Cost of Living in East Los Angeles – A Guide

cost of living in east los angeles

East Los Angeles, more commonly known as East LA, is an urban destination in Los Angeles County.

It’s an affordable area with a strong and broad cultural heritage. East Los Angeles shares borders with El Sereno to the north and Commerce to the south. Boyle Heights is to the west and Monterrey Park and Montebello is to the east.

Location-wise, Downtown LA is less than 6 miles away and Santa Monica is 20 miles. This gives it a great starting point for commuters.

East Los Angeles is also popular with families thanks to its good schools and excellent amenities.

What is the cost of living in East Los Angeles?

Much like other areas of California, living in East Los Angeles comes with a hefty price tag. Based on cost of living data, East LA is currently ranked the 12th most expensive US city to live in out of 273.

We’ve provided a detailed cost breakdown including median household income, estimated monthly rent prices and housing affordability to answer any questions that you may have.

Median Household Income in East LA

As of August 2022, living data shows the median household income for East Los Angeles was $52,000. This equates to an hourly rate of $25 and they have a minimum wage set at $13 an hour. Any earnings under this are considered a below-median income family in East LA.

The job market in LA is competitive, so jobs may be hard to get. Common occupations in East LA include:

·       Receptionist

·       Cashier

·       Medical Assistant

·       Sales Associate

·       Customer Service Representative

·       Registered Nurse

·       Teaching Assistant

·       Office Assistant


Wherever you live, housing is likely to be your biggest monthly expense.

East Los Angeles has a wide range of available properties to rent or buy. Estimated monthly rent prices start from about $1,250 for a Studio/1 bed apartment. 2 bedrooms increase to $1,800, 3 bedrooms to $1,950 and if you need the space for a 4-bedroom property, $2,487.

If you are looking to buy a property in East Los Angeles, median property prices are starting from $263k for a 1 bedroom/studio, $349k for a 2 bedroom, $397 for a 3 bedroom and $449k for a 4 bedroom property.

Creating cost comparisons, New York is about 53% more expensive for a 3-bed apartment rental in the city center and 60% more for an apartment to buy in the city center.

A good tip for working out housing affordability is the 28% rule. This means that your mortgage or rent that you pay should not be more than 28% of your gross income.

Food and drink

Comparing East Los Angeles with New York gives the following examples of the differences in food and drink cost as an average.

Food item                     East Los Angeles New York

Milk (1 liter)                  $1.14                     $1.26

Loaf of fresh white bread (500g)             $3.80      $4.13

Local Cheese (1kg)      $12.83                  $16.85

Eggs (12)                       $4.00                     $3.93

Chicken fillets (1kg)     $11.89                  $17.88

White Rice (1kg)          $5.52                     $8.03

Mid Range Bottle of Wine                        $12.00    $17.99

Imported Beer (0.33 liter)                        $3.04      $3.95

Beef Round (1kg)         $18.09                  $20.57

Bananas (1kg)              $1.79                     $2.59

Water (1.5 liter bottle)                              $1.98      $2.51

 Eating out also shows a similar trend of average costs being lower compared to New York.

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant has an average of $20 in East Los Angeles increasing to $25 in New York. A three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant for 2 people is $87.09 for East Los Angeles and $100 for New York. Imported beer is also higher in New York. The beer would cost an extra $1.50 but the good news for New York is that a 0.33-liter bottle of Coke/Pepsi is just an extra 2 cents.


On average, people spend an average of $2,208 a year on electricity in LA. This is slightly higher than the national average.

The price of sewer services will vary depending on usage and location. The current sewer cost estimates in East Los Angeles is $5.80 per 748 gallons of sewage. On average, people in America pay between $14-$135 depending on usage.


Getting around East Los Angeles is easy, and affordable. The public transport system in LA includes Metro buses and Metro Rail Trains. The most cost-effective way to travel is by purchasing a TAP card. Basic fares start at $1.75 and day passes from $7.

Californian fuel prices have always been considered as high, sometimes up to 70% higher than other parts of America. Fuel cost factors are due to tax rates and the blend of fuel that’s used. The current rate of a gallon of gas is approximately $2.935 for regular and $3.313 for mid-grade.


Tax rates depend on your state and exact location.

East LA has a sales tax rate of 9.5%. This means that you’ll pay 9.5% of your income and most purchases that you make.

Things to know before moving to East LA

Considering a move to “The City of Angels”. Here are some things that you should know first.

The weather is great – enjoy mild to hot and dry weather most of the year with hardly any humidity. LA only has two seasons, not four. The wet season is from November to March and the dry season is from April to October. However, air pollution is an issue in LA so be prepared for smog.

There is lots of traffic – LA is a busy city and most people drive, which means traffic jams become part of daily life.

It’s a great place to get fit and healthy – people that live in LA tend to take health very seriously. There are plenty of gyms and healthy eateries to choose from.

Great beaches – LA has 75 miles of stunning coastline to choose from, so you’ll never be far from a beach. It’s also home to some of the most pristine beaches in the whole of the United States.

Lots to do – LA attracts millions of visitors every year. It has lots of famous attractions and places to visit so you’ll never spend a weekend bored.

The best neighborhoods in East Side LA

Not all communities in East LA offer the same style of living, so you need to consider the areas carefully before choosing where you want to move to.

Here are a few popular options.

Cypress Park – known for its plentiful green spaces, Cypress Park is home to over 10,000 people who love the outdoors. It has great proximity to Downtown LA, so you’ll never be too far away from all the amenities.

Elysian Valley – also known as Frogtown, Elysian Valley is a neighborhood that has plenty to offer its residents. From dog parks to play parks for the kids, there is something for everyone.

Highland Park – if you’re looking for a destination with a diverse population and small businesses, Highland Park is the place for you. It has a unique vibe that attracts people that want to learn about its history and culture.

Silver Lake – the beautiful area of Silver Lake should definitely be on your shortlist if you’re considering moving to East LA. It’s known as a hip neighborhood with vibrant nightlight and street festivals.

Can you afford to live in East LA?

Now you know the expected living costs of living in East Los Angeles, go through your monthly budget and determine whether it’s an affordable place for you.

Whichever part of East LA you end up choosing, it’s certainly a great place to live.

Previous Post
Cost of Living Seattle vs Chicago: A Comparison

Cost of Living Seattle vs Chicago: A Comparison

Next Post
Cost of Living in Santa Barbara – A Complete Guide

Cost of Living in Santa Barbara – A Complete Guide

Related Posts