Cost of Living

With a balanced mix of urban sophistication and great small communities, the Madison Region is among the more affordable major markets in the Midwest.

While cost of living varies by county and municipality within the eight-county region, our overall cost of living falls in line with the national average.

Both the Madison MSA and Janesville MSA boast a Regional Price Parity below the national average of 100.

Regional-Price-Parity-Infographic

Average annual pay in the Madison Region grew faster than the national average at a rate of 16.4% between the 2010-2015 time period, increasing from $40,395 to $47,005.

Homeowners with a mortgage in the Madison metropolitan statistical area spent 23.6% of income on median monthly housing costs in 2014, a figure comparable with the national average. In addition, residents in each of the eight counties in the Madison Region enjoy rents below the national gross median rent. This part of Wisconsin offers a variety of housing options, including new and existing neighborhoods in our suburbs and rural communities, as well as luxury condominiums in our major downtown areas.

Many of the region’s services that contribute to our high quality of life are funded through property tax, which vary between individual communities. Sales tax in all eight counties is 5.5%. Vehicle taxes are not assessed in Wisconsin.

The Madison Region offers easy, affordable living, making it a prime choice for businesses and employees alike.

Sources: Sperling’s Best Places; Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages; 2010 State of the Madison Region Report; 2011 Advance Now Competitive Assessment; and 2010-2014 American Community Survey

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Regional Price Parity (RPP) measures the difference in price levels of goods and services across locations, serving as a proxy for cost of living. In 2013, the Madison MSA’s RPP was 97.7 — nearly 2.5 percentage points below the national average.