Special Report

Most Expensive Place in Every State

JamesBrey / Getty Images

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.

Click here to see the most expensive place in every state
Click here to read our methodology

Source: Rivers Langley; SaveRivers / Wikimedia Commons

1. Alabama: Shelby County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,429
> Monthly housing costs: $806 (23.5% of total)
> Median household income: $74,063 ($6,172 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.9%

See all stories featuring: Alabama

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Source: LanceKing / Getty Images

2. Alaska: Denali Borough
> Monthly cost of living: $4,182
> Monthly housing costs: $1,042 (24.9% of total)
> Median household income: $83,295 ($6,941 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 7.8%

See all stories featuring: Alaska

Source: fdastudillo / Getty Images

3. Arizona: Coconino County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,462
> Monthly housing costs: $782 (22.6% of total)
> Median household income: $53,523 ($4,460 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 5.5%

See all stories featuring: Arizona

Source: mtnorton / Flickr

4. Arkansas: Saline County
> Monthly cost of living: $2,939
> Monthly housing costs: $616 (21.0% of total)
> Median household income: $58,985 ($4,915 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.1%

See all stories featuring: Arkansas

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Source: SpVVK / Getty Images

5. California: San Mateo County
> Monthly cost of living: $6,127
> Monthly housing costs: $2,136 (34.9% of total)
> Median household income: $105,667 ($8,806 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.2%

See all stories featuring: California

Source: SWKrullImaging / Getty Images

6. Colorado: Douglas County
> Monthly cost of living: $4,150
> Monthly housing costs: $1,249 (30.1% of total)
> Median household income: $111,154 ($9,263 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.9%

See all stories featuring: Colorado

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

7. Connecticut: Fairfield County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,814
> Monthly housing costs: $1,052 (27.6% of total)
> Median household income: $89,773 ($7,481 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 4.0%

See all stories featuring: Connecticut

Source: kenlund / Flickr

8. Delaware: New Castle County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,377
> Monthly housing costs: $837 (24.8% of total)
> Median household income: $68,336 ($5,695 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.7%

See all stories featuring: Delaware

Source: Rauluminate / iStock

9. Florida: Monroe County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,835
> Monthly housing costs: $960 (25.0% of total)
> Median household income: $63,030 ($5,253 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.6%

See all stories featuring: Florida

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Source: Thomson200 / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

10. Georgia: Forsyth County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,828
> Monthly housing costs: $1,040 (27.2% of total)
> Median household income: $96,445 ($8,037 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.1%

See all stories featuring: Georgia

Source: Djzanni / Wikimedia Commons

11. Hawaii: Kalawao County
> Monthly cost of living: $4,377
> Monthly housing costs: $1,126 (25.7% of total)
> Median household income: $61,750 ($5,146 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: N/A

See all stories featuring: Hawaii

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Source: shanecotee / Getty Images

12. Idaho: Blaine County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,558
> Monthly housing costs: $747 (21.0% of total)
> Median household income: $58,835 ($4,903 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.4%

See all stories featuring: Idaho

Source: Carldaniel / Wikimedia Commons

13. Illinois: McHenry County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,650
> Monthly housing costs: $940 (25.8% of total)
> Median household income: $82,230 ($6,853 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.5%

See all stories featuring: Illinois

Source: Jose A Perez / Getty Images

14. Indiana: Hamilton County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,178
> Monthly housing costs: $742 (23.3% of total)
> Median household income: $90,582 ($7,549 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.7%

See all stories featuring: Indiana

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Source: Larry_Reynolds / Getty Images

15. Iowa: Story County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,083
> Monthly housing costs: $607 (19.7% of total)
> Median household income: $52,671 ($4,389 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 1.6%

See all stories featuring: Iowa

Source: Purestock / Getty Images

16. Kansas: Riley County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,316
> Monthly housing costs: $775 (23.4% of total)
> Median household income: $48,428 ($4,036 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.9%

See all stories featuring: Kansas

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Source: dadonk / iStock

17. Kentucky: Oldham County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,004
> Monthly housing costs: $644 (21.4% of total)
> Median household income: $92,237 ($7,686 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.3%

See all stories featuring: Kentucky

Source: Judy Darby / Getty Images

18. Louisiana: St. Tammany Parish
> Monthly cost of living: $3,215
> Monthly housing costs: $758 (23.6% of total)
> Median household income: $66,539 ($5,545 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 4.2%

See all stories featuring: Louisiana

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

19. Maine: Cumberland County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,614
> Monthly housing costs: $934 (25.8% of total)
> Median household income: $65,702 ($5,475 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.7%

See all stories featuring: Maine

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Source: ymn / Getty Images

20. Maryland: Calvert County
> Monthly cost of living: $4,665
> Monthly housing costs: $1,459 (31.3% of total)
> Median household income: $100,350 ($8,363 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.5%

See all stories featuring: Maryland

Source: thisisbossi / Flickr

21. Massachusetts: Nantucket County
> Monthly cost of living: $4,158
> Monthly housing costs: $1,229 (29.6% of total)
> Median household income: $91,942 ($7,662 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 4.4%

See all stories featuring: Massachusetts

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Source: simplycmb / Getty Images

22. Michigan: Leelanau County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,447
> Monthly housing costs: $660 (19.1% of total)
> Median household income: $62,646 ($5,221 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 4.2%

See all stories featuring: Michigan

Source: dougtone / Flickr

23. Minnesota: Washington County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,404
> Monthly housing costs: $866 (25.4% of total)
> Median household income: $89,598 ($7,467 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.5%

See all stories featuring: Minnesota

Source: Bill Herndon / Flickr

24. Mississippi: Madison County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,198
> Monthly housing costs: $708 (22.1% of total)
> Median household income: $68,600 ($5,717 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.7%

See all stories featuring: Mississippi

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Source: BOB WESTON / Getty Images

25. Missouri: Andrew County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,075
> Monthly housing costs: $552 (17.9% of total)
> Median household income: $56,658 ($4,722 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.7%

See all stories featuring: Missouri

Source: jsjgeology / Flickr

26. Montana: Madison County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,478
> Monthly housing costs: $690 (19.8% of total)
> Median household income: $47,900 ($3,992 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.5%

See all stories featuring: Montana

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

27. Nebraska: Arthur County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,492
> Monthly housing costs: $526 (15.1% of total)
> Median household income: $41,250 ($3,438 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 5.0%

See all stories featuring: Nebraska

Source: BOB WESTON / Getty Images

28. Nevada: Churchill County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,329
> Monthly housing costs: $703 (21.1% of total)
> Median household income: $46,914 ($3,910 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.9%

See all stories featuring: Nevada

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

29. New Hampshire: Rockingham County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,381
> Monthly housing costs: $904 (26.7% of total)
> Median household income: $85,619 ($7,135 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.8%

See all stories featuring: New Hampshire

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Source: KenWiedemann / Getty Images

30. New Jersey: Hunterdon County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,939
> Monthly housing costs: $1,044 (26.5% of total)
> Median household income: $110,969 ($9,247 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.3%

See all stories featuring: New Jersey

Source: Vacaypicts / Wikimedia Commons

31. New Mexico: Harding County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,082
> Monthly housing costs: $541 (17.6% of total)
> Median household income: $35,096 ($2,925 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 5.3%

See all stories featuring: New Mexico

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Source: Kirkikis / Getty Images

32. New York: Putnam County
> Monthly cost of living: $4,968
> Monthly housing costs: $1,449 (29.2% of total)
> Median household income: $99,608 ($8,301 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.7%

See all stories featuring: New York

Source: Courtesy of Camden County, NC via Facebook

33. North Carolina: Camden County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,829
> Monthly housing costs: $844 (22.0% of total)
> Median household income: $68,327 ($5,694 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.7%

See all stories featuring: North Carolina

Source: Andrew Filer from Seattle (ex-Minneapolis) / Wikimedia Commons

34. North Dakota: Dunn County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,806
> Monthly housing costs: $962 (25.3% of total)
> Median household income: $68,594 ($5,716 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 1.6%

See all stories featuring: North Dakota

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Source: LarryKnupp / Getty Images

35. Ohio: Hocking County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,020
> Monthly housing costs: $582 (19.3% of total)
> Median household income: $48,073 ($4,006 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 5.1%

See all stories featuring: Ohio

Source: RoseMaryBush / Getty Images

36. Oklahoma: Ellis County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,266
> Monthly housing costs: $542 (16.6% of total)
> Median household income: $50,594 ($4,216 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.2%

See all stories featuring: Oklahoma

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Source: bradleyhebdon / Getty Images

37. Oregon: Clackamas County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,801
> Monthly housing costs: $1,069 (28.1% of total)
> Median household income: $72,408 ($6,034 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.8%

See all stories featuring: Oregon

Source: Robert Kirk / Getty Images

38. Pennsylvania: Chester County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,675
> Monthly housing costs: $966 (26.3% of total)
> Median household income: $92,417 ($7,701 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.2%

See all stories featuring: Pennsylvania

Source: bluecorvette / Flickr

39. Rhode Island: Newport County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,359
> Monthly housing costs: $904 (26.9% of total)
> Median household income: $75,463 ($6,289 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.5%

See all stories featuring: Rhode Island

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Source: TMarantette / Getty Images

40. South Carolina: Beaufort County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,499
> Monthly housing costs: $842 (24.1% of total)
> Median household income: $60,603 ($5,050 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.2%

See all stories featuring: South Carolina

Source: raksyBH / Getty Images

41. South Dakota: Custer County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,081
> Monthly housing costs: $567 (18.4% of total)
> Median household income: $56,449 ($4,704 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 4.0%

See all stories featuring: South Dakota

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Source: csfotoimages / iStock

42. Tennessee: Williamson County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,583
> Monthly housing costs: $971 (27.1% of total)
> Median household income: $103,543 ($8,629 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.5%

See all stories featuring: Tennessee

Source: BOB WESTON / Getty Images

43. Texas: Fort Bend County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,480
> Monthly housing costs: $1,005 (28.9% of total)
> Median household income: $93,645 ($7,804 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 4.0%

See all stories featuring: Texas

Source: J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

44. Utah: Summit County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,464
> Monthly housing costs: $793 (22.9% of total)
> Median household income: $94,952 ($7,913 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.0%

See all stories featuring: Utah

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Source: Jeremy Falling / Wikimedia Commons

45. Vermont: Grand Isle County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,834
> Monthly housing costs: $905 (23.6% of total)
> Median household income: $66,111 ($5,509 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.2%

See all stories featuring: Vermont

Source: JacobH / Getty Images

46. Virginia: Fairfax County
> Monthly cost of living: $4,754
> Monthly housing costs: $1,637 (34.4% of total)
> Median household income: $117,515 ($9,793 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.4%

See all stories featuring: Virginia

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Source: Ultima_Gaina / Getty Images

47. Washington: King County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,631
> Monthly housing costs: $1,119 (30.8% of total)
> Median household income: $83,571 ($6,964 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.5%

See all stories featuring: Washington

Source: florin1961 / Getty Images

48. West Virginia: Jefferson County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,358
> Monthly housing costs: $729 (21.7% of total)
> Median household income: $72,526 ($6,044 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.3%

See all stories featuring: West Virginia

Source: Wolterk / Getty Images

49. Wisconsin: St. Croix County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,274
> Monthly housing costs: $668 (20.4% of total)
> Median household income: $77,768 ($6,481 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.0%

See all stories featuring: Wisconsin

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Source: Justinreznick / iStock

50. Wyoming: Teton County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,779
> Monthly housing costs: $846 (22.4% of total)
> Median household income: $80,049 ($6,671 per month)
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.0%

See all stories featuring: Wyoming

Methodology

To identify the most expensive place, 24/7 Wall St. ranked counties based on the estimated cost to meet the basic needs for a single adult on a monthly basis. Estimated monthly cost of living was provided by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank. We also considered median annual household income, five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey. 2018 unemployment rates came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

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