The salary you need to comfortably afford rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the 25 largest US cities, ranked

Pius Lee/ShutterstockFour cities in California made the list.

  • SmartAsset found what income is needed to comfortably afford rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the 25 largest US cities.
  • The study calculated how much a renter would need to earn to spend no more than 28% of their annual income on rent.
  • In eight cities, renters need to earn more than $US100,000.

Rent for the average two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco, California, is more than double the cost of rent in Denver, Colorado.

It’s clear that depending on where in the United States you live, rent may take up a larger portion of your income.

SmartAsset found what income you need to comfortably afford the rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the 25 largest cities, by population, across the country.

Comfortably, in this case, means spending no more than 28% of your annual salary on rent. The data on average two-bedroom apartment costs came from Zillow and is from April 2019.

Read more: Here’s how much it costs to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the 49 largest US cities

To be clear, 28% is just a benchmark and is actually lower than the 30% budget many experts recommend. In some cities with expensive housing markets, that figure can be unavoidably higher – though you can cut costs by pairing up with a roommate and splitting the rent.

Keep reading to see how much a two-bedroom apartment costs in the 25 largest US cities, ranked from the lowest to the highest annual income you’ll need (before taxes) to comfortably afford that rent in each.


25. Memphis, Tennessee

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Average two-bedroom rent: $US814

Annual income needed: $US34,886


24. Detroit, Michigan

Kemboslice/Shutterstock

Average two-bedroom rent: $US831

Annual income needed: $US35,614


23. El Paso, Texas

cht725/Shutterstock

Average two-bedroom rent: $US875

Annual income needed: $US37,500


22. Indianapolis, Indiana

Average two-bedroom rent: $US915

Annual income needed: $US39,214


21. Columbus, Ohio

f11photo/Shutterstock

Average two-bedroom rent: $US1,050

Annual income needed: $US45,000


20. San Antonio, Texas

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Average two-bedroom rent: $US1,229

Annual income needed: $US52,671


19. Phoenix, Arizona

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Average two-bedroom rent: $US1,250

Annual income needed: $US53,571


18. Jacksonville, Florida

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Average two-bedroom rent: $US1,279

Annual income needed: $US54,793


17. Nashville, Tennessee

f11photo/Shutterstock

Average two-bedroom rent: $US1,500

Annual income needed: $US64,286


16. Houston, Texas

f11photo/Shutterstock

Average two-bedroom rent: $US1,525

Annual income needed: $US65,357


15. Charlotte, North Carolina

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Average two-bedroom rent: $US1,526

Annual income needed: $US65,400


14. Fort Worth, Texas

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Average two-bedroom rent: $US1,600

Annual income needed: $US68,571


T14. Austin, Texas

f11photo/Shutterstock

Average two-bedroom rent: $US1,600

Annual income needed: $US68,571


12. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Average two-bedroom rent: $US1,691

Annual income needed: $US72,450


11. Dallas, Texas

Average two-bedroom rent: $US1,850

Annual income needed: $US79,286


10. Chicago, Illinois

Average two-bedroom rent: $US1,895

Annual income needed: $US81,214


9. Denver, Colorado

EdgeOfReason/Shutterstock

Average two-bedroom rent: $US2,151

Annual income needed: $US92,164


8. San Diego, California

Average two-bedroom rent: $US2,477

Annual income needed: $US106,136


7. Boston, Massachusetts

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Average two-bedroom rent: $US2,500

Annual income needed: $US107,143


6. Seattle, Washington

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Average two-bedroom rent: $US2,753

Annual income needed: $US117,986


5. Los Angeles, California

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Average two-bedroom rent: $US3,000

Annual income needed: $US128,571


4. San Jose, California

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Average two-bedroom rent: $US3,088

Annual income needed: $US132,343


3. Washington, DC

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Average two-bedroom rent: $US3,100

Annual income needed: $US132,857


2. New York, New York (Manhattan only)

Average two-bedroom rent (Manhattan only): $US3,800

Annual income needed: $US162,857


1. San Francisco, California

Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock

Average two-bedroom rent: $US4,593

Annual income needed: $US196,843

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