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What Is the Cost of Living in Washington, DC?

What Is the Cost of Living in Washington, DC?

Washington, DC, is our nation’s capital, so it’s no surprise that it is one of the busiest cities in the country. It’s also one of the most populated metro areas in the U.S.

Washington, DC, is only 68 square miles, but there are nearly 700,000 people living in the actual District of Columbia. The metro area—known as the “DMV” for District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia—population is estimated to be over 6.3 million, which makes it the 6th-largest metro area in the U.S.

With the U.S. federal government located in Washington, DC, it’s not surprising that it is one of the busiest and most populated areas in the country. So, what is the cost of living in Washington, DC?

How Much Does It Cost To Live in Washington, DC?

The cost of living is the amount of money you’ll need to cover your basic expenses in a particular location during a certain period of time. These expenses usually include housing, food, transportation, healthcare, and taxes. The cost of living in a certain area can fluctuate between different time periods based on things like inflation. Usually, the more populated or isolated an area is, the higher its cost of living.

Just like in every other area in the country, the cost of living in DC will depend on your particular needs, choices, and spending habits. But on average, DC is one of the areas in the country with the highest cost of living at an average of $65,169 a year.

However, as mentioned, this cost of living will depend on whether you own a house or rent, if you have a vehicle, how often you eat out, and more. The cost of housing in DC is the single highest expense for those who live there, and the median gross rent is around $1,600

Even though DC has one of the highest costs of living in the country, there are ways to live in DC on a budget. A few of the best tips for making DC more affordable include not bringing a vehicle with you, taking advantage of free entertainment and experiences, avoiding eating out too often, and saving money on housing by co-living.

If you’re interested in moving to DC and are concerned about the cost of living, you’re in luck! There’s an option that can help you live in DC on a budget. At Thompson-Markward Hall (TMH), we’re a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote the academic and professional success of young women. TMH is in the heart of DC and offers safe, affordable, and convenient housing for women who are working, attending school, or interning in our nation’s capital. Visit our website to learn more about our accommodations or fill out an application today so you can start enjoying all of the benefits of co-living in DC!


Thompson-Markward Hall’s Impact

Thompson-Markward Hall (TMH) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the academic and professional success of young women. Located in the heart of Washington, DC, TMH offers safe, affordable, and convenient housing for women working, attending school, or interning in our nation’s capital. Included in the room and board rates are utilities, free high-speed Wi-Fi, breakfast and dinner, and a diverse, welcoming community.

In addition to offering a wonderful place to call home in DC, we provide useful information to residents and prospective applicants as a resource to help them become familiar with DC and be successful in all of their endeavors. Whether you’re currently looking for a place to stay in DC, planning for a potential future here, or simply looking to learn more about the DC area, TMH is here to help!

Learn more about our accommodations or to submit an application today to start enjoying all of the benefits of living at TMH! You can also make a donation to support the crucial work we do!

Resident Resources

Room and board is due on the first of every month. TMH does not issue payment notices. A $20.00 late fee is charged everyday beginning at 9:00 pm on the 5th day of the month until the room and board payment is received. If you are unable to make your monthly payment for any reason, please speak to management immediately.

Room and board includes the first day of the month until the morning of the last day of the month or until the morning of the day of check-out, whichever day comes first.

In the event that a resident does not stay the entire month, rent will be prorated within the same month. To view the pro-rated fee schedule and a list of other fees—click here: TMH Pro-Rated Fee Schedule 6-1-2022


Each resident is asked to abide by the TMH House Rules and Regulations stipulated here: House Rules and ProceduresRule-packet-Emergency-Procedures-Updated-12-2019. Please read this document to become familiar with TMH policies and procedures such as guest policies, meal times, smoking areas, printer and copier use, Internet and telephone use, damage charges, and much more.

Monday-Friday hours / breakfast 7:00am-9:30am dinner 5:45pm – 8:00pm sat hours / breakfast 8:00 – 11:00am sun hours / brunch 8:00 – 11:00am dinner 5:00pm-7:00pm

Weekly Menu

Commuting: Metro stops within walking distance are Union Station, Capitol South, and Eastern Market. Refillable SMARTRIP cards are available for purchase at all metro stops. For more information on public transportation visit WMATA.

Parking: TMH does not offer parking and street parking is limited. Most areas offer 2 hour parking from 7:00am-8:30pm and unlimited overnight parking without a permit. However, if you do not have a Residential Parking Permit and your car is seen in the area repeatedly within a 30-day period you may be ticketed for not obtaining proper tags.

Union Station is the nearest public parking garage. There is generally a wait list for obtaining a parking space. Click here to visit their website to obtain up-to-date information.

Temporary Parking Permits: DC offers Reciprocity Parking Permits in special situations. Click here to see if you qualify. If you meet the requirements, you can obtain a Proof of Residency form from the front office.

Registering Your Vehicle in DC: If you do not meet the requirements for a temporary parking permit, you may choose to register your vehicle in DC. Click here for specific instructions.

Other Transportation Information:

  • Voting: To become a registered voter in the DC area, visit the Board of Elections & Ethics. Please note that you must unregister from your current voting state in order to register as a voter in DC.
  • DC One Card: DC has a new initiative to incorporate multiple cards into one all-inclusive card. The DCOne Card is a library card, Metro card, and can grant access to Public Parks programs. Click here to register or get more information.
  • DC Plastic Bag Policy: Washington DC’s Skip the Bag, Save the River Initiative requires a $0.05 fee per bag from businesses selling food and alcohol. Be sure to take reusable bags with you to the grocery store to avoid the fee.
  • DC Emergency Alerts: The DC Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Response has an alert system to notify residents of severe weather, police activity, road closures, and school and government closings. Notifications can be received via email or text message and can be specified to neighborhoods or work areas. For text alerts sign up here.
  • DC Metropolitan Police Resources: DC Metro PD offers several resources as well as an anonymous tip line for security concerns. You can find the tip line number as well as other important emergency phone numbers here.