The cost of living in Pittsburgh is slightly higher than the national average, but still well below some of the country's major cities. In Mercer's 2023 Cost of Living Survey, Pittsburgh was ranked 65th out of 227 cities surveyed. This puts it well below other major cities in the US, and ranks it far lower than the likes of New York City (6th), Los Angeles (11th) and San Francisco (14th).

Cost of accommodation in Pittsburgh

Though accommodation costs are rising in Pittsburgh, it is still a relatively inexpensive place to rent or buy property. Newcomers are likely to find housing perfectly suited to their needs and budget. Those who are looking to keep their expenses minimal are advised to find a home in the areas and suburbs on the outskirts of the city. Young professionals and single new arrivals seeking convenience and proximity to all of Pittsburgh's vibrant spots should look no further than the city centre or the trendy Strip District. New arrivals should be prepared to pay steep rental fees in these neighbourhoods, though.

Additionally, utilities are fairly steep in Pittsburgh and can add quite a bit to monthly expenses, especially during the cold winters, so new arrivals should budget carefully. 

Cost of transport in Pittsburgh

Most areas are connected to well-priced public transport, and those who live a few miles from the downtown area have the option of cycling or walking.

Many expats find that it's not necessary to own a car in Pittsburgh, but those with children or who live far out from the central area might need to invest in one. This can be pricey, especially as gas (petrol) is more expensive in Pittsburgh than in many other US cities.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Pittsburgh

The City of Bridges has something to entertain new arrivals from all walks of life. The cost of entertainment and eating out will largely depend on newcomers' personal preferences and budget, as Pittsburgh boasts a diverse range of nightlife and restaurant options. The art and culture scene in the city is also well-established, the most popular museums will charge a fee while small independent galleries are typically free of charge. 

Pittsburgh also has a range of wallet-friendly outdoor activities for nature-loving new arrivals to enjoy. The Steel City is home to three nationally recognised sports teams. However, sports fans will have to budget to enjoy these games as ticket prices are quite steep. 

Cost of education in Pittsburgh

There are plenty of excellent public schools in Pittsburgh, which can be attended free of charge. This includes charter and magnet schools. Private schools, on the other hand, charge school fees and can be expensive.

Cost of living in Pittsburgh chart

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

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 1,490

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,000

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 2,400

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,750


Eggs (dozen)


Milk (1 litre)

USD 1.10

Rice (1kg)

USD 4.12

Loaf of white bread


Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 10.82

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)


Eating out

Big Mac Meal


Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 2.28


USD 4.18

Bottle of beer (local)


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

USD 60


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

USD 0.10

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 

USD 68

Basic monthly utilities

USD 194


Taxi rate per km

USD 1.24

Bus fare in the city centre 

USD 2.75

Gasoline/petrol (per litre)

USD 1.09