View of cityscape. Cost of living.

Cost of Living Ranking: Top 5 Most Expensive U.S. Cities

The cost of living can vastly change from city to city. If you’re planning on moving, you may not want to relocate to these five cities unless you make a high salary. You may be surprised how much it actually costs to live there!

5. Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. is one of the most expensive cities in America, making it one of the highest U.S. cities for cost of living. For example, it costs $2,253 monthly rent for a 900-square-foot furnished apartment in a traditional area.  A studio with 480 sq. ft. can cost as much as $1,611. 

Thinking about going out? Expect a basic dinner out for two in a neighborhood pub to cost an astonishing $49. According to NBC Washington, the District of Columbia has an average salary of $84,523, but The Washington Post claims you need at least $108,092 to live comfortably. 

4. Boston, MA

Boston is rich in history, and you’ll need a rich bank account to live in this town. Renting a 900 sq. ft. apartment costs $2,131, while a 480-square-foot studio runs around $1,660. For dinner, you should expect to pay between $52 and $104, depending on where you dine. 

Bostonians may opt for buying a car because a monthly ticket for public transportation costs as much as $81. According to Washington Post, a resident of Boston would have to make $106,082 to live comfortably, but Boston Globe reported Massachusetts occupants take home an average salary of $56,410.

3. San Francisco, CA

California has several cities that rank with a high cost of living. San Francisco is incredibly expensive with the average 900-square-foot apartment costing $3,332, while a 480-square-foot studio is $2,230. 

Going out for lunch will cost you $16 in the business district or $8 for a combo meal at a fast-food restaurant. A monthly ticket for public transportation is $89, or you can take a taxi for $18 for about five miles. Washington Post reports you need $124,561 to live comfortably, but residents only make $60,682, according to Mercury News

2. Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn is one of the most expensive places to live. The average two-bedroom apartment costs around $2,660 to rent while purchasing a house costs $1,057,588. A monthly public transport pass is an astounding $112. To live comfortably, a resident needs $131,365, but Slate reports that the average income is only $44,850.

1. Manhattan, New York

In a ranking of U.S. cities cost of living, Manhattan easily rises as number one. To rent a two-bedroom apartment, you’ll have to pay $4,088 per month, and owning your own home will cost $1,613,600. That means your monthly mortgage and interest is over $5,000 per month. To live comfortably, you’d have to make at least $169,639, but Slate reports that the average annual household income is only $66,739. 

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