Even if you make a good living, your paycheck may not be enough to cover the high cost of residing in one of the nation’s most expensive cities. Outrageous rents and real estate prices are just the start. Expect to pay more – a lot more – for everything from groceries to gasoline. Here are the three U.S. cities with the highest cost of living.
City Population: 1.6 million
Cost of Living: 127.8% above U.S. average
Median Household Income: $72,871 (U.S.: $53,889)
Median Home Value: $848,700 (U.S.: $178,600)
Average Monthly Rent: $4,239 (U.S.: $1,004)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (U.S.: 4.9%)
Highlight: “Hamilton” on Broadway
2. Sunnyvale, Calif.
City Population: 151,754
Cost of Living: 122.9% above U.S. average
Median Household Income: $105,401 (U.S.: $53,889)
Median Home Value: $790,300 (U.S.: $178,600)
Average Monthly Rent: $3,092 (U.S.: $1,004)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (U.S.: 4.9%)
Highlight: Silicon Valley
City Population: 992,605
Cost of Living: 90.1% above U.S. average
Median Household Income: $74,460 (U.S.: $53,889)
Median Home Value: $580,200 (U.S.: $178,600)
Average Monthly Rent: $2,996 (U.S.: $1,004)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (U.S.: 4.9%)
Highlight: Palm trees and trade winds
See the full list of the most expensive U.S. cities to live in.
Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.
A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.
Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.
In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.
Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.
Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.
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