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The Most Expensive Cities To Live In

The Most Expensive Cities To Live In

It seems like the cost of living raises every year. Many people move to their dream cities but are forced to move shortly after due to how expensive it is to live there. Some cities are much more expensive than others. Here are some of the most expensive U.S. cities to live in.

1. New York City, New York

NYC has the highest cost of living in the United States. It is actually ranked the 9th most expensive city in the world. here is 120% higher than the national average. The average cost of a home in New York City is around $501,000 while the national average is only around $200,000!

New York City is made up of 5 burrows, all of which have very high living costs of living. The most expensive burrow is Manhattan. The average cost to rent an apartment in Manhattan is 4,888 a month. A 3 bedroom luxury apartment in Dallas, Texas cost less than half of that! Many homes in Manhattan are worth more than $1 million dollars.

Rent is not the only thing sky-high in New York City. Everything from groceries to movie tickets will cost you way more than most U.S cities. Manhattan residents pay nearly 40% more for groceries and 27% more for public transportation. What is truly shocking is movie tickets are nearly 60% more than the national average. With the high cost of living and the 8.3 million people living in New York City, you might want to rethink moving there.

The Most Expensive Cities To Live In

2. San Francisco, California

California has had a reputation for being extremely expensive. Of all the costly cities in the sunshine state, San Francisco exceeds all of them. The cost of living here is 96% higher than the U.S average. Homes in San Francisco cost anywhere from 820,000 to 1.2 million on average! This causes San Francisco to have the highest median home value in the United States.

Renting an apartment in San Francisco will still cost you a pretty penny. The average cost to rent an apartment in about $3,820 a month. This is 3.5 times higher than the national average. It has been said that you need to make over $119,000 a year if you plan on living comfortably in San Francisco.

One of the reasons San Francisco is so expensive is the rapid growth and giant tech boom the city has experienced in recent years. Although many of the city’s residents have well-paying jobs, many are being forced to move out due to the high cost of living. San Francisco has become more iconic for being extremely expensive rather than its flushing hippie movement the city was known for in the 1960s.

The Most Expensive Cities To Live In

3. Honolulu, Hawaii

If you want to live in paradise, you got to pay the price. Honolulu has the third-highest cost of living in the United States. It is nearly 90% more expensive than the national average. While the average home value is still insanely high at $661,300, it is not the only reason is the 3ed most expensive city to live in.

Since Honolulu is so remote, almost off of their goods are sent over from the mainland United States. This makes the price for things like groceries and gas skyrocket. A tuna cost up to 40% more on average. Even eggs and bananas are twice as expensive in Honolulu than in other states. Utilities cost around 71% more than the national average as well. Energy and gas prices alone are 36% higher than in the continental U.S. If you plan on moving to Honolulu, be prepared to pay top dollar on pretty much everything.

The Most Expensive Cities To Live In

4. Boston

While the median home value is not as high as many of the other cities on this list, being $374,000 to $594,000 on average, Boston has other factors that make the cost of living very high. The city has a large tech industry that can even compete with Silicon Valley as well as many great colleges and historical landmarks. These factors cause many people to move and visit the city which can raise the cost of living.

 The cost of health care and groceries in Boston is 20% more than the national average. This spike in goods replaces the high cost of renting or buying houses/apartments. According to, “it takes approximately $84,000 to live well [in Boston].” While living in Boston might not be nearly as expensive as many big Northwestern cities, it is still worth mentioning.

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The Most Expensive Cities To Live In

5. Washington, D.C.

Housing expenses such as mortgages and rent in Washington D.C. cause the city to make this list. According to, “rents and mortgages are by far the most burdensome at 2.7 times the national average.” The average home values in D.C. are somewhere between $443,000 and $537,400 which is more than double the national average.

Washington D.C. does have some upsides to it. Apparently, the health-care costs in the city are lower than the U.S median and much of the public transportation is very cheap if not free. Many of the cities historical sights and museums are also free. That being said, it still will cost you around $83,000 dollars a year to live well in Washington, D.C.

The Most Expensive Cities To Live In

6. Oakland, California

Surprise, Surprise, another California city is ranked for being one of the most expensive cities to live in. While it doesn’t cost as much to live in Oakland than its neighboring city of San Francisco, that doesn’t mean it is cheap (it is California after all). The median home values in Oakland are almost 3 times higher than the United States average and the renting cost is about double compared to other U.S cities.

This, much like San Francisco, has to do with the huge tech industry in the area. Oakland residents make about $5,600 more a year than the U.S average but still can’t afford the outrageous living expenses. What is worse is Oakland’s home prices are estimated to go up in the next year or 2.

The Most Expensive Cities To Live In

Living in big cities always costs more than in rural areas but some are way more expensive than others. Keep in mind the numbers and averages used in this list are due to change over time so nothing on this list is set in stone. Many of the bigger cities in California are expected to rise over time so many of them will surpass some of the cities listed here. Feel free to share some more expensive cities in the comments below.

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