The reports are based on data from the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index which measure prices for housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods and services.
Topping the list of most expensive cities in the U.S. is New York City, where the cost of living can be as high as 120.4% above average if you want to live Manhattan. Even out in Brooklyn and Queens, you’re still facing costs of living at 75.1% and 52% above the national average.
Overall, the median home value in NYC is $501,500, but the median household income is only $51,856. Considering it’s almost impossible to buy a home in the Big Apple without putting 20% down, that means you’d need more than $100,000 just to start climbing the property ladder. That’s why many NYC residents have no choice but to be lifelong renters.
New York may top the list of most expensive places to live when all things are considered, but it’s median home value is lower in comparison to that of four other expensive cities – San Francisco, San Jose, Honolulu and Stamford, CT. Still, consumers of those cities would need to fork over nearly 10 times their annual household income to purchase a home.
If spending that type of cash doesn’t fit your lifestyle, there are plenty of places to lay your head across the country.
Harlingen, Texas, comes in as the cheapest U.S. city in which consumers can live, and compared to Manhattan, it’s quite a steal. With a cost of living 18.4% lower than the national average and a population of just more than 65,000, consumers might find a comfortable living situation.
The median income in the city comes in at $34,096 and you’d only have to spend a little more than two times that amount to reach the median home value of $77,700.
The list of least expensive cities to live in comes with several enviable traits. Consumers in most cities would only have to spend just four or five times their income to purchase a home of median value in their cities.
Additionally, Norman, OK, may be the third cheapest city to live in, but its median household income of $48,248 only a few thousand dollars shy of that in NYC, Boston, Oakland, and Los Angeles, which appear on the list of most expensive cities in the nation.
So what do all these numbers tell us? That no matter where you chose to live, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny.
Most Expensive U.S. Cities to Live In [Kiplinger]
10 Cheapest U.S. Cities to Live In [Kiplinger]