The 10 Most Expensive Cities In The USA To Live In

Looking to pack up and move to a new place? While these 10 cities might be filled with cultural and entertainment opportunities but living in them isn’t cheap. Every year, The Cost of Living Quarterly Index measures living expenses across different cities in the United States and releases their findings.

Their index takes into consideration six different components – housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. 

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These 10 cities certainly require their inhabitants to open their wallets and get used to spending a lot more on everyday goods and necessities. Scroll down to check out the 10 most expensive cities in the US.

10 New York (Queens), NY

New York makes its first appearance on this list with the borough of Queens. Queens is one of the largest boroughs of New York City, and its Citi Arena hosts the U.S Open, the biggest tennis competition on US soil.

Queens’ population is shrinking. Last year, tens of thousands of Queens inhabitants left their homes in search of new accommodation. Perhaps one of the reasons why so many are fleeing Queens is the astronomical price of living.

While some homes in Queens might still be affordable to those making an average income, new luxury apartments are attracting richer clientele and driving up prices all across this New York neighborhood.

9 Boston, MA

Boston, Mass. is home to some of the nation’s most historic sites. Visitors and residents can stroll through downtown Boston on the freedom trail, and see some of the most significant historical locations in America. Also, some of America’s founding fathers— Samuel Adams and Paul Revere to name just two— are buried in also Boston’s graveyards. However, Boston's one of the most expensive cities in the US.

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The ever-present student population doesn’t help the situation. With over 30 universities and colleges in its area, the constant demand for student housing pushes up the cost of living for all Bostonians.

8 Arlington, VA

While Arlington, Virginia might be situated on the southwestern bank of the Potomac River right across from the District of Columbia, it shares the capital’s sky-high prices.

Arlington is perhaps best known for the Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of national military heroes like John F Kennedy and Anita Newcomb McGee, the first female surgeon in the US Army.

7 Seattle, WA

Living in Seattle, Washington has lots of perks. This city is home to the iconic Space Needle, the Seattle Fish Market, and is the choice location of many tech hubs. There’s also natural beauty abound - situated right in the Puget Sound, Seattle boasts wonderful access to parkland and is framed by greens.

However, living in this beautiful city is expensive. In fact, Seattle is the most expensive city for renters outside of California.

6 Oakland, CA

Situated right across the bay from San Francisco, the city of Oakland is also known for its diverse population, tolerant and progressive community, and vibrant cultural life. And, also like San Francisco, Oakland is seriously expensive. The average rent in Oakland comes in at $2854.

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Like many cities on this list, many low-income inhabitants are being priced out of Oakland. However, perhaps there’s help on the way. The city has planned to put up more units of housing to try to alleviate the city’s affordability problem.

5 Washington, DC

The capital of the United States is also one of the most expensive cities to live in. While DC is known as a political metropolis with a culture of competition, residents also praise its small-town feel. DC’s skyline is heavily controlled by zoning laws and each neighborhood has a distinctive flavor.

However, while living in close proximity to the White House might thrill political junkies, it’s also expensive. With limited public transport, heavy traffic jams, and rent prices that continue to escalate, living in DC is no easy feat.

4 New York (Brooklyn), NY

Brooklyn, New York’s biggest borough has shifted a lot in the last thirty years. While affordable housing could once be found with ease, significant gentrification over a few decades has changed its fabric and affordability.

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Now, Brooklyn is known all over the country as the epicenter of hipster culture and has a reputation for thrift stores, coffee shops, and a high cost of living.

3 Honolulu, HI

Ready to move to paradise? If you want to hit the waves and lounge on the beaches of Hawaii’s capital, you need to be ready to pay a premium.

Driving up Honolulu’s cost of living is the high price of electricity and housing. However, despite its position as the third most expensive city to live in the US, it was also ranked as the most livable, thanks to its great education and infrastructure.

2 San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, the commercial and financial center of Northern California, and home to trendy stores and restaurants galore prides itself on its vibrant culture. However, this West Coast metropolis is also notoriously expensive.

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With lucrative tech jobs attracting newly graduated talent, some residents can afford the high rents. However, living in the second most expensive city in the US is still a stretch for many. Here's a statistic that illustrates how outrageously expensive San Francisco is-- an individual making $82,000 in San Francisco (that’s almost three times the national average wage!) would qualify as low-income.

1 New York (Manhattan), NY

It’s no surprise to see the Big Apple top the list of most expensive cities in the US. The isle of Manhattan, home to some of New York’s most recognizable spots like Central Park and Times Square, slides into first place. Average rent in Manhattan is a staggering $4222, a number three times the national average.

However, with world-class restaurants, some of the most famous museums in the world, and a wide selection of entertainment opportunities, it’s no wonder that people of all income levels decide to pay up to make Manhattan their home.

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