Everybody across the United States uses the dollar as currency — but just how far a dollar goes varies, as some places are far more expensive than others.
Cost of living is a measure of how much it costs to maintain a certain standard of living in a given area. Across the country, the cost of housing, food, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities varies considerably — and as a result, a modest standard of living in one part of the country can be nearly twice as expensive in another.
24/7 Wall St. used the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator to identify the most expensive place in every state. We ranked counties based on the estimated monthly costs for a single adult to maintain a modest yet adequate standard of living.
Housing costs are a primary driver of living expenses, often accounting for 20% or more of total living expenses. Not surprisingly, in many places on this list, housing costs are far higher than average. This is the most expensive housing market in every state.
Places with higher costs of living typically are also characterized by strong economic conditions, that help offset some of the high costs through high incomes and low unemployment. In the vast majority of places on this list, the unemployment rate is lower than it is statewide. Similarly, the typical household in the counties on this list has a higher annual income than the typical household across the state as a whole. Here are the richest counties in every state.