6. Boulder, Colorado
> City cost of living: 108.9
> State cost of living: 101.6
> City median rent paid: $1,168
> City median household income: $71,604
Goods and services in Boulder cost about 9% more than they do nationwide and about 7% more than they do across the state. Higher incomes usually accompany higher living costs, and Boulder is no exception. The typical area household earns $71,604 annually, well above the statewide income figure of $58,823, which itself is among the highest incomes compared to all states. As is the case with the most expensive cities in many other states, Boulder residents are also very well educated. More than 58% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree versus the statewide attainment rate of less than 38% — the second highest percentage compared to all states.
7. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut
> City cost of living: 121.5
> State cost of living: 109.4
> City median rent paid: $1,330
> City median household income: $82,084
Each of Connecticut’s metropolitan areas has a higher cost of living than the national average, but none are nearly as expensive as the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk region, which is actually the fourth most expensive metro area in the country. The region contains multiple affluent suburbs of New York City commuters, and the typical home costs $420,600, significantly higher than the state’s median home value of $267,000 and the national median of $173,900. Like in many expensive metropolitan areas, Bridgeport residents are likely to have higher education levels. Of residents 25 or older, 45.5% have a bachelor’s degree compared to 26.6% nationwide.
8. Dover, Delaware
> City cost of living: 94.1
> State cost of living: 102.3
> City median rent paid: $955
> City median household income: $54,794
Dover is the most expensive city in Delaware by default as it is also the only metropolitan area in the state. As a result, the regional price parity in Dover of 94.1 is actually lower than the state figure. Other, less urbanized regions are more expensive, which brings up the overall price level in the state. Costs increase because incomes are higher. In Dover, this isn’t the case. While the cost of living in Dover is lower than the nation’s, the median household income of $54,794 is higher than the national figure.
9. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida
> City cost of living: 105.0
> State cost of living: 98.8
> City median rent paid: $1,120
> City median household income: $46,946
Compared to the national average price level, it costs about 5% more to live in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. The median rent of $1,120 is considerably higher than the state and national rents. Unlike many other expensive areas, incomes in the metro area are less than proportionate. More than 54% of renting households pay more than 35% of their income in rent. Statewide, 48.2% of renting households pay this much in rent — the highest percentage in the country. With some of the most visited beaches in the nation, many residents may be willing to pay a larger share of their income to live in the area.
10. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia
> City cost of living: 95.6
> State cost of living: 92.0
> City median rent paid: $947
> City median household income: $55,733
None of Georgia’s metro areas has a higher cost of living than the national average, but prices in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell area come close. Goods and services in the metro cost 4.4% less than they do across the country and nearly 4% more than across Georgia. With a relatively high median household income of $55,733, the area is actually quite affordable.