Here's how much you need to earn to live 'comfortably' in the Seattle-Tacoma area

The cost of living in Western Washington continues to rise, and rent prices are a huge part of living expenses.

Seattle ranks 27th on ConsumerAffairs' list of income needed to afford to live in the largest U.S. cities. With median rent at $2,179 (as of Feb. 2024), the salary needed for a single adult to make ends meet is $87,146 or an hourly wage of $41.90.

Tacoma ranked 63rd on the list with a median rent of $1,708. The salary needed for a single adult to live in T-Town is $68,358 or an hourly wage of $32.86.

ConsumerAffairs determined these figures by analyzing median rent data from Zillow and calculating the minimum household income required to afford housing in each city, applying the 30% affordability threshold. The 30% rule, that a household should not spend more than 30% on housing, has long been a standard for budgeting. Household income could represent a single person living alone or a couple.

While Seattle residents need to spend more than most other cities to live comfortably, it's no surprise that New York City demands the highest income, at a whopping $135,713 per year.


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KTVU FOX 2 contributed to this report.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the rank positions for Seattle and Tacoma.