Located in Utah County along the Wasatch Front and Utah Lake, Provo is popular among young families and college students thanks to its affordable living, nearby universities, and tree-lined downtown with art galleries, museums, and shopping. The cost of living in Provo is one of many factors that has contributed to it ranking among the top 10 fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. While living in the community, you can enjoy affordable housing, low grocery and utility costs, and plenty of things to do without spending a fortune, including hiking in Provo Canyon, exploring the Bridal Veil Falls, and camping and boating at Utah Lake State Park.
So, how much does it cost to live in Provo, Utah? Is it the right choice for your household? Here’s an in-depth look at the Provo cost of living including information on the average cost of goods, the average salary in Provo, tax rates, and how it compares to SLC.
Provo Cost of Living Index
As you consider relocating to Utah County, you may be asking yourself, how much does it cost to live in Provo? Of course, that depends on whether you rent or buy a home, the neighborhood, your lifestyle, and the size of your household. Still, you can get a good idea of how much you need to earn to live in Provo, UT by understanding the Provo cost of living index compared to other cities.
The cost of living index for Provo is 97.8%. That means Provo is 2.2% less expensive than the national average. That doesn’t tell the whole story, though. The average cost of groceries in Provo is 7.3% more affordable than the national average and Provo utilities are 15.2% more affordable. Housing costs are slightly higher than the national average and goods and services are about 5% higher than the national median.
You can also explore the consumer price index which measures variations in prices you pay for retail goods. Consumer prices in the region have climbed almost 3% in the last year without considering energy and food. Food prices increased about 2.2% while energy prices rose 6%, mostly due to rising gas costs.
Cost of Items in Provo
The cost of living in Provo is about average for the United States. This is mostly due to higher-than-average housing costs. The average cost of groceries in Provo is 6% lower than the national average. Meanwhile, the average electric bill in Provo is far below the national average: the typical U.S. family spends $172 per month on utilities while Provo families spend less than $123.
Here are the cost of common living expenses in Provo that people buy so you can compare it to where you’re living now.
- Steak (Ribeye, 1 pound): $11.42
- Milk (whole, 1/2 gallon): $1.41
- Eggs (1 dozen, grade A): $1.29
- Bread (wheat, 1 loaf): $2.58
- Beer (Heineken’s 6 pack): $8.46
- Movie ticket: $10.65
- McDonald’s hamburger (1/4 pounder): $4.38
- Average cell phone bill: $182.31
- Average cost of gasoline (gallon): $2.55
- Average cost of utilities (per month): $121.61
- Pizza (large, 1 topping): $10.43
Provo vs Salt Lake City Cost of Living
If you’re considering relocating to Provo, nearby Salt Lake City may also be on your list. How does the Provo vs. Salt Lake City cost of living compare? Provo has a much lower cost of living as Salt Lake City is about 12.5% more expensive. The biggest difference? Housing. While Provo is close to the average cost of living in the U.S., the city’s housing costs are 32% higher than average. Salt Lake City is even worse with housing that costs almost 28% more than Provo!
Provo Real Estate Market
After heating up over the last few years, the Provo real estate market is finally starting to slow down. The average home in Provo has more than 4 bedrooms, 2.75 baths, and sells in around 26 days for just over asking price. The average price per square foot is $155.
The average home price in Provo, UT is $315,000 in 2020, up from $300,500 in 2018. The median home price in Provo has increased beyond the national average of $227,000 slowly over the last 5-10 years and has lagged behind other cities in the Wasatch Front.
Perhaps not surprisingly given the city’s proximity to area universities, Provo’s homeownership rate is just 41%, well below the national average of 64%. About 15% of homes in Provo were built within the last 20 years but most were constructed between 1970 and 2000. Just 40% of homes in Provo are single-family houses.
Provo Rental Market — Average Rent in Provo, UT
Apartment complexes, small apartment buildings, and townhomes make up 56% of the market which makes sense given the strong demand for rentals in the community. Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University attract many college students and renters to Provo which has led to a strong rental market with low vacancy rates. About 20% of all renters in Provo are students at UVU and BYU.
Between 2010 and 2017, the average rent in Provo increased 11% to $1,050. While multifamily construction has increased, Provo is mostly built out already and there’s little room for more apartments and condos. Still, rent prices have remained fairly stable. In 2020, Provo rent is $1,150 on average, according to RentJungle. Rent prices in Provo vary a great deal depending on where you live, however. Studio apartments in some of the newest complexes in Provo like the pet-friendly 200 City View Apartments start at just $900 but top $1,700 for a two-bedroom unit.
No matter where you choose to rent in Provo, you can count on Provo rent trends being more favorable than other large cities in Utah but a bit higher than rent in nearby Orem.
Average Salary & Household Income in Provo
As you explore the average cost of living in Provo, you’ll definitely want to know the average income in Provo. How much do I need to make to live in Provo? The average salary in Provo is $15.92 an hour. That’s much lower than the $27.16 the average American worker earns or the average $22.73 per hour for non-supervisory and private sector employees. Wages have remained flat over the last year in the city.
Here’s the median income in Provo for a handful of popular careers:
- Registered nurse: $24/hour
- Administrative assistant:$15.44/hour
- Software developer: $72k/year
- Senior software engineer: $106k/year
- General project manager: $56k/year
The median household income in Provo is $42,600. That’s on the lowest end of the scale in Utah County and $18,200 per capita. By comparison, Highland is on the other end of the spectrum at $122,666 and the U.S. median household income is $61,900.
Curious about potential career options? Top employers in Provo include:
- Brigham Young University
- Utah Valley Regional Medical Center
- Vivint, home security and automation
- Ancestry.com Operations
- Revere Health, an independent multi-specialty physician group
- Chrysalis Utah, medical and support services for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities
- Nu Skin Enterprises, a multilevel marketing company
Sales, Income & Property Taxes in Provo, UT
As you research what does it cost to live in Provo, UT, don’t overlook taxes. Local, state, and federal taxes can cost you thousands of dollars every year. Sales tax alone can range from 0% to over 9%, depending on the city. In some states like Nevada, you won’t pay any state income tax while others have high income tax rates that affect how much of your paycheck you take home.
Provo Property Tax Rate
The Provo property tax rate is 0.565% which gives an average annual property tax bill of $1,400. That’s below the national average of 1.08% and far below the highest average effective rate of 2.44% in New Jersey.
Utah Income Tax Rate
The state of Utah income tax rate is 4.95% with a single tax rate for all levels of income. Most other states with an income tax rate have a system with tax brackets rather than a single flat rate.
Provo Sales Tax Rate
The combined Provo, UT sales tax is 7.25%. That combined sales tax in Provo includes state, local, and county sales tax rates plus taxes for mass transit, county highways, infrastructure, and a cultural/zoo tax. Utah ranks 26th in the U.S. for sales tax: Tennessee has the highest combined rate of 9.47%.
It’s easy to see why Provo is so popular with young families and students. Living in the city, you can enjoy the low cost of living in Provo and a huge variety of rental properties with the excitement of SLC within driving distance and two universities just around the corner. If you’re set on relocating to Provo to settle down, start university, or just move closer to work, the affordable Provo movers at Wasatch Moving Company are standing by to make your transition worry-free and easy!