Study finds household bills are high in county

Average Island County residents have among the highest household bills in the state.

Average Island County residents have among the highest household bills in the state, according to an analysis by a company that provides an online payment service.

The State by State Bill Pay Market Report by Doxo also found that Oak Harbor residents pay, on average, a whopping 53% of their income on household bills, which includes mortgage or rent, auto insurance and loans, utilities, cell phones, cable or satellite service, health insurance, life insurance and security services.

The company analyzed household bills across the nation. It found that Island County residents pay an average of $2,614 a month in bills or $31,364 a year, which is 27.7% higher than the national average. Only King and Snohomish counties have higher average bills in the state.

The report finds that Island County residents pay significantly more in mortgage and rent, auto insurance, mobile phones, security service and cable and internet bills than the national average.

The average monthly cable and internet bill in Island County is $226 while the national average is $118. Auto insurance bills are also nearly three times the national average in Island County. The only category that Island County is below the national average is in monthly utilities, which is $298 in Island County and $351 in the nation. That’s largely due to relatively inexpensive energy.

The company’s report on the average mortgage bill states that the average monthly mortgage bill in the U.S. is $1,321 and in Island County it is $1,790. Other sources, including lenders, cite much larger average mortgage prices. The U.S. Census report states that the median housing payment is a more accurate indicator. In 2021, the median monthly owner cost was $1,697.

The company, Doxo, claims its proprietary and comprehensive dataset is based on actual bill payments across 97% of U.S. zip codes and 45 bill pay service categories and that it “enables precision much greater than typical survey-based estimates of market size and consumer spend.”

A separate report by the company found that 73% of its customers say that inflation is impacting their ability to pay bills while 86% of consumers said they are worried about the impact that inflation will have on their financial health in the future.