It’s no coincidence that the most desirable cities to live in the United States tend to be the most expensive. US cities are full of great employment opportunities, as well as entertainment, sports, and restaurants. People in cities often pay more for favorable climates, economic opportunities, proximity to city centers, and culture. The high cost of living, however, can deter people from moving to cities.
To determine the most expensive cities in the US, the cost of living is used to compare each city to the national average. The cost of living is the amount of money needed to sustain a certain standard of living by affording basic needs such as food, taxes, housing, and healthcare.
Housing is arguably the biggest cost factor people look at when deciding where to move. Many of the most expensive cities have notoriously high housing costs. For example, New York City has an average rent of $3,000 per month.
Other costs, however, can significantly drive up the cost of living. Groceries, healthcare, and utility bills are some of the reasons why certain cities made the top ten list.
The ten most expensive cities in the United States are:
- New York City, NY
- San Francisco, CA
- Honolulu, HI
- Boston, MA
- Washington, D.C.
- Oakland, CA
- San Jose, CA
- San Diego, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- Miami, FL
New York City is not only the most expensive city in the United States, but it is also the ninth most expensive city in the world. The cost of living is 120% higher in New York City than the national average. Everything from housing to public transportation and groceries cost more in NYC.
California has five cities on the list: San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, San Diego, and Los Angeles. San Jose and Oakland are located near San Francisco, which drives up both of their costs of living. San Francisco is the second most expensive city in the United States, with a required $119,000 in income to live well. San Francisco is very attractive for entrepreneurs and the unemployment rate remains very low at 1.9%.