quality of life offering plenty to see and do, Richmond's cost of living has stayed surprisingly low. But, it’s on the rise; in fact, in Numbeo's 2022 Cost of Living Index, Richmond ranked 235th out of 578 world cities analysed, making it more affordable than most American cities but also more expensive than it was in the previous year.

As in most cities, the biggest portion of a Richmonder's salary will likely go to accommodation, transport and utilities.

Cost of accommodation in Richmond

Richmond boasts a variety of accommodation options, from inner-city apartments and condos to suburban Cape Cod-style mansions, rowhouses and cottages. New arrivals will undoubtedly find something to their style and liking – and at a reasonable price too. Rental costs here are low compared to the US average. Thanks to the influx of new residents, which increases housing demand plus the incline of the city’s economy, purchasing a house in Richmond is considered a solid investment.

The cost of utilities is also below the US average, so newcomers can often lead a better quality of life than they did in their home state or country.

Cost of transport and driving in Richmond

Public transport in Richmond is relatively affordable compared to other East Coast cities. But, given that Richmond's public transport infrastructure is limited outside of downtown and central areas, most Richmonders own a vehicle. Driving isn't cheap considering the purchase, maintenance, gas (petrol) and insurance as well as parking costs, but those who choose to settle in Richmond's suburbs will have no choice but to budget for these costs.

Cost of healthcare in Richmond

For those who can afford it, the standard of healthcare in Richmond is world-class. For patients without insurance, healthcare can be mediocre at best and inaccessible at worst. Major traumas can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and, although everyone is legally entitled to emergency services, patients can typically expect to pay hefty fees subsequently.

Therefore, we recommend that newcomers and expats invest in a good health insurance policy. This comes at a hefty price, though, so we advise that employees negotiate for a healthcare subsidy before starting their new job.

Cost of entertainment in Richmond

Of course, entertainment costs come down to lifestyle and preference. Generally, having a good time in Richmond doesn't cost an arm and a leg. One could visit a good restaurant or brewery, take a walk through a museum, enjoy a game at one of the local stadia and top it all off with a shopping spree, and walk away relatively unscathed. Some free activities newcomers could enjoy include picnics, strolls down Richmond's historic streets or water adventures on the James River.

Cost of education in Richmond

Public education in Richmond doesn't cost a cent, aside from buying stationery and the like. Admission to schools is based on catchment areas, so parents must carefully consider their choice of an area or suburb, as not all public schools in Richmond are of a good standard.

Parents can also choose from several private schools in Richmond, which aren't bound by zoning regulations but come with steep tuition fees, not to mention myriad extra costs such as uniforms, field trips, and books.

Cost of living in Richmond chart

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for September 2022.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 1,464

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,177

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 2,042

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,635


Eggs (dozen)

USD 2.20

Milk (1 litre)

USD 0.86

Rice (1kg)

USD 3.02

Loaf of white bread

USD 2.59

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 8.03

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

USD 7.50

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

USD 9.75

Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 2.26


USD 4.60

Bottle of local beer

USD 5.44

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

USD 57.50


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

USD 0.09

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

USD 70.08

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

USD 155.49


Taxi rate (per kilometre)

USD 1.55

Bus/train fare in the city centre

USD 1.88

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

USD 1.18

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance -

Cigna Global Health Insurance

With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider. Cigna is currently offering a 10% discount for seniors (over 60) on their Silver package.

Get a quote from Cigna Global

Moving Companies

Sirelo logo

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!