Special Report

Most Expensive Place to Live in Every State

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The cost of maintaining a basic standard of living varies throughout the United States. Housing, food, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities vary in cost from county to county, with the total cost of living in the most expensive place in the country more than twice that of the least expensive place.

The cost of living also varies drastically within states, with rural areas often providing cheaper goods and services than denser, urban areas. In most states, there is a county where the cost of living is at least 25% greater than that of another county.

24/7 Wall St. used data from 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 cost for a single adult to maintain a modest yet adequate standard of living.

Housing is one of the largest components of cost of living. On average, it accounts for approximately 25% of the total cost of living nationwide. In many of the most expensive places to live, housing accounts for more than a third of total living expenses. These are America’s 25 least affordable housing markets.

Many of the most expensive places to live in every state are also the most desirable places to live. In a majority of the counties on our list, the population growth from 2013 to 2018 was greater than the +3.6% national figure. These are the 25 best counties to live in.

And while many of these counties are currently experiencing high levels of joblessness related to the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment was still below the 13.0% national rate in most as of May 2020. For more on how COVID-19 has impacted U.S. counties, see the counties in every state where COVID-19 is growing the fastest.

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

Source: Rivers Langley; SaveRivers / Wikimedia Commons

1. Alabama: Shelby County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,577
> Monthly housing costs: $841 (23.5% of total)
> Median household income: $75,761 ($6,313 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 6.5%
> Largest city or town in county: Hoover

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Source: LanceKing / Getty Images

2. Alaska: Denali Borough
> Monthly cost of living: $4,362
> Monthly housing costs: $1,087 (24.9% of total)
> Median household income: $84,196 ($7,016 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 14.7%
> Largest city or town in borough: Healy

Source: fdastudillo / Getty Images

3. Arizona: Coconino County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,611
> Monthly housing costs: $816 (22.6% of total)
> Median household income: $57,616 ($4,801 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 11.7%
> Largest city or town in county: Flagstaff

4. Arkansas: Saline County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,066
> Monthly housing costs: $643 (21.0% of total)
> Median household income: $62,152 ($5,179 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 8.1%
> Largest city or town in county: Benton

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Source: SpVVK / Getty Images

5. California: San Mateo County
> Monthly cost of living: $6,391
> Monthly housing costs: $2,228 (34.9% of total)
> Median household income: $113,776 ($9,481 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 11.1%
> Largest city or town in county: Daly City

Source: SWKrullImaging / Getty Images

6. Colorado: Douglas County
> Monthly cost of living: $4,328
> Monthly housing costs: $1,302 (30.1% of total)
> Median household income: $115,314 ($9,610 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 8.2%
> Largest city or town in county: Highlands Ranch

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Source: JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ, M.D. / Wikimedia Commons

7. Connecticut: Fairfield County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,978
> Monthly housing costs: $1,097 (27.6% of total)
> Median household income: $92,969 ($7,747 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 9.3%
> Largest city or town in county: Bridgeport

8. Delaware: New Castle County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,522
> Monthly housing costs: $873 (24.8% of total)
> Median household income: $70,996 ($5,916 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 14.9%
> Largest city or town in county: Wilmington

Source: Rauluminate / iStock

9. Florida: Monroe County
> Monthly cost of living: $4,000
> Monthly housing costs: $1,001 (25.0% of total)
> Median household income: $67,023 ($5,585 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 17.7%
> Largest city or town in county: Key West

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Source: Thomson200 / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

10. Georgia: Forsyth County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,993
> Monthly housing costs: $1,085 (27.2% of total)
> Median household income: $101,743 ($8,479 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 7.9%
> Largest city or town in county: Cumming

Source: quid-tum / Flickr

11. Hawaii: Kalawao County
> Monthly cost of living: $4,565
> Monthly housing costs: $1,174 (25.7% of total)
> Median household income: $61,875 ($5,156 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: Not available
> Largest city or town in county: Kalaupapa

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Source: shanecotee / Getty Images

12. Idaho: Blaine County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,711
> Monthly housing costs: $779 (21.0% of total)
> Median household income: $51,968 ($4,331 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 14.9%
> Largest city or town in county: Hailey

Source: stevegeer / iStock via Getty Images

13. Illinois: McHenry County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,806
> Monthly housing costs: $981 (25.8% of total)
> Median household income: $84,803 ($7,067 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 13.3%
> Largest city or town in county: Crystal Lake

Source: Jose A Perez / Getty Images

14. Indiana: Hamilton County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,314
> Monthly housing costs: $774 (23.3% of total)
> Median household income: $94,644 ($7,887 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 7.5%
> Largest city or town in county: Carmel

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

15. Iowa: Story County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,216
> Monthly housing costs: $633 (19.7% of total)
> Median household income: $54,554 ($4,546 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 6.9%
> Largest city or town in county: Ames

Source: Purestock / Getty Images

16. Kansas: Riley County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,458
> Monthly housing costs: $809 (23.4% of total)
> Median household income: $49,910 ($4,159 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 7.9%
> Largest city or town in county: Manhattan

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Source: dadonk / iStock

17. Kentucky: Oldham County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,134
> Monthly housing costs: $672 (21.4% of total)
> Median household income: $97,597 ($8,133 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 9.1%
> Largest city or town in county: La Grange

Source: Judy Darby / Getty Images

18. Louisiana: St. Tammany Parish
> Monthly cost of living: $3,353
> Monthly housing costs: $791 (23.6% of total)
> Median household income: $67,706 ($5,642 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 12.3%
> Largest city or town in parish: Slidell

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

19. Maine: Cumberland County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,770
> Monthly housing costs: $974 (25.8% of total)
> Median household income: $69,708 ($5,809 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 10.3%
> Largest city or town in county: Portland

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Source: ymn / Getty Images

20. Maryland: Calvert County
> Monthly cost of living: $4,866
> Monthly housing costs: $1,522 (31.3% of total)
> Median household income: $104,301 ($8,692 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 7.7%
> Largest city or town in county: Chesapeake Ranch Estates-Drum Point

Source: OlegAlbinsky / E+ via Getty Images

21. Massachusetts: Nantucket County
> Monthly cost of living: $4,337
> Monthly housing costs: $1,282 (29.6% of total)
> Median household income: $105,171 ($8,764 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 17.3%
> Largest city or town in county: Nantucket

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Source: simplycmb / Getty Images

22. Michigan: Leelanau County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,595
> Monthly housing costs: $688 (19.1% of total)
> Median household income: $63,831 ($5,319 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 17.1%
> Largest city or town in county: Greilickville

Source: Melissa Kopka / iStock via Getty Images

23. Minnesota: Washington County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,551
> Monthly housing costs: $903 (25.4% of total)
> Median household income: $92,376 ($7,698 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 9.2%
> Largest city or town in county: Woodbury

24. Mississippi: Madison County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,335
> Monthly housing costs: $738 (22.1% of total)
> Median household income: $71,690 ($5,974 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 10.0%
> Largest city or town in county: Madison

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Source: BOB WESTON / Getty Images

25. Missouri: Andrew County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,207
> Monthly housing costs: $576 (17.9% of total)
> Median household income: $55,683 ($4,640 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 5.3%
> Largest city or town in county: Savannah

Source: urbancow / iStock via Getty Images

26. Montana: Madison County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,627
> Monthly housing costs: $720 (19.8% of total)
> Median household income: $50,247 ($4,187 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 7.4%
> Largest city or town in county: Ennis

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

27. Nebraska: Arthur County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,642
> Monthly housing costs: $549 (15.1% of total)
> Median household income: $43,854 ($3,655 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 3.5%
> Largest city or town in county: Arthur

Source: BOB WESTON / Getty Images

28. Nevada: Churchill County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,472
> Monthly housing costs: $733 (21.1% of total)
> Median household income: $51,514 ($4,293 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 8.3%
> Largest city or town in county: Fallon

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

29. New Hampshire: Rockingham County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,527
> Monthly housing costs: $943 (26.7% of total)
> Median household income: $90,429 ($7,536 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 14.6%
> Largest city or town in county: Derry

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Source: KenWiedemann / Getty Images

30. New Jersey: Hunterdon County
> Monthly cost of living: $4,108
> Monthly housing costs: $1,089 (26.5% of total)
> Median household income: $112,535 ($9,378 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 11.1%
> Largest city or town in county: Flemington

Source: aspidoscelis / Flickr

31. New Mexico: Harding County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,214
> Monthly housing costs: $564 (17.6% of total)
> Median household income: $30,875 ($2,573 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 3.0%
> Largest city or town in county: Roy

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Source: Kirkikis / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

32. New York: Putnam County
> Monthly cost of living: $5,181
> Monthly housing costs: $1,511 (29.2% of total)
> Median household income: $102,186 ($8,516 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 10.6%
> Largest city or town in county: Mahopac

Source: Courtesy of Google Maps 2019

33. North Carolina: Camden County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,993
> Monthly housing costs: $880 (22.0% of total)
> Median household income: $63,349 ($5,279 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 8.3%
> Largest city or town in county: Camden

34. North Dakota: Dunn County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,970
> Monthly housing costs: $1,003 (25.3% of total)
> Median household income: $70,500 ($5,875 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 6.6%
> Largest city or town in county: Killdeer

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Source: LarryKnupp / iStock via Getty Images

35. Ohio: Hocking County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,150
> Monthly housing costs: $607 (19.3% of total)
> Median household income: $50,000 ($4,167 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 11.0%
> Largest city or town in county: Logan

Source: RoseMaryBush / iStock via Getty Images

36. Oklahoma: Ellis County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,406
> Monthly housing costs: $565 (16.6% of total)
> Median household income: $52,705 ($4,392 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 8.2%
> Largest city or town in county: Shattuck

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Source: thyegn / iStock via Getty Images

37. Oregon: Clackamas County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,965
> Monthly housing costs: $1,115 (28.1% of total)
> Median household income: $76,597 ($6,383 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 13.1%
> Largest city or town in county: Lake Oswego

Source: Robert Kirk / Getty Images

38. Pennsylvania: Chester County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,833
> Monthly housing costs: $1,007 (26.3% of total)
> Median household income: $96,726 ($8,061 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 9.6%
> Largest city or town in county: West Chester

Source: Image Source / Getty Images

39. Rhode Island: Newport County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,503
> Monthly housing costs: $943 (26.9% of total)
> Median household income: $77,237 ($6,436 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 13.9%
> Largest city or town in county: Newport

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Source: fallbrook / iStock

40. South Carolina: Beaufort County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,649
> Monthly housing costs: $878 (24.1% of total)
> Median household income: $63,110 ($5,259 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 11.3%
> Largest city or town in county: Hilton Head Island

Source: chapin31 / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

41. South Dakota: Custer County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,214
> Monthly housing costs: $591 (18.4% of total)
> Median household income: $55,472 ($4,623 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 11.1%
> Largest city or town in county: Custer

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Source: mavdesign / iStock via Getty Images

42. Tennessee: Williamson County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,737
> Monthly housing costs: $1,013 (27.1% of total)
> Median household income: $109,026 ($9,086 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 7.4%
> Largest city or town in county: Franklin

Source: AlizadaStudios / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

43. Texas: Fort Bend County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,629
> Monthly housing costs: $1,048 (28.9% of total)
> Median household income: $95,561 ($7,963 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 12.8%
> Largest city or town in county: Sugar Land

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

44. Utah: Summit County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,613
> Monthly housing costs: $827 (22.9% of total)
> Median household income: $100,453 ($8,371 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 16.9%
> Largest city or town in county: Park City

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45. Vermont: Grand Isle County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,999
> Monthly housing costs: $944 (23.6% of total)
> Median household income: $69,583 ($5,799 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 12.5%
> Largest city or town in county: Alburg

Source: JacobH / Getty Images

46. Virginia: Fairfax County
> Monthly cost of living: $4,959
> Monthly housing costs: $1,707 (34.4% of total)
> Median household income: $121,133 ($10,094 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 8.8%
> Largest city or town in county: Reston

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Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

47. Washington: King County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,787
> Monthly housing costs: $1,167 (30.8% of total)
> Median household income: $89,418 ($7,452 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 14.3%
> Largest city or town in county: Seattle

Source: Jim Surkamp / Flickr

48. West Virginia: Jefferson County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,502
> Monthly housing costs: $760 (21.7% of total)
> Median household income: $76,503 ($6,375 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 10.0%
> Largest city or town in county: Corporation of Ranson

Source: Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikimedia Commons

49. Wisconsin: St. Croix County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,415
> Monthly housing costs: $697 (20.4% of total)
> Median household income: $81,124 ($6,760 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 13.8%
> Largest city or town in county: Hudson

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Source: Justinreznick / iStock

50. Wyoming: Teton County
> Monthly cost of living: $3,942
> Monthly housing costs: $882 (22.4% of total)
> Median household income: $83,831 ($6,986 per month)
> May 2020 unemployment rate: 15.0%
> Largest city or town in county: Jackson

Methodology

To identify the most expensive place in every state, 24/7 Wall St. ranked counties based on the estimated cost to meet the basic needs for a single adult on a monthly basis. These needs include housing, food, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities. Estimated monthly cost of living was provided by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank. All EPI data was adjusted from 2017 dollars to 2019 dollars using Consumer Price Index data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Supplemental data on median household income came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and are five-year estimates for 2018. Data on unemployment for May 2020 came from the BLS and are not seasonally adjusted.

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