Updated: May 2023

Visitors to the islands of Guam, Hawaii, French Polynesia, or the Caribbean may have noticed a few commonalities between these far-flung locations. Island life is gorgeous . . . and expensive. (Often breathtakingly so—on both accounts!) Many islands import almost everything, which means higher costs in nearly every aspect of island life.

If you’re considering a move to Guam, you may wonder what the cost of living is like. To help you put together a budget, we’ll walk you through several different categories of expenses—housing, utilities, food, gasoline, entertainment, and more. These numbers will give you a good barometer for what to expect when you make the move to Guam.

We’ll start by discussing Guam’s cost of living in broad terms. Then we’ll break it down into specific categories.

Guam’s Overall Cost of Living: What’s the Deal?

Precise and accurate cost of living data can be hard to come by. One simple standard measurement we can use to compare the cost of living on Guam to other locations is the U.S. military’s cost-of-living allowance (COLA).

What is COLA?

COLA is a paycheck supplement offered to servicemembers stationed in higher cost of living areas. The allowance was designed to offset the cost of goods and services to equalize the buying power of servicemembers, no matter where they’re stationed. The U.S. military calculates COLA using both survey data from servicemembers, as well as the prices of a “market basket” of ~120 goods and services.

By looking at COLA data, we can see the differences in overall costs of living, based on the results of the U.S. military’s research.


  • COLA does not include housing costs, so those will need to be taken into account separately. (More on that topic below!)
  • COLA is not a fixed number. It’s constantly re-evaluated, so this data is subject to changing market conditions

Guam’s Cost of Living as Compared to Other U.S. Destinations

First, let’s take a look at how Guam compares to what the military calls OCONUS—outside of the continental U.S.

Now that you’ve gotten a sense for how Guam compares to other destinations overall, let’s break it all down into expense categories, starting with your most basic needs.

How Much Is Housing on Guam?

As we mentioned above, the cost of housing isn’t factored into the U.S. military’s COLA calculations, so you’ll need to evaluate this piece separately.

In terms of housing prices, Guam is similar to many other places: The cost of housing will vary depending on the location you choose, as well as the available amenities. On a budget? Read more about the most affordable places on Guam.

For Renters

Malesso’ (formerly Merizo), Hågat (formerly Agat), Agaña Heights, and Dededo offer the cheapest gross rents on Guam. Sånta Rita-Sumai, Chalan Pago-Ordot, Yona, and Piti offer the most expensive.

Median Gross Rents on Guam




Overall, here’s the range you’ll be looking at when it comes to renting apartments on Guam:

  • 1 BR – Varies from $800 to $1,200 to $1,500
  • 2 BR – Can range from $900 all the way to $1,200 to $2,500

For Buyers

You’ll find the most affordable homes in Hågat, Malesso’, Dededo, and Inalåhan (formerly Inarajan). The most expensive properties are in Sinajana, Asan-Maina, Barrigada, and Piti.

Average Value of Owner-Occupied Units on Guam




Housing data courtesy of the United States Census 2020. Excludes military housing units.

If you’re in the market to buy, check out the current real estate for sale in Guam on Realtor.com. The listings will give you another perspective on the market, including what’s available and how much you can expect to spend. Next, let’s talk about the costs for living comfortably in your home on Guam.

How Much Are Utilities on Guam?

Utilities are notoriously expensive at many island destinations—especially when you’re talking about power. Let’s take a look at how Guam measures up.

Electricity Rates on Guam

Like many islands, Guam’s power plants run on imported petroleum products. This contributes significantly to the cost of electricity on the island. In fact, rates on Guam are usually around twice the U.S. average, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

As of May 2023, and including current fuel surcharges, electricity on Guam costs 41.6 cents/kWh.

Surprisingly, Guam isn’t the most expensive destination for power in the U.S. You’d think Guam’s power rates would be comparable with Hawaii, which consistently has the highest electricity costs in the nation. However, Hawaii charges higher rates than Guam. In February 2023, the average residential rate in Hawaii was 44.24 cents/kWh. Energy Costs: Guam vs. Hawaii

41.6 cents/kWh

44.2 cents/kWh

The cost of electricity on Guam has risen steadily over the last two years, largely due to global fuel costs. The Guam Bureau of Statistics and Plans recorded a 24.7% increase in energy costs between the first quarters of 2022 and 2023.

Fuel costs are expected to come down in coming months, which will lower the cost for electricity as well. The Guam Power Authority is also making strides in terms of renewable energy sources, which could deliver some relief down the road.

The ultimate question, of course, comes down to usage. If you’re someone who runs the A/C all the time, year-round, you’ll likely see a pretty big bill each month in Guam.

Looking for an All-In Cost for Utilities on Guam?

According to the Guam Chamber of Commerce, basic utilities for two people in a 900-square-foot apartment will run about $350/month.

Next, let’s cover another basic necessity: groceries on Guam.

How Much Does Food Cost on Guam?

Since almost everything has to be imported, food costs are higher on Guam than in the continental U.S. (Just take a look at the cost of a gallon of milk below!)

However, we said “almost everything!” You will find fresh produce grown on Guam, and it can often be cheaper than what you’ll find in the grocery store.

If you’re moving from the mainland, some of the fruits and vegetables may not look familiar to you. If that’s the case, head to a farmer’s market and talk to the produce vendors. They’ll be happy to introduce you to some of the less-familiar produce that flourishes on Guam. Bitter melon, okra, Chinese cabbage, and jackfruit come to mind.

Popular Farmer’s Markets on Guam

  • Wednesday Night Market at Chamorro Village
  • Farmers Co-Op Market in Dededo
  • Dededo Flea Market on Saturdays and Sundays
  • Farm to Table Guam has also started a CSA Subscription Program

Even if you frequent farmer’s markets, you’ll still need to shop at our local grocery stores. Let’s do a quick run-down of the prices you’ll see, so you can compare them to the prices in your local grocery store.

Grocery Store Prices on Guam


(Source: Pay-Less Supermarket)

Finally, now that we’ve covered your basic needs, let’s take a look at the fun side of Guam.

How Much Do Restaurants, Movies, and Other Entertainment Options Cost on Guam?

If you’re on a budget, remember that Guam’s beautiful beaches are free. Pack a cooler and a chair, and you’ve got a cheap and memorable way to spend the day on gorgeous Guam. The same is also true for boonie-stomping. (That’s what we call hiking here on Guam!)

Practically, the only thing that these adventures will cost you is the gas to get you there.

Gasoline Costs on Guam

The price of gas on Guam often hovers between $1.20 and $1.60 more per gallon than the national average.

2022 Gasoline Prices: Regular Fuel

U.S. Average

per gallon



per gallon


(Sources: 1, 2)

For those used to cheaper gas prices—Texas residents, for example—the prices on Guam can create some serious sticker shock. (Note: If you’re a member of the U.S. military with commissary and exchange privileges, you’ll have access to the cheapest gasoline on island on base!)

However, if you live in a state with hefty gas taxes, the price of gas on Guam might feel comparable. California, for example, often posts retail gas prices higher than those in Guam.

Next, let’s talk about how much a meal out (or a whole night out!) will cost you.

Restaurants on Guam

If you’ve ever lived in a tourism destination, you probably already know this. However, we figured it can’t hurt to remind you: Food outlets on resorts serve some of the most expensive food on Guam.

Outside the resort areas, you’ll find more budget-friendly restaurants. As a result, you’ll see some pretty wide ranges for meal costs below. However, these can give you an idea of both the fancy and budget-friendly options you’ll find on Guam.

Average Sit-Down Prices for Guam Restaurants

Lunch entrée


Dinner entrée

Movies on Guam

Finally, if you’re a fan of seeing movies in the theater, you’ll find Guam’s prices for the movies pretty comparable to those within the continental U.S.:

Evening Movie Prices on Guam

Adult Ticket

Senior Ticket

Child Ticket

If you were born and raised on the U.S. mainland, living in a far-flung destination like Guam can sometimes come with a little homesickness. There’s no better cure than an evening at the movies! Plus, you can rest easy knowing it won’t cost you much more than your friends in the continental U.S.

Recent Changes in Guam’s Cost of Living

As with many places around the globe, the cost of living on Guam has risen over the last year. Guam’s Bureau of Statistics tracks these changes over time through their Consumer Price Index, which measures the costs of a market basket of consumer goods and services. Below, we’ve displayed data comparing prices in 2023 to prices from 2022. These figures will give you a sense of how costs have risen on the island in the course of a year.

Changes in Guam’s Consumer Price Index
2022 vs. 2023

Category Percentage Change
All items 13.8%
Food 10.7%
Energy 24.7%
Housing 25.6%
Apparel & Upkeep 7.3%
Transportation 2.4%
Medical Care 14.4%



As you can see, the cost of living on Guam has risen across the board over the last year. If you haven’t lived on Guam for a few years and you’re considering a return, you may have to adjust your expectations where cost of living is concerned.

Ready to Make the Move to Guam?

Now that you’ve got the goods on the cost of living on Guam, are you ready to take the plunge? Or do you still have some more research to do?

If you want to know more about the day-to-day on Guam, check out our Insider’s Guide to Living on Guam. We’ll answer any lingering questions you might have about the transition. We’ll also give you some additional insider info on where to live, work, and have fun on the island.

If you’re ready to relocate, we’d be happy to help you make the move! Just reach out to our Tamuning-based team for a complimentary quote for your Guam relocation. We’ve helped families and individuals move to Guam both from the U.S. and abroad, and we’d love to assist you.


Tell us about your move!