The cost of living in Delaware County exceeds that of Philadelphia but is less than the cost in neighboring Chester and Montgomery counties.
That is according to the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator, which shows what’s required for families to attain an adequate – but modest – standard of living in communities throughout the country.
A family of two adults and two children in Delaware County needs to earn a combined $93,136 per year, or $7,761 a month, to meet that standard.
Chester County has the highest cost of living in southeastern Pennsylvania, as families of the same size must earn $104,775 per year, or $8,731 a month. In Montgomery County, that figure is $100,041, while in Philadelphia, it is $84,901.
The Family Budget Calculator takes into account geographic differences in cost of living and factors in a broader range of expenses – including housing, food, transportation, childcare, healthcare, and other basic necessities.
“Our Family Budget Calculator goes beyond traditional measures like the poverty line to paint a detailed picture of what families need to get by,” said EPI Senior Economist Elise Gould. “It is, above all else, a tool for policymakers to advocate for ways to raise wages and make their communities more affordable.”
“It’s clear from our analysis that, even in less-expensive areas, many families will struggle to meet their basic needs,” said research assistant Zane Mokhiber. “The good news is we have many different ways to remedy this, from a higher minimum wage to ambitious childcare reform. Policymakers should draw on a range of tools to help people meet the needs laid out in the Family Budget Calculator.”