Cost of Living in Virgin Islands vs U.S. Mainland
The cost of living in the U.S. Virgin Islands is definitely higher than on the US mainland. Expect an increase from 15 to 50%, depending on your lifestyle. Everything you buy (food, clothing, cars, electronics, etc.) are not only imported, but are also brought to the islands in small quantities as compared to towns and cities in the states, and therefore more expensive (you could say that the islands lack wholesale purchasing power).
A typical trip to the grocery store costs about 30% more than it would in the states at a large chain store. St. Thomas has more bargain shopping options (K-Mart, discount clubs, large grocery stores, etc.) and residents on St. John typically make regular trips to St. Thomas to pick up bulk items more economically.
Real Estate prices are also higher compared to many stateside communities but the view is usually far superior! St. John is a great place to visit and a great place to live.