Cost of Living in Rancho Cucamonga . . . And More
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Cost of Living in Rancho Cucamonga . . . And More

The cost of living in Rancho Cucamonga (or anywhere else, for that matter) is a pretty simple concept, really. Basically it refers to how much money it takes to cover the basic expenses of living, such as housing, food, taxes, and healthcare. But don’t let the simplicity lull you into ignoring the importance.

Living costs in Rancho Cucamonga are directly tied to wages and are, in large part, a major determining factor in what kind of lifestyle you can live. If the cost of living is high and expenses outpace income, then you’ll be limited in what you can buy and do. Take New York City, for example . . .

A 2018 Mercer survey found New York City to be “the costliest city in the United States.” The upshot is that even “a high salary can seem insufficient in an expensive city such as New York.”

But millions of people still want to live there. That’s because cost of living, while hugely important, isn’t the only important consideration in choosing a city to move to.

So let’s take a look at the cost of living in Rancho Cucamonga . . . plus a little bit more.

Overview of Cost of Living in Rancho Cucumonga

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Rancho Cucamonga – referred to by locals as “Rancho” – has a population of about 177,000 and is located roughly 37 miles east of downtown Los Angeles and “just south of the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest.” It is “the 19th most populous city in southern California and the 27th state-wide.”

Rancho Cucamonga also has a long history with grape growing and wine making. In addition, its “proximity to major transportation hubs, airports, and highways” has made it very attractive to businesses and major corporations.

Sounds pretty appealing, but what are the living costs in Rancho Cucomonga, and how do they compare to those of other cities?

Here’s how living costs in Rancho Cucumonga compare to the national average by category:

  • Energy – 28.4% higher
  • Food – 3.3% higher
  • Healthcare – 0.6% higher
  • Housing – 6.6% higher
  • Transportation – 2.5% higher

Those figures can be a little misleading, though, if you don’t take into account how the cost of living in Rancho Cucamonga stacks up against the cost of living in other major cities. For example . . .

  • San Francisco – 82.6% lower
  • Washington, DC – 52.6% lower
  • Miami – 8.1% lower
  • Chicago – 11.5% lower
  • Boston – 47.5% lower
  • New York – 76.9% lower
  • Dallas – 6.2% higher

Rancho Cucamonga, then, has a lower cost of living than all these other major cities, except for Dallas. And then it’s only slightly higher.

Specifics of Cost of Living in Rancho Cucamonga

Now, let’s get into some specifics . . .


The median home value in Racho Cucamonga hovers around $545,000, with available figures ranging from $541,600 to $550,634. This is higher than the median home value for San Bernadino County as whole, which comes in at $362,000. While Rancho Cucamonga home values have risen 3.3% over the past year or so, they are expected to fall about 1.5% over the course of the next year.

Food and Groceries

The cost of food and groceries in Rancho Cucamonga is fairly reasonable, being 13.7% less than in San Diego. As another example, the average monthly spend for food for a family of four in Los Angeles is $830, whereas in Rancho Cucamonga it is $746.

Eating out in Rancho Cucamonga will run you about $15.00 for a basic meal at an inexpensive restaurant and $8.00 for a fast-food combo meal. And when it comes to the cost of groceries in Rancho Cucamonga, you can expect to pay (on average) around:

  • $2.80 for a loaf of bread
  • $5.14 for an 8 oz. block of cheese
  • $3.25 for a gallon of milk

Utilities and Basic Services

On a cost-of-living index, where the US average is 100, Rancho Cucamonga comes in at 105.2 for utilities. According to another source, utilities run about 3% above the national average, but the average residential electricity rate is 29.12% above the national average.


The cost of transportation – including both the cost of gasoline in Rancho Cucamonga and insurance – is 38% above the national average. The cost of gasoline in Rancho Cucamonga ranges from $2.95 to $4.00 per gallon, usually about $3.60. And the typical monthly cost for a public transit pass is $55.00.


A typical family of four in Rancho Cucamonga will spend, on average, around $698 per month for taxes.

“San Bernardino County [where Rancho Cucamonga is located] has one of the higher property tax rates in the state, at around 1.15%. 48 out of 58 counties have lower property tax rates. 9 counties have higher tax rates.” But bear in mind that California has one of the lowest property tax rates in the whole country.


These days healthcare is often at the top of the list for people considering cost of living. Depending on the source, the cost of healthcare is slightly above the national average by about 7%, but more often rated significantly lower on the cost-of-living index, coming in at 86.9 with a national average of 100. On average, a typical family of four will pay $795 per month for healthcare.

Cost of Living in Rancho Cucamonga Not the Whole Story

So, yes, living costs in Rancho Cucamonga are a little higher than the national average, yet still fairly low for California. But there’s more to Rancho Cucamonga than the cost of living. Consider . . .

In 2006, Money magazine ranked Rancho Cucamonga 42nd nationwide on its list of “Best Places to Live.” In addition, four Rancho Cucamonga high schools “earned the Silver distinction in a 2015 ranking of the nation’s high schools by U.S. News and World Report. In 2017 the California Department of Education announced that all four high schools were being named California Gold Ribbon Schools.”

And there’s more . . .

  • In 2018, Rancho Cucamonga was named by WalletHub as the 14th happiest town in America, based on wellbeing, income and employment, and community and environment.
  • The climate is . . . well, fantastic – “a year-round Mediterranean climate.”
  • The crime rate is exceptionally low, “less than half the average in both the state of California and the United States.”
  • Rancho Cucamonga is conveniently centrally located, offering easy access to “Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs, world-class beaches, [and] snowy mountains.”
  • Rancho Cucamonga is at the same time both family friendly and “economically, ethnically, and culturally diverse.”

So, is Rancho Cucamonga right for you? There are plenty of good reasons why it could be.

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