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

11 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 fascinates us.

Cities are considered to be havens of culture and social life. The vibrant culture seen in the cities is due to the vast population that supports its lifelike museums, sports, concerts, nightlife, etc.

A wide range of social opportunities is offered in cities. In rural areas, people enjoy limited opportunities because the population is less.

Cities always have that irrefutable magnetism to attract people into their bustling streets. The promise of better jobs, convenient transport, and the spark of living in the city makes us feel life in the city is better than in the rural areas.

Life In The Big Expensive Cities

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

Big expensive cities offer good employment opportunities. Those with an excellent educational qualification will attain a well-paid job here. For one who aims to work, the opportunities in these big cities are endless.

The big cities come with all the modern facilities needed for a comfortable living. But to earn this comfortable life, there are a lot of hardships and stress that one has to undergo.

There are some disadvantages too. City life will give you many comforts, but it does not guarantee a peaceful life.

People generally relocate from villages to make a better living.

Some manage to earn goods and build up their lifestyle but may lose their peace of mind because of the mad rush to maintain the cost of living in the big expensive cities.

If you have adequate wealth, then living in a small city may be boring for you. The lust for life will make you move into big cities where you can get many things to do in life but may never find the time to do all these things.

Some of the big 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 to live in the USA are much better than the other cities, let us explore these cities to know more about them.

The Most Expensive Cities To Live In the USA

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

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

The community and economic research council say that many wealthy Americans move from California and New York City to Texas and Florida. Interestingly, the high quality of life, lower taxes, median income, and large living spaces motivate the relocations.

There seems to be a high influx of residents moving into cities like Jacksonville and Tampa in Florida and Dallas and Austin in Texas.

The studies conducted by Census Bureau suggest that compared to the U.S. national average of $250000, about 312 cities in the U.S. have an average home value of nearly $1 million.

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

Cities in the U.S. like San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and San Jose got into the expensive city category because of the high cost and the tech companies increasing their average salaries.

Several cities like Boston, Seattle, Miami-Fort, San Jose, and Washington D.C. have an average home value of nearly $1 million. San Diego has got into a famous arena because of the general improvement of quality of life and its proximity to Los Angeles.

Owning a property or renting one is not always what makes the most expensive cities to live in the USA.

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

1. San Francisco, California – Most Expensive Cities To Live In The USA

The most expensive city to live in in the USA in 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.

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, and it has an unemployment rate that is as low as 1.8%.   The median household income in this city is $160,396, with an average city population 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.

The most expensive cities to live in USA
Photo by Nicholas Cole From Flickr. Copyright 2010

2. New York City – Most Expensive Cities To Live In The USA

It is no surprise to see New York City as one of the most expensive cities in the USA. 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. The median home price in the five boroughs is nearly $662,535. Brooklyn and Manhattan are two of the 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.

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Manhattan Bridge, New York Photo by Luis Dalvan from Pexels. Copyright 2019

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

It’s not only housing prices that are costly in New York. Movie tickets, public transportation, and even the grocery are considerably higher 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% against the national average of 6.7%.

The most expensive cities to live in USA

New York City Photo by Nicolas Poupart from Pexels. Copyright 2019

3. Honolulu, Hawaii – Most Expensive Cities To Live In The USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Honolulu, USA Photo by Jess Loiterton from Pexels. Copyright 2020

4. Washington, D.C. – Most Expensive Cities To Live In The USA

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 powerful nation.

Those working in the professional and business fields will not have any trouble finding a job here. No wonder this nation’s capital attracts many national and international visitors.

The median home price stands at $580,000 and the average rent at $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.

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Washington DC Photo by T. S. from Pexels. Copyright 2020 

5. Los Angeles, California – Most Expensive Cities To Live In The USA

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

The most expensive cities to live in USA
Los Angeles Lighted Sky Photo by Brayden Law from Pexels. Copyright 2019

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.

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.

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Beverly Hills Building Photo by Erica Zhao from Pexels. Copyright 2019

6. San Diego, California – Most Expensive Cities To Live In The USA

San Diego is one of the 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.”

It has a vibrant manufacturing sector, and goods and services are about 8% higher than 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 of 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, Rancho Sante Fe are some of the wealthiest communities of San Diego.

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

The most expensive cities to live in USA
San Diego Photo by Geoff Lang From Flickr. Copyright 2014 

7. Oakland, California – Most Expensive Cities To Live In The USA

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 that of the national average.

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 the overall cost of living at Oakland, it is one of the most affordable cities in the USA.

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Oakland, USA Photo by Nicolas Vigier From Flickr. Copyright 2016

8. Boston, Massachusetts – Most Expensive Cities To Live In The USA

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.

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.

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Beacon Hill, Boston Photo by Mobius in Mobili From Flickr. Copyright 2019

9. Orange County, California – Most Expensive Cities To Live In The USA

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 the 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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Orange County Photo By Ken Lund From Flickr. Copyright 2011

10. Miami, Florida – Most Expensive Cities To Live In The USA

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 to live 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 most expensive cities to live in USA
Miami Photo by Mack Male From Flickr. Copyright 2013

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.

And Finally…

After going through this post, you may feel that life in the most expensive cities to live in the USA looks out of reach. Whether you are thinking of relocating for a job or wanting to experience life in another city, it is always better to understand the city first before you move in.

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

But all said and done, the best place to live is always the best place that 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!!

 

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