USA Most Expensive Cities

The Most Expensive Places To Live in the US in 2023

Living and working in the United States has been the dream life for many expats and digital nomads for quite some time now. Naturally, one of the most crucial things people wonder about while picking a destination is the cost of living. 

The main criteria most people have while deciding on their location of residence is getting access to the highest possible living standards in return for an affordable cost of living. Those who have the financial means, on the other hand, have a much wider set of options. 

In this article, we’ll elaborate on the list of the 10 most expensive—which also happen to be some of the best—in the US, relying on the data provided by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER).

If you’re planning to move to the US but remain undecided about the exact location, you may find this post very useful so as to ease your decision-making process. 

Let’s get on with it, then.

Ranking

Urban Areas

COL Index

1

New York (Manhattan) NY

237.8

2

Honolulu HI 

192.7

3

San Francisco CA

184.2

4

New York (Brooklyn) NY

174.9

5

Washington DC 

158.8

6

Orange County CA

154.8

7

Los Angeles-Long Beach CA

151.9

8

Boston MA

150.8

9

Seattle WA

150.7

10

Oakland CA

149.0

1. New York (Manhattan) NY

new york Most Expensive Cities To Live in the US

According to the Cost of Living Index (COLI) prepared by the C2ER, Manhattan, New York City ranks first. It’s the priciest urban area in the United States. However, Manhattan doesn’t fail to offer numerous advantages in return for such a price. The abundance of job opportunities, high salaries, great food from all around the world, social lifestyle, excellent public transportation, cultural diversity, potential celebrity encounters, historical texture, and the art scenery are only a few of the perks that living in New York City brings to you.

Cost of Living

The average cost of living in Manhattan, which holds the 1st place among the most expensive cities in the US, is around $1,216, rent excluded.

Accommodation

  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment in the center: $3,851
  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment outside the center: $2,337
  • Apartment price per square meter in the center: $14,542
  • Apartment price per square meter outside the center: $9,569

 Restaurants

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $19
  • McMeal at a Mcdonald’s: $12
  • Domestic 50cl Draught Beer: $8
  • Cappuccino $4,88

 Groceries

  • Bread: $3,70
  • 1 Gallon of Milk: $1,28
  • Banana (kg): $1,97
  • A Dozen Eggs: $3,35
  • Potatoes (kg): $3,49
  • Cheese: $12,15
  • Beef Round (kg): $15,61
  • Rice (kg): $5,62
  • Water (1,5L): $1,93
  • Bottle of Wine: $16

 Transportation Costs

  • One-way Ticket for Local Transportation: $2,75
  • Monthly Pass: $127
  • 1 Liter Gasoline: $1,23

 Utilities

  • Electricity, Water, Garbage, Heating: $171
  • Internet: $69
  • Mobile Tariff Local (1 min.): $0,10

2. Honolulu HI

Honolulu Expensive places in the US

 The culture of Honolulu is interesting and fun, people are warm, crime levels are low, and the weather’s incredible all year round. No need to mention the access to the too many-to-count stunning islands of Hawaii. These all come with a very high price though, its tourist charms make Honolulu the second priciest city in the US, according to the Cost of Living Index. 

Cost of Living 

The average cost of living in Honolulu for a single person is around $1,455 rent excluded and is 93 percent higher than the national average.  

Accommodation

Housing in Honolulu, Hawaii is 215 percent more expensive than the national average. Find below the average prices for accommodations in Honolulu: 

  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment in the center: $2,051
  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment outside the center: $1,696
  • Price per square meter to purchase an apartment in the center: $8,401
  • Price per square meter to purchase an apartment outside the center: $5,790 

Restaurants  

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $18
  • McMeal at a Mcdonald’s: $10
  • Domestic 50cl Draught Beer: $7
  • Cappuccino $5,43 

Groceries  

  • Bread: $6,10
  • 1 Gallon of Milk: $1,87
  • Banana (kg): $4,52
  • A Dozen Eggs: $5,98
  • Potatoes (kg): $5,48
  • Ground Beef: $5,35
  • Cheese: $18,18
  • Beef Round (kg): $23,93
  • Rice (kg): $7,15
  • Water (1,5L): $2,57 
  • Bottle of Wine $17,49

 Transportation Costs

  • One-way Ticket for Local Transportation: $3
  • Monthly Pass: $75
  • 1 Liter Gasoline: $1,37 

Utilities

  • Electricity, Water, Garbage, Heating: $282,08
  • Internet: $66,61
  • Mobile Tariff Local (1 min.): $0,34

3. San Francisco, CA

san francisco Most Expensive places in the US

One of the most expensive cities to live in the US, San Francisco is a millennial city that offers great food, a diverse culture, beautiful landscapes, various activities, an abundance of job opportunities, and an efficient public transportation system.  

Cost of Living

San Francisco, California has ranked the third most expensive city in the US in the COLI, with an average monthly cost amounting to $1,394 for a single person. 

Accommodation 

  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment in the center: $3,264
  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment outside the center: $2,601
  • Apartment price per square meter in the center: $11,435
  • Apartment price per square meter outside the center: $10,151 

Restaurants 

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $25
  • McMeal at a Mcdonald’s: $12
  • Domestic 50cl Draught Beer: $7
  • Cappuccino $5,14

 Groceries

  • Bread: $4,65
  • 1 Gallon of Milk: $1,56
  • Banana (kg): $3,53
  • A Dozen Eggs: $5,09
  • Potatoes (kg): $4,32
  • Cheese: $18,96
  • Beef Round (kg): $18,26
  • Rice (kg): $5,03
  • Water (1,5L): $2,41 
  • Bottle of Wine $15

 Transportation

  • One-way Ticket for Local Transportation: $2,95
  • Monthly Pass: $88
  • 1 Liter Gasoline: $1,64

 Utilities

  • Electricity, Water, Garbage, Heating: $233,13
  • Internet: $67,62
  • Mobile Tariff Local (1 min.): $0,18

4. New York (Brooklyn) NY

most expensive cities in the US Brooklyn New York

Life in Brooklyn is not cheap, that’s for sure. However, it offers everything you can expect from an urban center: great food, vivid nightlife, a thriving art scene, excellent transportation, and stunning recreational spaces. It’s the perfect location, especially for extroverts. Plus, you’ll never run out of activities in Brooklyn. 

Cost of Living

The average rent-excluded cost of living in Brooklyn, which holds the 4th place among the most expensive cities to live in the US, is around $1,216. 

Accommodation

  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment in the center: $2,806
  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment outside the center: $2,028
  • Apartment price per square meter in the center: $12,542
  • Apartment price per square meter outside the center: $9,569 

Restaurants

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $19
  • McMeal at a Mcdonald’s: $12
  • Domestic 50cl Draught Beer: $8
  • Cappuccino: $4,88 

Groceries

  • Bread: $3,70
  • 1 Gallon of Milk: $1,28
  • Banana (kg): $1,97
  • A Dozen Eggs: $3,35
  • Potatoes (kg): $3,49
  • Cheese: $12,15
  • Beef Round (kg): $15,61
  • Rice (kg): $5,62
  • Water (1,5L): $1,93
  • Bottle of Wine: $16 

Transportation Costs

  • One-way Ticket for Local Transportation: $2,75
  • Monthly Pass: $127
  • 1 Liter Gasoline: $1,23 

Utilities

  • Electricity, Water, Garbage, Heating: $132,48
  • Internet: $64,21
  • Mobile Tariff Local (1 min.): $0,10 

5. Washington DC

Expensive Cities in the US washington

Great weather, convenient location, excellent education facilities, museums, a wide selection of job opportunities, and delicious food are only a few of the numerous charms of Washington, DC. 

Cost of Living

In Washington DC, which is the 5th most costly city in the US according to the COLI, the average cost of living for a single person is $1,177, without rent. 

Accommodation

  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment in the center: $2,307
  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment outside the center: $1,883
  • Apartment price per square meter in the center: $7,882
  • Apartment price per square meter outside the center: $4,843 

Restaurants

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $18
  • McMeal at a Mcdonald’s: $9
  • Domestic 50cl Draught Beer: $7,25
  • Cappuccino $4,82 

Groceries

  • Bread: $3,24
  • 1 Gallon of Milk: $1,01
  • Banana (kg): $1,97
  • A Dozen Eggs: $3,48
  • Potatoes (kg): $3,41
  • Cheese: $13,85
  • Beef Round (kg): $16,56
  • Rice (kg): $4,53
  • Water (1,5L): $2,20
  • Bottle of Wine: $15

 Transportation

  • One-way Ticket for Local Transportation: $2,75
  • Monthly Pass: $102
  • 1 Liter Gasoline: $1,24

 Utilities

  • Electricity, Water, Garbage, Heating: $156,98
  • Internet: $58,45
  • Mobile Tariff Local (1 min.): $0,17 

6. Orange County CA

most expensive places in the US

Orange County is filled with stunning beaches, luxurious shopping malls, excellent restaurants, and beautiful houses. The urban area, where the weather’s amazing, offers outdoor activities all year round. 

Cost of Living

As the data from the COLI suggests, Orange County is the 6th priciest city in the United States, with an average monthly expense of $ , in which the rent is not included. 

Accommodation

  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment in the center: $2,000
  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment outside the center: $1,800
  • Apartment price per square meter in the center: $5,898
  • Apartment price per square meter outside the center: $4,900

Restaurants

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $20
  • McMeal at a Mcdonald’s: $9
  • Domestic 50cl Draught Beer: $8,35
  • Cappuccino: $5,03 

Groceries

  • Bread: $2,54
  • 1 Gallon of Milk: $1,12
  • Banana (kg): $1,82
  • A Dozen Eggs: $4,40
  • Potatoes (kg): $4,33
  • Cheese: $9,74
  • Beef Round (kg): $
  • Rice (kg): $6,67
  • Water (1,5L): $2,37
  • Bottle of Wine: $9,99

 Transportation

  • One-way Ticket for Local Transportation: $2
  • Monthly Pass: $69,50
  • 1 Liter Gasoline: $1,62

Utilities

  • Electricity, Water, Garbage, Heating: $153
  • Internet: $69
  • Mobile Tariff Local (1 min.): $0,22

7. Los Angeles-Long Beach CA

 los angeles Most Expensive places in the US

Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the US. It’s a great place to live for sports fanatics, as well as families with children because it offers some of the best colleges and universities in the States. On top of all this, the weather’s great. 

Cost of Living

Los Angeles-Long Beach is the 7th most expensive city in the United States according to the Cost of Living Index 2022. The average rent-excluded cost of living in Long Beach is $1,032. 

Accommodation

  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment in the center: $2,175
  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment outside the center: $1,687
  • Apartment price per square meter in the center: $10,046
  • Apartment price per square meter outside the center: $7,839 

Restaurants

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $20
  • McMeal at a Mcdonald’s: $9,85
  • Domestic 50cl Draught Beer: $7,25
  • Cappuccino $5,79 

Groceries

  • Bread: $4,62
  • 1 Gallon of Milk: $1,24
  • Banana (kg): $1,82
  • A Dozen Eggs: $4,40
  • Potatoes (kg): $2,23
  • Cheese: $12,59
  • Beef Round (kg): $17,70
  • Rice (kg): $4,56
  • Water (1,5L): $1,52
  • Bottle of Wine: $9,99 

Transportation

  • One-way Ticket for Local Transportation: $1,50
  • Monthly Pass: $65
  • 1 Liter Gasoline: $1,71 

Utilities

  • Electricity, Water, Garbage, Heating: $150,71
  • Internet: $61
  • Mobile Tariff Local (1 min.): $0,08

8. Boston MA

boston Most Expensive places in the US

Boston is home to some of the best educational facilities in the US. Moreover, getting around on foot in Boston is enjoyable and effortless. It also offers a vast scenery of arts and culture, as well as sports activities. The seafood, on the other hand, is entirely something else: definitely a must-try. 

Cost of Living 

Ranking 8th in the Index, Boston demands a living cost that sums up to an average of $1,207, rent excluded. 

Accommodation

  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment in the center: $2,691
  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment outside the center: $1,959
  • Apartment price per square meter in the center: $10,988
  • Apartment price per square meter outside the center: $6,302 

Restaurants

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $20
  • McMeal at a Mcdonald’s: $10,60
  • Domestic 50cl Draught Beer: $7
  • Cappuccino $4,89 

Groceries

  • Bread: $3,92
  • 1 Gallon of Milk: $1,09
  • Banana (kg): $1,51
  • A Dozen Eggs: $3,45
  • Potatoes (kg): $2,69
  • Cheese: $16,08
  • Beef Round (kg): $15,78
  • Rice (kg): $4,04
  • Water (1,5L): $2,17
  • Bottle of Wine: $16,50 

Transportation

  • One-way Ticket for Local Transportation: $2,40
  • Monthly Pass: $90
  • 1 Liter Gasoline: $1,24 

Utilities

  • Electricity, Water, Garbage, Heating: $175,95
  • Internet: $60,18
  • Mobile Tariff Local (1 min.): $0,23

9. Seattle WA

expensive places To Live in the US seattle

Seattle is a city that’s in touch with nature, which is great for weekend getaways. It also offers numerous career opportunities and demands no state income tax. Seattle is also famous for its delicious coffee and food. 

Cost of Living 

Seattle, WA ranks 9th in the COLI in 2022, with an average rent-excluded cost of living that amounts to $1,292. 

Accommodation

  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment in the center: $2,274
  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment outside the center: $1,827
  • Apartment price per square meter in the center: $6,873
  • Apartment price per square meter outside the center: $4,878 

Restaurants

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $20
  • McMeal at a Mcdonald’s: $11
  • Domestic 50cl Draught Beer: $7
  • Cappuccino $5,15 

Groceries

  • Bread: $4,20
  • 1 Gallon of Milk: $1,12
  • Banana (kg): $2,71
  • A Dozen Eggs: $3,55
  • Potatoes (kg): $3,28
  • Cheese: $17,30
  • Beef Round (kg): $17,37
  • Rice (kg): $5,13
  • Water (1,5L): $1,96
  • Bottle of Wine: $15

 Transportation

  • One-way Ticket for Local Transportation: $2,75
  • Monthly Pass: $99,50
  • 1 Liter Gasoline: $1,40 

Utilities

  • Electricity, Water, Garbage, Heating: $222,43
  • Internet: $70,41
  • Mobile Tariff Local (1 min.): $0,13 

10. Oakland CA

oakland Most Expensive places in the US

The great architecture, excellent transportation system, extraordinary educational facilities, vivacious nightlife, perfect weather, and vivid art scene in Oakland make it worth living there. 

Cost of Living

The average cost of living in Oakland, which is the 10th most expensive city in the US according to the COLI, is around $1,297–rent excluded–for a single person. 

Accommodation

  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment in the center: $2,400
  • Monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment outside the center: $2,020
  • Apartment price per square meter in the center: $8,328
  • Apartment price per square meter outside the center: $8,220 

Restaurants

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $17,50
  • McMeal at a Mcdonald’s: $10,25
  • Domestic 50cl Draught Beer: $7
  • Cappuccino $4,73

 Groceries

  • Bread: $4,67
  • 1 Gallon of Milk: $1,16
  • Banana (kg): $2,76
  • A Dozen Eggs: $4,82
  • Potatoes (kg): $3,74
  • Cheese: $18,17
  • Beef Round (kg): $18,36
  • Rice (kg): $4,93
  • Water (1,5L): $2,25
  • Bottle of Wine: $13

 Transportation

  • One-way Ticket for Local Transportation: $3
  • Monthly Pass: $95
  • 1 Liter Gasoline: $1,56

 Utilities

  • Electricity, Water, Garbage, Heating: $299,18
  • Internet: $56,83
  • Mobile Tariff Local (1 min.): $0,16

Related Articles

 

Most Expensive Cities To Live in the US – FAQ

Which cities in the U.S. are the most expensive to live in?

 The most expensive places to live in the US are Manhattan New York, Honolulu HI, San Francisco CA, Brooklyn New York, Washington DC, Orange County CA, Los Angeles-Long Beach CA, Boston MA, Seattle WA, and Oakland CA, respectively. 

 What are the wealthiest towns in America?

 Los Altos CA, Southlake TX, McLean VA, and Potomac MD are the top four wealthiest towns in the US.

What are the most expensive cities for public transport?

San Jose CA, San Francisco CA, Ventura CA, Durham NC, Iowa City IA, and Washington DC are some of the most expensive cities in the United States in terms of public transportation fees.

Why are major U.S. cities so expensive to live in?

In highly populated areas, the risks of crime are higher. To compensate for potential risks, cities with a high population usually demand higher taxes.

What is the most expensive city in South America?

The most expensive city in South America is the capital of Uruguay: Montevideo.

Which is the least expensive city in the USA?

Buffalo NY is the least expensive major place in the United States. 

Is Los Angeles a more expensive city to live in than New York City?

No, the cost of living in New York City is higher than in LA by 32 percent.

Which city in the US has the highest gas prices?

  • San Francisco CA
  • Orange County CA
  • Oakland CA
  • Stockton CA
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach CA
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