The economic uncertainty and health concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic of the last year have had a drastic effect on the way many Americans live their lives — including driving many to move out of big cities into the suburbs or even more remote areas.
One of the main drawbacks to living in major cities is the price. Goods and services are all fairly expensive compared to less densely populated areas. Nearly every state is home to one major metropolitan area in which the cost of living is well above the average for that state.
To determine the most expensive city in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on cost of living from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Just because a city is the most expensive in its state does not necessarily mean its cost of living is that high when compared to the national average cost of living. In 29 states, the most expensive city has a lower cost of living than is typical nationwide, largely because the prices of goods and services statewide fall well below national prices.
The vast majority of metro areas on the list expanded, with their population increasing well beyond the 2.9% national population growth over the last five years. Costs of living tend to be higher in places where people want to live. These kinds of metro areas typically have abundant economic opportunity, reflected in the areas’ relatively high incomes and low poverty rates, compared to both the state and the country. This is the best city to live in every state.
To determine the most expensive city in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on cost of living from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Metropolitan areas were ranked based on the regional price parity for all goods and services in 2019. Supplemental data on median household income and poverty rate came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.
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