How many turkey dinners does it take to pay rent in Chicago?

It’s that time of year again!

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, we at Apartment List are excited for the upcoming celebrations: family time, TV, and turkey (lots of it)! Which made us wonder – how much would rent cost in Chicago if we paid with Thanksgiving dinners? Lo and behold, we present the 2015 Apartment List Turkey Index!

Methodology

To create the index, we used two data points: the median price of a two-bedroom apartment and the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner in each city. The rental data was pulled from hundreds of thousands of listings from our website.

For the Thanksgiving dinner, we used the average prices of a Thanksgiving dinner ($50.70 when you include turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pie), and adjusted the prices for each city using the grocery component of a cost of living index. Finally, we divided the two-bedroom price by the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner to get the Turkey Index.

Dinners for Days

Looking at the data, we see that there is substantial variation in turkey dinner rents across cities in the United States. It takes Chicago renters roughly 26.5 Thanksgiving dinners to make one month of rent, with Minneapolis (26), Nashville (24.5), Pittsburgh (23), and San Antonio (22) all coming in nearby in turkey dinner terms.

In contrast, residents can expect to pay a whopping 57.5 dinners to their landlords in D.C. where skyrocketing rents have been outpacing income growth. Renters in other coastal cities struggle as well, with San Francisco (78), New York (49), Miami (48.5), and Boston (48) rounding out the top 5.

If you’re interested, we’re including data for 88 cities across the United States. Check out the table below to see how other cities compare– and have a great holiday celebration!

City Average Price of 2BR (October 2015) Turkey Dinner Index (2BR)
San Francisco, CA $4950 78
Washington, DC $3000 57.5
New York, NY $3500 49
Miami, FL $2680 48.5
Boston, MA $2550 48
Los Angeles, CA $2200 41
San Jose, CA $2500 41
New Orleans, LA $1800 35
San Diego, CA $1900 35
Dallas, TX $1750 34.5
Seattle, WA $2190 34
Fort Lauderdale, FL $1800 34
Portland, OR $1960 33
Austin, TX $1370 33
Denver, CO $1530 31
Houston, TX $1350 31
Atlanta, GA $1550 30.5
Chicago, IL $1590 26.5
Minneapolis, MN $1440 26
Nashville, TN $1170 24.5
Virginia Beach, VA $1100 23.5
Pittsburgh, PA $1160 23
San Antonio, TX $940 22
Durham, NC $1050 22
Corpus Christi, TX $910 21.5
Sacramento, CA $1250 21.5
Tacoma, WA $1050 21
Boise City, ID $830 21
St. Paul, MN $1100 20.5
Tampa, FL $1000 20.5
Manchester, NH $1160 20.5
Providence, RI $1200 20
Vancouver, WA $1050 20
Colorado Springs, CO $900 19.5
Anchorage, AK $1200 19.5
Fort Worth, TX $900 19.5
Salt Lake City, UT $900 19
Baltimore, MD $1170 18
Orlando, FL $1000 19
Philadelphia, PA $1050 18.5
Grand Rapids, MI $850 18.5
Raleigh, NC $930 18
Knoxville, TN $750 17.5
Omaha, NE $850 17.5
Norfolk, VA $830 17.5
Richmond, VA $810 17.5
Madison, WI $880 17
Albuquerque, NM $820 17
Charlotte, NC $910 17
Columbus, OH $800 17
Lexington, KY $790 17
Kansas City, MO $720 16.5
Baton Rouge, LA $840 16.5
Phoenix, AZ $800 16.5
Des Moines, IA $730 16
Spokane, WA $750 15.5
Fargo, ND $900 15.5
St. Louis, MO $840 15.5
Lincoln, NE $760 15.5
Tulsa, OK $750 15.5
Louisville, KY $700 15.5
Milwaukee, WI $800 15.5
Cincinnati, OH $680 15
Oklahoma City, OK $690 15
Jacksonville, FL $780 14.5
Bakersfield, CA $760 14.4
Tucson, AZ $700 14.4
Little Rock, AR $670 14.4
Winston-Salem, NC $700 14.4
Mobile, AL $730 14
El Paso, TX $750 14
Las Vegas, NV $850 14
Rochester, NY $680 14
Hartford, CT $900 13.5
Huntsville, AL $640 13.5
Reno, NV $750 13.5
Detroit, MI $600 13.5
Indianapolis, IN $630 13.5
Wichita, KS $600 13
Stockton, CA $780 13
Montgomery, AL $640 12.5
Memphis, TN $570 12.5
Birmingham, AL $650 12.5
Columbus, GA $630 12
Cleveland, OH $600 11
Fort Wayne, IN $500 10.5
Akron, OH $600 10

Andrew has lived in 13 different apartments in the past six years. He currently is a Manager of Growth Strategy at Apartment List, leading research on rental market trends and renter satisfaction. His interests include cycling, cooking and tennis.