July 4, 2024

Can You Afford the Cost of Living in Stockton, CA, in 2024?

Stockton, CA, is more affordable than many other Californian cities. Accommodation expenses are 32% below the state average, and the cost of goods and services is 2% lower. So, the city offers a cost-effective lifestyle without sacrificing quality of life.

But that's not all. Stockton, California, has a vibrant history and diverse culture. Major employers such as St. Joseph’s Medical Center, San Joaquin Delta College, and the Port of Stockton provide a thriving job market. With parks, marinas, and access to the Delta for water activities, Stockton offers a balance of urban and outdoor living.

Let's look at the living costs in Stockton, California, for 2024.

What Is the Cost of Living Index?

A cost of living index compares prices of essential goods and services across different locations. It considers housing, food, utilities, transportation, and healthcare expenses. A higher index indicates that a city is more expensive, so you need a higher income to maintain a comfortable standard of living.

The cost of living in Stockton, CA, is 19% higher than the national average. This implies that you should budget more for groceries, utilities, entertainment, and rent.

5 Major Living Expenses in Stockton, CA

Let's break down some major costs you may face as a Stockton resident:


Stockton housing prices average around $444,666. This is 23% higher than the national average but 32% lower than the California state average. The average rent in Stockton is $1,629 per month.

If you have a tight budget, you can also find homes for sale in Stockton, CA under $100,000.


Utility costs in Stockton are significantly higher than the national average, about 42% more. Basic utilities, such as heating, water, and electricity, can run up to $140 for an individual and $213 for a family in Stockton.


Transportation expenses in Stockton are 31% higher than the national average. Here's a breakdown of costs:

  • Local transport ticket: $2.90
  • Monthly ticket for local transport: $35.10
  • Taxi ride (8 km or 5 miles): $22.70
  • Gas: As of June 2024, it's $4.64 per gallon

Food and Groceries

The cost of groceries in Stockton is about 17% higher than the national average. Here are some prices:


  • Milk: $1.27 per liter (about a quart)
  • Bread: $3.45 for 0.5 kg (about 1.1 lb)
  • Rice: $2.56 for 1 kg (about 2.2 lb)
  • Eggs: $5.14 per dozen

For Dining Out

  • A lunch menu will cost you around $19.70.
  • A dinner for two in a restaurant is approximately $55.40.
  • A fast meal (equivalent to McDonald's) costs about $10.60.

Other Expenses

Healthcare in Stockton is 6% higher than the national average. A routine doctor's visit can cost up to $124. For entertainment, a cinema ticket for one person costs around $13.60.

4 Tips to Save Money on Living Expenses in Stockton

Living in Stockton can be expensive, but there are ways to manage your costs effectively:

Utilize Public Transportation

Stockton has a public bus system, the San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD), to help reduce transportation costs. RTD offers affordable commuter services to cities near Stockton, CA, including the Bay Area and Sacramento.

Consider Affordable Housing Options

If you're looking for cheap housing in Stockton, California, consider budget-friendly neighborhoods like Weston Ranch or Conway Homes. Compared to central Stockton, these neighborhoods' median home prices can be up to 20% less expensive.

Shop Smart for Groceries

You can reduce your food expenses by shopping at discount grocery stores like WinCo Foods or Food 4 Less. These stores often offer prices up to 15% lower than traditional supermarkets. You can also buy in bulk and shop for groceries during sales to maximize savings.

Enjoy Free Local Activities

Stockton offers many free activities. Visit the Haggin Museum on the first Saturday of each month for free admission, or explore the natural beauty of Oak Grove Regional Park. You can also attend community events at Weber Point Events Center, many of which are accessible to the public.

Bottom Line

Stockton's cost of living is 19% higher than the national average, with housing, utilities, and transportation being the major expenses. While the median home price is $444K and the average rent is $1,629, certain neighborhoods have more affordable options.

Despite the higher cost of living, here are ways to manage expenses. Utilize public transportation, shop smart for groceries, and take advantage of free local activities. With careful planning and budgeting, you can live comfortably in Stockton.


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