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What Are The 10 Most Expensive Cities To Live In The USA

9 mins read
The most expensive cities to live in USA
The most expensive cities to live in USA Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels



The most expensive cities to live in the USA always fascinate people. Cities are considered havens of culture and social life. The city’s vibrant culture is due to the vast population supporting its lifelike museums, sports, concerts, nightlife, etc.

In rural areas, people enjoy fewer opportunities because the population is smaller. Hence, cities’ undeniable allure draws people to their bustling streets.

The promise of better jobs, convenient transport, and the excitement of living in the city make us feel life in the city is better than in rural areas.

The Appeal of Big Expensive Cities Life

Life in big, expensive cities is always moving at a breakneck pace. This is because there is always competition all around. Everyone is struggling to do better than each other to achieve their goals.

Big expensive cities offer good employment opportunities. Those with excellent educational qualifications will attain a well-paid job here. The possibilities in these big cities are endless for someone who aims to work.

The big cities have all the modern facilities needed for a comfortable life.  There are some disadvantages too. People generally relocate from villages to make a better living. City life will provide many comforts, but it does not guarantee a peaceful life.

Some can earn goods and build a lifestyle, but they may lose their peace of mind due to the mad rush to keep the cost of living in the big, expensive cities.

Living in a small city may be boring if you have good wealth. Life’s lust will drive you to move to big cities, where there are many things to do, but you may need more time to do them all.

Some of the most expensive cities in the world are :

  1. Hongkong
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Paris, France
  4. San Francisco, USA
  5. Los Angeles, USA
  6. Singapore

While many of them feel the most expensive cities in the USA are much better than the other cities, let us explore these cities to learn more about them.

The Most Expensive Cities To Live In the USA

Most Americans live in cities. The promise of good jobs, education, culture, a better lifestyle, a lower unemployment rate, affordable home prices, and entertainment draws them to the big cities.

A city becomes costly or reasonably expensive when income surpasses the cost of living. By 2050, 89% of Americans will live in most districts’ urban areas.

The community and economic research councils say that many wealthy Americans move from California and New York City to Texas and Florida. 

Interestingly, the high quality of life, lower taxes, higher median income, and large living spaces motivate the relocations. There is a high influx of residents moving into cities like Jacksonville and Tampa in Florida and Dallas and Austin in Texas.

According to Census Bureau research, compared to the national average of $250000, approximately 312 cities in the United States have an average home value of nearly $1 million.

The most expensive cities in the USA are located along the coast. Some cities, like Los Angeles, Honolulu, and New York City, always belong to the high-priced category.

Because of the high cost of living and the fact that tech companies were increasing their average salaries, cities in the United States, such as San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and San Jose, were classified as “expensive cities.”

Several cities, like Boston, Seattle, Miami-Fort, San Jose, and Washington, D.C., have an average home value of nearly $1 million. 

Owning or renting a home sometimes makes the most expensive city to live in in the United States. According to the Census Bureau, factors like the city’s cost of groceries, transportation, health care, unemployment rate, home prices that residents pay, and utilities make a city one of the most expensive cities in the USA.

1. San Francisco, California 

The most expensive city to live in the USA is San Francisco. Nicknamed “The City of Bay,” the San Francisco Bay Area has some lucrative tech jobs with an average annual income of above $100,000.

Skyline
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash /Copyright 2021

But a good portion of this income goes towards housing costs. This is because of the lack of new housing construction and the rising prices of homes.

The cost of living in San Francisco is the highest, nearly 95% above the U.S. national average, with an unemployment rate as low as 1.8%. The median household income in this city is $160,396; the average city population is rising by 9.8%.

The median monthly rent is about $3,700, one of the highest in the U.S. The median home price stands at $1.35 million in the housing market.

An average price for a meal of two costs about $80, almost doubles the national average. Income tax is said to be the highest.

Some desirable places to live in San Francisco are Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Pacific Heights, and Presidio Heights.

2. New York City 

It is no surprise that New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the United States. 

It is also the ninth most expensive city in the world. New York City has five boroughs: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Queens. 

NYC
Source: photravel_ru/Shutterstock

The median home price in the five boroughs is nearly $662,535. Brooklyn and Manhattan are the two most expensive boroughs of New York’s five boroughs.

According to the Council for Community and Economic Research, the cost of living in Manhattan is a shocking 154% more than the national average.

The median monthly rent ranges between $2,936 – $4,210, the second-highest after San Francisco.

It’s not only housing prices that are costly in New York. Movie tickets, public transportation, and even groceries are considerably more expensive than in other parts of the country.

It is said that the median household income is $102,946, and the median home value is $606,000. The city’s unemployment rate is about 11.6% compared with the national average of 6.7%.

3. Honolulu, Hawaii 

One of the most expensive cities to live in, Honolulu has one of the most beautiful beachfront and cascading mountains. It is said to have fair weather all year.

It all sounds incredible, but the cost of living here is about 82% higher than the national average of the USA.

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Source: Shutterstock

Although housing prices are not low, residents’ median home value is over $779,742, and rentals are less expensive, with a median monthly rent of $1,881.

The necessity for Honolulu residents to import all physical goods drives the cost of living in Honolulu upward. Groceries are about 39% more expensive than on the mainland, and utilities are about 76% more.

As per the Census Bureau and labor statistics, the unemployment rate here is 9.3%

Kai Nani is the most expensive single-family neighborhood in Honolulu. Cities like Upper Haiti, Triangle, and West Marina are also supposed to be in high demand for rentals.

4. Washington, D.C. 

Being the most significant employer, this nation’s capital city accounts for nearly one-quarter of jobs because of being the main seat of the world’s most powerful government.

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Source: Shutterstock

Those working in the professional and business fields can find a job here. No wonder this nation’s capital attracts many national and international visitors.

The median home price is $580,000, and the average rent is $2,233. Some of its prominent neighborhoods are Berkley, Foggy Bottom, Kalorama, and Massachusetts Avenue Heights.

The median household income is $86,420, and the cost of living is nearly affordable, with an average metro area income of $72,600e with an average metro area income of $72,600.

The demand for homes surpasses the supply. This, along with the mandated restrictions on building high-rise buildings, makes this city one of the most expensive cities in the USA.

5. Los Angeles, California

The high demand has made this city one of the most expensive in the USA compared to other cities in the U.S.

Labor statistics say this city has more people staying on rent than homeowners. It is believed that 64% of its residents are on rent, and only 36% own a house.

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Source: Shutterstock

With an average city population of 3,990,469, it is common to see long commuters with residents spending an additional dollar per gallon on gas here compared to the national average.

Car insurance has a high price tag of about $1,964 per year, and health care is considerably higher compared to other cities in the U.S.

The median household income is $96,416, and the median home value is $636,900, with an increasing cost of living compared to the national average.

Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, Malibu, and North Montana are some of the most expensive neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Places like Santa Monica and Venice are famous for their entertainment.

6. San Diego, California 

San Diego is one of the most popular places to live in the U.S., with an average city population of 1,425,999.

Its renowned white sand beaches and moderate round-the-year climate have given this southern California city the nickname “America’s Finest City.”

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Source: Shutterstock

It has a vibrant manufacturing sector, and goods and services are about 8% higher than in the rest of the country. But San Diego has an income that is twice the national average.

The cost of living in San Diego is approximately 6% higher than the average in California itself. The unemployment rate is 8%.

The median household income is $108,864, and the median home value is $602,600, with a rising cost of living. Ashley Falls, Carmel Canyon, La Jolla, and Rancho Sante Fe are some of the wealthiest communities in San Diego.

This city is also home to the largest naval fleet in the world. But of late, this city on the west coast is seeing a rush of lower-earning residents seeking affordable housing in Riverside County and Phoenix.

7. Oakland, California 

Oakland is like the Bermuda Triangle, surrounded in one corner by the San Francisco Bay Area, another by San Francisco, and the third corner by the booming tech scene of Silicon Valley.

This port city is said to have more greenery than San Francisco but yet close to Silicon Valley. The cost of living averages 54% above the national average.

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Source: Shutterstock

Oaklanders with a median household income of $78,200 are sometimes tempted to travel to San Francisco for better-paid jobs. 

But the to-and-fro journey on the BART train or ferry makes it more sensible to buy a house in Oakland.

Median home prices are around $700,000, while rents average $2,930 in Oakland. Compared to nearby San Jose, Oakland is said to have high-cost rentals.

Most of this city has high-end apartments with a panoramic view of the city, attracting young professionals. Places like Crocker Highland, Piedmont, and Upper Rockridge have a variety of luxury houses to offer and are said to be the most expensive in Oakland.

If income is compared to Oakland’s overall cost of living, it is one of the most affordable cities in the USA.

8. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is famous for the historic “Boston Tea Party”; it is the second most expensive city to buy a house in the USA.

Having an average city population of 695,926, the median home price costs $644,000, and it is said to be the fifth most expensive for rentals, with rents averaging $3,434.

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Source: Shutterstock

The cost of living here is above 48% of the national average. The demand for housing is high because of many universities, tech, and biotech employers.

Boston’s substantial job opportunities in the big finance and information technology sectors pay over $100,000, which helps bridge the cost of living in this city. The unemployment rate here is 6.8%.

According to the census bureau of the U.S., the median household income in Boston is about $71,115.

There is a wide range of cuisine restaurants and luxury apartments on the waterfront. Some of the popular neighborhoods of Boston are Back Bay and the historic Beacon Hill.

9. Orange County, California 

One of the most significant determinants for Orange County becoming one of the most expensive places is its reputed beaches and theme parks, including Disneyland Knott’s Berry Farm.

This city is synonymous with wealth so much that there was an entire T.V. show – The O.C. T.V. show, made in the 2000s.

Orange County in South California is a golden state with beautiful Newport Beach. Labor statistics say that Orange County has an average city population of 1,704,670 and a median household income of $75,822. 

One of the most expensive cities to live in the USA, Newport Beach is said to house some of Orange County’s rich and famous.

The median home value here is $580,100, but surprisingly it is reasonably priced for utilities and health care compared with the national average.

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Source: Shutterstock

10. Miami, Florida

Home to the Miami Dolphins and Miami Marlins, this city is a center of cuisine, entertainment, and culture. Water sports, mojitos, and the bustling nightlife of Miami make it the most expensive city in the USA.

Numerous international financial institutions, national institutes, wealthy foreigners, and hosting one of the busiest cruise ship ports makes it get listed as one of the most expensive cities to live in the USA.

Zero state income tax makes it a favorite city of the entire country. The median household income in Miami is $68,105. The median home value is $440,360, and the unemployment rate is 7.9%.

The demand for housing has increased purchase prices in South Florida by about 17% this year, and despite this, Miami remains the hotbed for homebuyers worldwide.

The national average determines the most expensive cities in the USA, housing costs, various goods and services like food, health care, utilities, household incomes, and transportation costs.

From a restaurant that will tickle your taste buds to a museum that will inspire your creativity or just a particular person, you can find whatever you seek in the urban jungles of the U.S.

Closing Thoughts 

After reading this post, life in the most expensive cities to live in the USA seems out of reach. 

Whether you are thinking of relocating for a job or wanting to experience life in another town, it is always better to understand the city first before you move in.

Nevertheless, the most expensive cities in the USA boast vibrant art, culture, strong communities, jobs, and a developing economy.

But all said and done, the best place to live is always the place you feel is good for you. So go ahead, do not hesitate, move into one of the most expensive cities to live in the USA and enjoy life there!!

 

Infographic That Presents 5 of The Most Affordable Cities In The US
USA Tales

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