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Most Expensive City – No Surprise

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If you took a typical family of four earning a total of $60,000 and moved them around the country, the city in which they would have to spend the most in order to maintain their lifestyle is, with no suprise, New York City.

According to the analysis by Runzheimer International, the annual cost for this family to live in Manhattan is $146,040, including housing, taxes, and costs of owning two vehicles or commutation depending on location.

Unless I’m missing something, a family earning $60,000 each year with $146,000 in expenses each year is in a very bad position.

At an annual cost of $146,060, Manhattan homeowners pay 137.9% more than the national average. And it costs $12,173 more a year to live in Manhattan than to live similarly in San Francisco, according to Runzheimer. The difference between the second and third locations, San Francisco and Los Angeles, is $16,161.

Updated July 16, 2010 and originally published October 19, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .


avatar Luke Landes

I thought the same thing at first, but the cost of owning two cars isn’t considered in cities where it’s not practical, like Manhattan. The cost of mass transit is factored in instead. I think the “$60,000 annual salary” is just to compare similar expenses across cities, not to really determine what an average family will actually spend.

It’s kind of a weird way to come up with the results, but that’s just for consistency. Definitely not one of the most accurate surveys, but it’s an interesting analysis and the ranking’s probably correct, even if the numbers seem odd.

avatar maribeth

But, if you live in Manhattan, you probably rent a place, not own it, and you probably don’t have a car because you don’t need it. So this report is ridiculous.

avatar Caitlin

Hm. I am suspect if Boston comes out as cheaper than DC…no way.

avatar thc

Gee, I sure feel better now. I’m saving over $12,000 per year by living in the Bay Area vs. liiving in NYC!