Ever wondered if the people in the next state over are paying the same price for milk that you are? Grocery prices in general have been rising nationwide and that includes the white stuff that’s been an American kitchen staple for generations.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the average price for a gallon of conventional whole milk is now $4.33, while the average cost for 2% milk is $4.28 per gallon. If you shop organic, you can expect to pay $9 a gallon for organic whole or reduced-fat 2% milk.
While these are average prices for the entire country, the cost of a gallon of milk can vary greatly depending on where you live.
To figure out the prices for various regions of the country, federal milk-order market administrators conduct a survey in selected cities or metropolitan areas one day every month. They check milk prices at the largest grocery chain, second-largest grocery chain and the largest dairy/convenience store chain in each city or metro area. The same stores are surveyed each month for consistency.
The prices are for the most common brand and don’t represent temporary special prices, discounts or coupons. Listed here were the average prices for whole milk in 30 U.S. cities in May 2022 based on the USDA’s Retail Milk Prices Report. They are listed in alphabetical order.
- Atlanta, Georgia: $3.78
- Baltimore, Maryland: $4.27
- Boston, Massachusetts: $3.83
- Chicago, Illinois: $4.44
- Cincinnati, Ohio: $3.41
- Cleveland, Ohio: $3.57
- Dallas, Texas: $3.68
- Denver, Colorado: $3.78
- Detroit, Michigan: $3.60
- Hartford, Connecticut: $4.19
- Houston, Texas: $3.96
- Indianapolis, Indiana: $3.42
- Kansas City, Missouri: $5.55
- Louisville, Kentucky: $2.49
- Miami, Florida: $4.15
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin: $4.43
- Minneapolis, Minnesota: $4.31
- New Orleans, Louisiana: $4.55
- New York, New York: $4.74
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: $3.82
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: $5.55
- Phoenix, Arizona: $3.34
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: $4.87
- Portland, Oregon: $3.54
- Sacramento, California: $4.50
- Seattle, Washington: $4.02
- St. Louis, Missouri: $4.01
- Syracuse, New York: $4.02
- Washington, D.C.: $4.60
- Wichita, Kansas: $3.16
People shopping in Kansas City and Philadelphia paid the highest prices for milk in May, at $5.55 a gallon each. Louisville’s average milk price was lowest, meanwhile, at $2.49. As you can see, that’s less than half the average price being paid in the most expensive areas.
Retail, credit card payment service. Customer paying for order of cheese in grocery shop.
The amount of milk Americans drink has declined over the past half-century. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average person consumes about 141 pounds of milk every year. In 1975, Americans consumed nearly 250 pounds of milk per year.
While consumption has decreased, that’s still an average of about 3/4 cup a day per person. For a family of four, that’s 564 pounds of milk per year. So that’s a little more than 65 gallons, which is more than a gallon a week.