More than 3.8 million babies were born in the United States in 2017. Raising a family has never been cheap — a typical American family of four today spends over $6,000 each month on housing, food, transportation, health care, childcare, taxes, and other necessities. In some areas, these costs are thousands of dollars more.
To determine the most expensive places to raise a family, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed median cost of living data from the Economic Policy Institute for a family of four — two parents and two children — for each U.S. county and county equivalent. Only counties and other equivalent areas with at least 10,000 residents were considered. Data on the median family income, monthly childcare costs, and population also came from EPI.
The most expensive places to raise a family tend to be some of the best places for children. Places with a high cost of living tend to have highly affluent residents, who have the means to pay for better schools and services for children. Highly impoverished places, on the other hand, may also struggle with other socioeconomic issues and cannot always provide the best environment for children. These are the worst cities to raise kids.
The 30 most expensive places to raise a family in the United States are concentrated in just seven states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C. Each of these states has among the highest overall costs of living, so it makes sense that these heightened expenses would carry over into childcare as well. Though the most expensive places overall tend to concentrate in high-cost of living states, there are urban centers in each state where goods and services tend to cost more than in the state as a whole. These are the most expensive cities to live in every state.
This list contains 30 counties or county equivalents. In Alaska, boroughs are used instead of counties. The state’s population is fairly spread out and isolated, so population centers like Anchorage and Juneau are treated as county equivalents as well.