16. Lawrence, Kansas
> City cost of living: 95.5
> State cost of living: 89.9
> City median rent paid: $836
> City median household income: $52,150
Lawrence, Kansas has a higher cost of living than the three other metropolitan areas in the state. Manhattan, the second most expensive city in the state, has a regional price parity of 91.9, slightly less than Lawrence’s regional price parity. Though Lawrence’s 114,322 residents pay more for goods and services than state residents do, the city’s average income is significantly less than the per capita income statewide. The average individual in Lawrence earns $36,103, nearly $10,000 less than the average state resident.
17. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
> City cost of living: 92.2
> State cost of living: 88.8
> City median rent paid: $771
> City median household income: $50,279
About 9% of Kentucky’s 4.4 million residents call the Lexington-Fayette metropolitan area home. The cost of goods and services in the Lexington area is about 3.4% higher than it is across the state. Also, median household income in Kentucky’s most expensive city is approximately $7,000 higher than the corresponding statewide figure. Residents of Lexington are also likely to be better educated. Statewide, 22.6% of residents 25 and older have at least a bachelor’s degree compared to 35.7% of Lexington adults.
18. New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana
> City cost of living: 96.7
> State cost of living: 91.4
> City median rent paid: $908
> City median household income: $45,981
The regional price parity of New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana’s most expensive metropolitan area, dropped slightly from the previous year. More than 37% of the state’s 4.6 millions residents call the New Orleans area home. While rent costs in Louisiana are almost 33% less expensive than the nationwide average, rent costs in the New Orleans area are more in line with nationwide rents, costing only 1% less than the national average.
19. Portland-South Portland, Maine
> City cost of living: 100.8
> State cost of living: 98.3
> City median rent paid: $902
> City median household income: $54,766
The Portland-South Portland area is the only city in Maine with a higher cost of living than the national average. At $232,300, the median home value in the Portland area is almost $60,000 more than the median home value statewide. Similarly, renters in Maine’s most expensive city pay about 14% more than renters across the state as a whole. The share of Portlanders paying more than $1,500 in rent is roughly double the share of renters who pay that much across the state.
20. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Maryland
> City cost of living: 109.4
> State cost of living: 111.3
> City median rent paid: $1,132
> City median household income: $68,455
Maryland is one of only four states where the most expensive metropolitan area has a lower cost of living than the state’s. While goods and services in the Baltimore metropolitan area are 9.4% more expensive than prices nationwide, the same goods and services cost 11.3% more in all of Maryland than they do across the country. The difference in rent costs further illustrates the disparity. While the cost of renting in the Baltimore area is about 16% more expensive than the average rent cost across the nation, the expenses associated with renting a property in Maryland is over 25% more expensive than rent nationwide.