Costliest us Cities

When looking for a new area to live, taking into account the cost of living within that area may be an important part of the decision making process. There are many lists that have been compiled that highlight the most expensive and the cheapest areas to live so that people can make an informed decision. These make interesting reading, although there are often discrepancies between one list and another.

The following information about the most expensive cities to live in in the US has been compiled using information drawn from research collected by the Council for Community and Economic Research and cited by Kiplinger. The data is from  several metropolitan areas across the US. Moreover, the research was used in a measurement index with an average score of 100 based on the cost of home prices, groceries, utilities and transportation and many other factors. To put the comparisons in to perspective, the average median income for a household in the US is listed as being $51,914 and the average median house price in the US is $283,529. The following were listed in this research as being the top ten most expensive cities to live in in the US.

New York

It will come as no surprise to the residents of this city that New York is ranked as the most expensive city in the US to live in. With an index score of 228.3 the median average house will cost the buyer a whopping $1.27 million in Manhattan, while the average household income for New York is $50,283. Almost everything in New York will cost more and groceries are often double the price of some of the cheapest areas to live in the US.

San Francisco

The second most expensive city to live in is San Francisco. The average house price stands at $809,667 and this is three times the national average. A typical income is $71,304 and the cost of living index is 166.5. On a positive note, the cost of wine is 15 percent lower in California than it is in other states in the US.


Due to its isolated location, Honolulu has made it onto the list of the top ten most expensive cities to live in in the US. Transportation, healthcare and utilities all cost well above the national average in this city. The average house will cost $637,315 and the average income is $70,093. Honolulu has a cost of living index of 165.8.

San Jose, California

Luckily for the residents of San Jose, they have a high average income that helps to counteract the high cost of living in this area. A median household income is $79,405 and a house can cost around $721,100. If a resident chose to rent an apartment instead of buying, this would cost about $1,728. The cost of living index for San Jose is 154.3.

Stamford, Connecticut

The cost of a house in Stamford is double the national average at $556,500, therefore it is little wonder that this city has a cost of living index of 147.4. In addition to the expensive cost of a house, other living costs are between 15 and 35 percent larger than many other areas in the US. A typical income is around $75,579 in this area.

Santa Ana (Orange County), California

This is where some of the most expensive houses in the county are located. The average house price is a whopping $700,722 and the average household income is $54,877. The coastline can be held partly accountable for the house prices in this area. Another example of the cost of living here can be taken from looking at the cost of a trip to a beauty salon. This would usually cost around $33.43 across the US but in Santa Ana it is more likely to cost in the region of $60.20. This city has an index score of 144.7.

Washington D.C.

With a cost of living index of 144.6, the nations capital has an average house price of $729,319. However, although house prices are high, the average income is also well above average at $58,526 which is partly due to the high paying and varied job opportunities that are available in this city.


In spite of being on the list, Boston has relatively low housing costs in comparison to other East Coast cities with the average house price at $437,000 and a cost of living index of 139.4. In spite of its relative cheapness in comparison to some other cities, this figure is still 65% above national average. One of the reasons for this is the city’s access to universities, art galleries and museums.

Oakland, California

The rent on a typical apartment in this city is $1,156 per month and the average house price is $592,292. The median income is $49,721. The research resulted in an index of 137.4 for Oakland.

Anchorage, Alaska

The score for this city is 134.9. One of the reasons for the high prices in Alaska is that it is separated from the 48 contiguous states. The average house price in this town is $486,859 and the average income is $73,004. Healthcare typically costs up to 40 percent more than the US average, while the cost of a dozen eggs is up by 50 percent. Individual residents must also pay an annual dividend of $1,174 (2011).