Most Americans would likely agree that their lifestyle choices and financial security are dictated largely by their income. Income, however, is only one half of the equation. The other half is the price of goods and services. The cost of everyday necessities — such as groceries, transportation, and rent — varies considerably across the country and ultimately impacts just how far a dollar will go.
On a state level, the cost of goods and services varies dramatically. In Mississippi, the cost of living is 13.6% less than it is on average across the nation as a whole. Meanwhile, in Hawaii, goods and services are 18.4% more expensive than they are on average nationwide.
On a city level, the differences are even more stark. For example, adjusting for cost of living, a household earning $65,000 annually in Morristown, Tennessee, one of the least expensive cities in the country, has greater purchasing power than a household earning $100,000 in San Jose, California, one of the country’s most expensive cities.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed regional price parities in the nation’s 382 metropolitan areas to identify the most expensive city in every state. In many cities on this list, the cost of living is so high that simply meeting basic needs puts a great strain on lower-income households and largely offsets much of the disposable income of higher earning households.
For those looking to stretch their dollar as far as possible, the cities on this list may best be avoided.