Whether you are relocating for a job, or just looking to move, the cost of living is a big consideration when looking at a new city. Understanding how much it costs just to live in a particular place may seriously affect your choice.
While there are many studies that determine the cost of living, the results are usually the same no matter what list you are using as a reference. The cities that made this list come from research done by Investopedia, so they are as accurate as you are going to get.
5. Washington D.C.
With so many government employees in the area, you may be surprised to see Washington D.C on this list. However, with the high salaries of so many think tanks, lobbying firms, and private sector firms making this area home, the cost of living is among the top in the country. With so many cyber security firms making the surrounding area their headquarters, the cost of living only rises. Average home values in the area hover around $443,000 and to live comfortably your household income should be no lower than $83,000 per year.
4. Boston, MA
State income taxes will always cause a higher cost of living. Known as Taxachusetts, the high taxes definitely contribute to Boston’s place on this list. Groceries and health-care are also 20 percent higher in Boston than the rest of the country. Average home prices in one of the nation’s oldest cities are around $374,000, and despite an average income of $53,163, it will take a household income of at least $84,000 to live well here.
3. Honolulu, HI
Home values in Honolulu average $672,900, but that is not the only contributing factor to it making this list. The cost of groceries, which exceeds the national average by 55 percent, and utility costs over 71 percent of the national average make Honolulu an extremely expensive city in which to live. Luckily for its residents, the city has a low unemployment rate of only 2.8 percent to complement its beautiful beaches and scenery.
2. San Francisco, CA
Among the cities on this list, San Francisco has the highest median home cost of $828,000 to live within the city limits. Due to the high number of IT and financial companies that make the Bay area their home, it takes more than $119,000 a year to live in San Francisco. Since one-third of all venture capital firms make their headquarters here, high salaries often press lower income individuals out. Another contributing factor to its high cost of living is the state income tax.
1. New York, NY
With the cost of living at 120% of the national average, if you can make it in New York you certainly can make it anywhere else. While the average home costs $501,000, this includes all five boroughs. Houses in Manhattan will cost well over $1,000,000. Not only does everything cost more in New York, but it also has the highest unemployment rate of any city on this list at 4.1 percent.
If it has always been a dream to live in one of these cities, or you find yourself having to move for work, there are other options. Each of these cities has surrounding suburbs that can help bring down the high costs of living. You may have to fight daily gridlock, subject yourself to mass transportation or commute long distances, but the tradeoff may be worth it if you find that you want to spend your money on other things than just the necessities it takes to live.