Manhattan Tops List as Most Expensive Place to Live in the U.S.

Manhattan Tops List as Most Expensive Place to Live in the U.S.

Manhattan is the most expensive place to live in the U.S., with costs more than double the national average, far surpassing Honolulu and San Jose.

United States, Bollywood Fever: Manhattan, New York, holds the title of the most expensive place to live in the United States, outpacing the second and third spots by a significant margin. According to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index, Manhattan’s cost of living is more than twice the national average. The borough is 24% more expensive than Honolulu and 30% more expensive than San Jose, California.

The Cost of Living Index measures regional price differences for everyday goods and services across 271 urban areas in the U.S., using a composite index score based on six categories: housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, healthcare, and miscellaneous goods and services. A score of 100 represents the national average, and any score above 100 indicates a higher cost of living.

Manhattan Tops List as Most Expensive Place to Live in the U.S.

Here are the 10 most expensive urban areas according to their composite index scores:

  1. New York (Manhattan): 231
  2. Honolulu: 186.2
  3. San Jose, California: 177.1
  4. San Francisco: 169.6
  5. New York (Brooklyn): 161.5
  6. Orange County, California: 154.9
  7. Los Angeles (Long Beach): 150.6
  8. New York (Queens): 146.9
  9. Washington, D.C.: 144.6
  10. Boston: 144.3

These areas are known for their high housing costs, driven by a combination of high demand for urban living, limited land availability, and a significant concentration of wealth. Manhattan, for instance, is home to 350,000 millionaires, the highest in the country, which contributes to its skyrocketing home prices. In the West Village, homes cost a median of $2,400 per square foot.

In contrast, Decatur, Illinois, ranks as the most affordable city with a score of 78.8, making it 22.2% cheaper to live there compared to the national average.

Data for the Cost of Living Index was collected from January 1, 2024, through March 31, 2024, and each category is weighted according to household spending patterns based on government survey data.

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