The 11 Most Expensive Cities in the U.S.

From the metro cities on both coasts to the centre of the Pacific Ocean, these are the most expensive cities in the U.S. to call home.

The most expensive U.S. cities are costly due to a reason – numerous. People are willing to shell out more on everything, from accommodation fuel to food when it lets them enjoy a great climate. Some are seeking modern living with many available museums, restaurants and other cultural choices.

In some instances, isolation alone plays an important role. If everything needs to be imported via lengthy supply lines, costs are sure to rise.

To determine what some of the costliest cities across the U.S. can cost, we looked at the most current information provided by the Council for Community and Economic Research(opens in a new tab). The Cost of Living Index measures the prices of 262 urban areas, including groceries, housing, utilities, transport, and miscellaneous items and services (such as getting your hair cut or watching a film). We also collected data on household incomes, house values, and unemployment rates for each city to give more insight into the actual cost of living for ordinary citizens.

Look closer at the top 11 cost-effective cities within the U.S.

The Cost of Living Index is built on prices collected in the first quarter of 2022. The city-level population data, as well as household incomes and home valuations, are provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. The city unemployment rates, which are not seasonally adjusted, are provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for June 2022. These are the most current available information. It is important to note that the U.S. unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted for July 2022. To make this list, it was decided that it was agreed that the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan were considered separate cities.

      Arlington, Virginia

  • Living costs: 47.1 percentage points higher U.S. average
  • The population of the city: is 236,434
  • The median income of a household: is $122,604 (U.S. $64.994)
  • Median home value: $731,700 (U.S.: $229,800)
  • The unemployment rate is 2.1 (U.S.: 3.5%) (U.S.: 3.5%)


Washington, D.C., and the suburbs surrounding it, like Arlington, are magnets for those with high education and seeking highly-paid jobs. Naturally, many of these high-achieving individuals earn a lot of money, and the prices in the area reflect that.

Arlington, the home of Arlington National Cemetery, which is home to the Pentagon, and Arlington National Cemetery, is located right from the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. It draws a lot of talented, well-paid residents and has a high cost of living to prove it.

The costs associated with housing, such as mortgages and rents, are 2.3 times higher than the average for all of America. Food, transportation, and other products or services cost 10 per cent or more than healthcare costs. 14% more expensive.

However, residents get some savings on utility costs, for which they pay around 2% less than the average American. Senior citizens will likely be pleased to learn that Virginia is among the most tax-friendly states for retired people.

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