Most Expensive Places to Raise a Family

August 13, 2019 by Grant Suneson

Source: Portra / Getty Images

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.

Click here to learn more about the most expensive places to raise a family.

Source: ChrisBoswell / Getty Images

30. Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,460
> Median annual family income: $88,678
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,739
> Population: 98,679

[in-text-ad]

Source: Debbie Ann Powell / Getty Images

29. Juneau City and Borough, Alaska
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,465
> Median annual family income: $107,061
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,678
> Population: 32,524

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock

28. Arlington County, Virginia
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,493
> Median annual family income: $150,294
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,801
> Population: 226,092

Source: NickLustPhotography / Getty Images

27. San Benito County, California
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,501
> Median annual family income: $81,188
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,290
> Population: 58,051

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: JacobH / Getty Images

26. Fairfax County, Virginia
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,509
> Median annual family income: $135,002
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,752
> Population: 1,132,887

Source: stresstensor / Getty Images

25. Middlesex County, Massachusetts
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,529
> Median annual family income: $114,307
> Monthly childcare costs: $2,250
> Population: 1,567,610

[in-text-ad]

Source: bauhaus1000 / Getty Images

24. Broomfield County, Colorado
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,572
> Median annual family income: $100,925
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,897
> Population: 62,449

Source: Didier Moïse / Wikimedia Commons

23. Anchorage Municipality, Alaska
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,587
> Median annual family income: $96,376
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,906
> Population: 299,321

Source: Art Wager / Getty Images

22. Honolulu County, Hawaii
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,632
> Median annual family income: $91,787
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,548
> Population: 986,999

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: SWKrullImaging / Getty Images

21. Douglas County, Colorado
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,689
> Median annual family income: $121,483
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,950
> Population: 314,238

Source: NicolasMcComber / Getty Images

20. Kings County, New York
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,707
> Median annual family income: $57,604
> Monthly childcare costs: $2,686
> Population: 2,606,852

[in-text-ad]

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

19. Orange County, New York
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,814
> Median annual family income: $88,883
> Monthly childcare costs: $2,431
> Population: 376,242

Source: nancykennedy / Getty Images

18. Dutchess County, New York
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,821
> Median annual family income: $92,789
> Monthly childcare costs: $2,405
> Population: 295,905

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

17. Norfolk County, Massachusetts
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,870
> Median annual family income: $116,716
> Monthly childcare costs: $2,331
> Population: 691,218

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: DMartinez-Photo / Getty Images

16. Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $9,952
> Median annual family income: $90,759
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,929
> Population: 100,150

Source: DianeBentleyRaymond / Getty Images

15. Alameda County, California
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $10,160
> Median annual family income: $99,211
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,499
> Population: 1,605,217

[in-text-ad]

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

14. Washington, D.C.
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $10,331
> Median annual family income: $90,917
> Monthly childcare costs: $3,279
> Population: 659,009

Source: yhelfman / Getty Images

13. Contra Costa County, California
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $10,473
> Median annual family income: $101,088
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,537
> Population: 1,107,925

Source: Demetri2K / Getty Images

12. Richmond County, New York
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $10,490
> Median annual family income: $89,833
> Monthly childcare costs: $2,632
> Population: 473,324

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: SpVVK / iStock

11. Santa Clara County, California
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $10,758
> Median annual family income: $116,568
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,559
> Population: 1,885,056

Source: Alex Potemkin / Getty Images

10. Westchester County, New York
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $10,764
> Median annual family income: $112,894
> Monthly childcare costs: $2,724
> Population: 969,229

[in-text-ad]

Source: Boogich / Getty Images

9. Queens County, New York
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $10,777
> Median annual family income: $67,780
> Monthly childcare costs: $2,863
> Population: 2,310,011

Source: OlegAlbinsky / Getty Images

8. Rockland County, New York
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $11,298
> Median annual family income: $103,555
> Monthly childcare costs: $2,826
> Population: 322,642

Source: frwooar / Getty Images

7. Putnam County, New York
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $11,563
> Median annual family income: $116,190
> Monthly childcare costs: $2,708
> Population: 99,408

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Miles Astray / Getty Images

6. Suffolk County, New York
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $11,564
> Median annual family income: $107,019
> Monthly childcare costs: $2,873
> Population: 1,498,130

Source: GCShutter / Getty Images

5. New York County, New York
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $11,649
> Median annual family income: $96,058
> Monthly childcare costs: $3,041
> Population: 1,634,989

[in-text-ad]

Source: alarico / Getty Images

4. Nassau County, New York
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $11,702
> Median annual family income: $121,489
> Monthly childcare costs: $2,908
> Population: 1,356,801

Source: Nicolas McComber / Getty Images

3. San Francisco County, California
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $11,777
> Median annual family income: $105,562
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,672
> Population: 850,282

Source: Spondylolithesis / Getty Images

2. Marin County, California
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $12,919
> Median annual family income: $132,846
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,753
> Population: 259,358

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: SpVVK / Getty Images

1. San Mateo County, California
> Monthly cost of living (family of 4): $13,024
> Median annual family income: $117,300
> Monthly childcare costs: $1,787
> Population: 754,748