Laurel, Maryland, a charming city nestled between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, offers residents a unique blend of historic allure and modern convenience. Founded as a mill town in the early 19th century, Laurel has evolved into a vibrant community with a rich history evident in its preserved Main Street and historic sites. Today, living in Laurel, Maryland, combines the tranquillity of suburban life with the perks of city living, making it an appealing choice for many.

General Cost of Living in Laurel, MD

The general cost of living in Laurel, MD, is notably higher than both the Maryland and national averages. This is primarily driven by housing costs, which are significantly elevated in the area. According to the most recent data, the cost of living in Laurel is about 25% higher than the national average, with housing costs being 58% higher than the national standard. 

The median home price in Laurel stands at approximately $547,550, and the average rent for a two-bedroom home is around $2,451, which is 66% more than the average rent across the US.

Apart from housing, other living costs in Laurel, such as utilities, transportation, and healthcare, also contribute to its overall cost profile. The area benefits from relatively competitive healthcare costs, which are about 7.6% lower than the national average. 

However, transportation expenses are slightly above the national average by about 6%. These figures illustrate a mixed economic landscape where, despite higher housing costs, certain living expenses like healthcare are more manageable. 

The detailed breakdowns and comparisons indicate that while Laurel offers a range of amenities and proximity to major cities, these benefits come with a corresponding increase in living costs.

Housing Costs in Laurel, MD

The housing market in Laurel, MD, has shown a robust increase in home values over the past year, indicative of a high demand in the area. As of early 2024, the median home price in Laurel was reported to be around $495,000, which represents an 8.8% increase from the previous year. 

This trend reflects a competitive market where homes often sell quickly, typically within about 19 to 32 days after listing. For those interested in renting rather than buying, the median rent for a home in Laurel is approximately $2,286, slightly fluctuating over the past year, showing a stable rental market.

These housing costs contribute significantly to the overall cost of living in Laurel, which is about 20.8% higher than the U.S. average and slightly higher than the Maryland average. 

While the prices for homes may seem steep compared to the national average, they are somewhat aligned with the high-demand real estate markets typical of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area. 

Potential homebuyers and renters should be prepared for a competitive market, emphasizing the need for timely decisions when engaging in property transactions in Laurel.

Utility and Grocery Costs

In Laurel, MD, utility and grocery costs are significant components of the overall cost of living. For utilities, residents face various expenses, including electricity and natural gas. The average monthly electricity bill in Laurel is about $208, with rates around 16 ¢/kWh, which is slightly lower than the Maryland average but higher than many other places in the U.S. 

Additionally, residential natural gas prices have seen a decrease over the past year, with current rates around $14.52 per Mcf, which is still higher than the national average.

Grocery expenses in Laurel can vary, but the average cost for a two-person household ranges from $510 to $820 per month. This range reflects a moderate lifestyle and includes all typical grocery items one might expect to purchase regularly. This estimated cost helps residents of Laurel budget for their monthly food expenses, contributing to the broader context of living costs in the area.

Transportation Expenses

Transportation expenses in Laurel, MD, encompass a variety of costs including gas prices, auto insurance premiums, and the overall burden of commuting. As of recent reports, the average gas price in Laurel is approximately $2.69 per gallon, which is slightly above the national average. 

Additionally, annual auto insurance costs average around $1,533, closely aligning with the national average but still representing a significant annual expense for residents.

The city’s transportation infrastructure supports both private and public commuting options, but residents face considerable commute times, averaging about 34.2 minutes. This is higher than many other areas, reflecting the city’s position within the busy Washington D.C. metropolitan area. 

Moreover, approximately 4.5% of commuters in Laurel spend over 90 minutes commuting, a rate significantly higher than the national average. These factors collectively contribute to the city’s high transportation cost index, which is notably higher than the U.S. average.

For those planning a move to Laurel, MD, considering the use of a moving company can significantly ease the transition. Professional movers in Laurel, MD, can handle the transportation of belongings efficiently, reducing the stress of moving. 

Additionally, such companies are familiar with the area and can provide valuable insights and assistance in getting to know the city better. The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) also supports seamless travel within the state with its all-electronic tolling system, which helps in reducing travel time and congestion.

Healthcare Costs

Healthcare costs in Laurel, MD, and across the United States have been experiencing an upward trend. In 2023, it was estimated that the cost of healthcare would rise by approximately 5.6%, which is reflective of ongoing economic pressures such as inflation and rising costs in healthcare delivery. 

This increase affects both individual and family healthcare plans. For instance, a family of four covered under an employer-sponsored preferred provider organization (PPO) plan might see their annual healthcare costs increase to around $31,065.

The cost increases in Laurel are consistent with national trends where healthcare expenditures continue to grow year-over-year. In Laurel, as well as across the state of Maryland, healthcare access and affordability also play significant roles in the overall cost of living. 

Maryland, for example, ranks tenth among all states in the U.S. for healthcare access and affordability. This ranking considers factors such as insurance coverage rates, the cost of medical services, and the accessibility of healthcare providers. 

The costs associated with healthcare encompass various services including inpatient and outpatient care, professional services, pharmacy needs, and more. Each of these categories has seen different rates of cost increases.

Is Laurel, MD Expensive?

Living in Laurel, MD, is considered more expensive than the average U.S. city, with costs running about 20.8% higher than the national average. This elevated cost of living is primarily due to higher housing expenses, which are about 22.4% above the national average. 

For instance, the typical home cost in Laurel is estimated at $413,800, and renting a two-bedroom unit averages around $1,760 per month.

In terms of income needed to live comfortably in Laurel, estimates suggest that a family would need a minimum annual income of around $79,200, while a single person would need about $62,000. 

This reflects the higher cost of essential expenses in the area, including housing, food, and transportation. The living wage for a single adult without children is approximately $51,460 before taxes, emphasizing the need for a substantial income to manage living costs effectively in Laurel.


In conclusion, living in Laurel, MD offers a high quality of life with its rich history, strategic location, and range of amenities. However, the cost of living in Laurel, MD is relatively high, especially for housing. Individuals and families considering this city should plan their budgets accordingly to ensure they can enjoy all that Laurel has to offer while managing their living expenses effectively.