Top 10 Most Expensive Cities in the USA 2021

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  • Post last modified:April 12, 2022
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The United States is home to many cities out of which some are rated as the Most Expensive Cities in the US. It is a common phenomenon for people to relocate and move from one city to another for business reasons, new jobs, or simply planning a vacation but it is very vital that they are aware of the Most Expensive Cities to live in the US in 2021. Having an idea of the cost of living in a city and how expensive the city lifestyle is before making a move to reside in such a city.


Employment opportunities, lifestyle, sports, gastronomy, and entertainment are the major factors that draw the attention of the majority of people who want to live in the city and thus causing an increase in urban migration thereby making life in the city quite expensive. Below are cities that are considered to be

The top 10 Most Expensive Cities in the US 2021

  1. New York City
  2. Honolulu
  3. San Francisco
  4. Anchorage
  5. Boston
  6. Oakland
  7. Washington
  8. Queens
  9. Los Angeles
  10. Miami

Also Read: Top 10 oil and Gas Companies in the USA

1. New York City

  • State: New York
New York City
New York City, no 1 Most Expensive Cities in the US 2021

New York City occupies the first spot on our list of Most Expensive Cities in the US 2019. The city leads others among the Most Expensive Cities to live in the US in 2021. Life in New York City is really costly and expensive. The cost of living in New York City is 120% higher than the national average.

More so, the average cost of homes in New York is about $501,000, when compared to the national average price, the city is also regarded as one of the Most Expensive Cities in the World. Almost everything in New York City is costly from public transportation to groceries and other necessary items and accessories.

2. San Francisco

  • State: California
San Francisco
San Francisco, Second Most Expensive Cities in the US 2021

San Francisco’s livelihood is characterized by a high cost of living and out-of-reach housing prices that has caused many to be bankrupt. The city known to thrive on industries such as tourism, IT and financial services has an incredibly expensive homes cost at an average of $280,000. Fortunately, unemployment in the city is extremely low; however, to live in this city takes about $119,000. Thanks to the highly favorable conditions offered to entrepreneurs and other business ventures which is an attractive factor for many staying in the city.

3. Honolulu

  • State: Hawaii
Honolulu, Third Most Expensive Cities in the US 2021

Honolulu is a very expensive state to reside in due to its high cost of purchasing almost everything which Honolulu residents pay for much more than those residing on the mainland. Groceries alone in Honolulu cost 55% which is higher than any other place in the US and utilities cost 71% more than the national average.

An interesting fact is that the city’s unemployment rate is low at 2.8%. However, the average household income is $58, 397 which is almost equivalent to that of other cities on the list. The major reason attributed to the high cost of living in this city is the fact that the majority of the goods sold in Hawaii arrive by boat or by plane.

4. Boston

  • State: Massachusetts
Boston, Fourth Most Expensive Cities in the US 2021
Boston, Fourth Most Expensive Cities in the US 2021

Boston is a notable city in the United States housing numerous and excellent universities, hospitals, a thriving tourist industry thanks to a host of historical sites which can be traced back to the 13th century; including thriving tech and biotech companies matching that of Silicon Valley.

However, the city’s prosperity is not without a price as the cost of groceries and health care in Boston costs a lot higher than the average national cost of way over 20%. To live in Boston is very demanding and it cost approximately $84, 000 dollar to live comfortably.

5. Washington

  • State: Washington D.C.
Washington, fifth Most Expensive Cities in the US 2021
Washington fifth Most Expensive Cities in the US 2021

Sitting at the center half on our list of the Most Expensive Cities in the US is Washington D.C, housing the White House, home of the sitting president of the United States. Renting a house or mortgage in Washington D.C is costly and it’s rated at 2.7 above the national average at approximately $443,000, and the average household income is about $64,267.

The city is home to numerous Government and private-sector jobs, thanks to numerous federal agencies and lobbying firms as well as a robust tourism sector.

Health-care costs are slightly below the national average and transportation is cheaper, thanks to its affordable varieties of bus and metro systems as well as circulator buses that are free. The city is home to abundant museums and historical sites which are also free to visit.

6. Oakland

  • State: California

Oakland is not as expensive and a better alternative area to reside than most cities in the bay area, but that doesn’t escape it from been enlisted occupying the sixth spot on our list of Most Expensive Cities in the United States.

House related expenses such as renting an apartment in Oakland cost double the price of renting in other cities in the U.S, estimated to be at $1,673 per month while median household income in Oakland is only about $5,600 higher than the national median

7. San Jose

  • State: California

Still, in the Southside of the country, we move to San Jose, also one of the cities located in the bay area is known as the citadel of Silicon Valley comes in at the seventh spot on our list. The median household income in the city is around $81,000.

The presence of these tech companies has helped reduce the rate of unemployment in the city but however, it is the main reason for the skyrocketing price of commodities and houses too, which is at an average of about $575,000.

8. San Diego

  • State: California

San Diego city is known for its excellent and superb outdoor entertainment especially surfing, sailing, and hiking, biking, and golfing. Thanks to its long-range beaches and ideal climate which attracts thousands of people to visit or migrate to the city. It also houses some of the best zoos, museums, professional sports teams, and a whole variety of restaurant scenery.

Not forgetting the presence of the defense department especially the U.S. Navy, Qualcomm, and the University of California, San Diego. These and much more notable organization has all influenced the livelihood of San Diego.

In fact, San Diego’s cost of living is 30% higher than the average national cost of living. However, the unemployment rate in the country is at 3.8% almost reaching that of the national average.

9. Los Angeles

  • State: California

Once again, Los Angeles, popularly known as the “City of Angels” which is one of the Most Popular Cities in the US is ranked as one of the Most Expensive Cities in the United States. Los Angeles is home to Hollywood (the film and TV center of the country) Beverly Hills and Venice Beach, in which only a handful of cities can boast of housing the same several famous areas.

With the high living expenses in this city, it would have been more of a surprise if Los Angeles is not enlisted. Home to numerous celebrities and the lifestyle has influenced the prices of commodities in this city. However, the median income of the city is lower than the national average at approximately $3,000.

10. Miami

  • State: Florida

Sitting at the bottom of our list is the city of Miami. Homes in Miami are very expensive to be it mortgage or lease, however, they can be affordable due to higher wages paid in the state. The city is home to several numerous international financial institutions as well as the busiest cruise ship port is found here in this city.

That’s not all, there are a lot of wealthy foreigners living in this city. This and more contribute to the expensive lifestyle in the city of Miami. To live comfortably in this city will take you about $77,000.

The Most Expensive Cities in the US by Cost of Living

Cost of Living Index
Rent Index
Cost of Living Plus Rent Index
Groceries Index
Restaurant Price Index
Local Purchasing Power Index
1.New York, NY100.00100.00100.00100.00100.00100.00
2.Honolulu, HI95.5766.9882.14101.4282.1174.87
3.San Francisco, CA94.79111.38102.5894.4992.97124.22
4.Anchorage, AK90.8538.4066.2393.3873.64106.01
5.Oakland, CA90.4585.9188.3296.1974.3790.56
6.Queens, NY88.2976.5682.7878.3491.29109.90
7.Boston, MA88.0278.6783.6387.8690.7198.37
8.Seattle, WA87.9371.3780.1683.6886.28123.04
9.Washington, DC83.5279.1581.4779.6281.51106.94
10.Jersey City, NJ82.9964.9674.5283.8871.15112.87
11.Bend, OR81.8441.9663.1287.8172.1882.23
12.Los Angeles, CA81.3576.4579.0578.2889.7294.43
13.Fremont, CA81.3076.1378.8879.5684.16119.37
14.Minneapolis, MN81.1545.5264.4279.4877.22109.97
15.Chicago, IL80.2659.3670.4574.7477.19104.98
16.Saint Paul, MN79.6843.7862.8378.1777.5097.42
17.Charleston, SC79.6451.5466.4580.2777.4495.41
18.San Diego, CA79.5269.8274.9778.9778.75112.47
19.Fort Lauderdale, FL79.2857.6869.1488.2572.22100.36
20.Salem, OR78.9734.9658.3085.3661.6482.64
21.Pittsburgh, PA78.7638.4859.8581.7261.7797.16
22.Milwaukee, WI78.6436.5658.8881.7470.4278.54
23.Miami, FL78.5961.7970.7074.8676.0477.24
24.Irvine, CA78.3271.7975.2571.3979.58124.48
25.Philadelphia, PA78.1548.9564.4477.9968.6584.59
26.Portland, OR77.5649.4964.3874.8872.3797.75
27.Tampa, FL77.3143.7661.5680.9269.97103.26
28.Sacramento, CA76.8848.6263.6174.6669.5099.40
29.Everett, WA76.5946.0162.2474.4984.2394.92
30.Atlanta, GA76.5750.4264.2978.1764.45124.59
31.San Jose, CA76.2285.2880.4770.9876.96131.67
32.Bellingham, WA75.8442.6760.2776.8763.6281.30
33.Cleveland, OH75.7539.8358.8976.5968.6377.26
34.Birmingham, AL75.0828.6853.2975.7568.5283.30
35.New Orleans, LA74.8942.3359.6069.2976.3681.46
36.Colorado Springs, CO73.7337.2956.6273.6469.79100.07
37.Baltimore, MD73.5545.3260.2970.4473.17101.22
38.Olympia, WA73.4341.4858.4374.4568.48109.14
39.Spokane, WA73.3530.3053.1370.3473.5586.85
40.Buffalo, NY73.2427.8751.9472.0365.0592.86
41.Ann Arbor, MI73.1751.2862.8974.7563.23111.15
42.Denver, CO72.9454.3764.2266.2675.27115.99
43.Long Beach, CA72.8257.7865.7676.6567.77104.04
44.Columbus, OH72.5733.8454.3971.1968.61121.20
45.Riverside, CA72.0146.1859.8969.4169.8892.75
46.Albany, NY71.9035.4854.8066.0079.43106.52
47.Charlotte, NC71.5047.2660.1266.0170.31118.29
48.Saint Petersburg, FL71.3341.0657.1270.4262.49115.17
49.Nashville, TN71.0648.6760.5566.5573.75109.73
50.Mobile, AL70.8424.9449.2972.7264.9392.60
51.Rochester, NY70.8230.1551.7367.1670.1298.10
52.Raleigh, NC70.4137.9455.1673.3870.32122.75
53.Omaha, NE70.1331.2651.8868.7061.32104.85
54.Vancouver, WA69.5841.2856.2966.7966.06111.71
55.Detroit, MI69.2542.2856.5966.4563.8572.56
56.Madison, WI68.9738.3554.5967.3267.58109.61
57.Jacksonville, FL68.8335.0252.9673.4465.63109.80
58.Kansas City, MO68.4231.0450.8762.6269.30110.78
59.Las Vegas, NV68.3837.9654.1059.4674.90106.91
60.Fort Worth, TX67.7435.5752.6460.9368.03116.59
61.Richmond, VA67.6837.9453.7163.9472.29104.75
62.Saint Louis, MO67.4333.9251.7066.9560.35120.54
63.Des Moines, IA67.4230.9650.3067.8060.99105.45
64.Louisville, KY67.0734.2351.6564.1275.60113.52
65.Fresno, CA67.0434.2351.6461.2963.44105.14
66.Orlando, FL67.0241.4955.0363.4967.3496.86
67.Reno, NV66.5942.7155.3866.4866.89114.19
68.Eugene, OR66.5335.2451.8472.5755.8890.23
69.Knoxville, TN66.4235.0451.6970.6759.7794.56
70.Tucson, AZ66.3627.2948.0261.6765.2491.96
71.Phoenix, AZ66.1339.7153.7260.1465.49110.01
72.Baton Rouge, LA65.4432.0749.7762.1669.5085.93
73.Albuquerque, NM64.8928.1147.6265.3165.08101.91
74.Indianapolis, IN64.8131.8349.3362.8562.05124.92
75.Houston, TX64.7342.9654.5160.1466.62130.94
76.Chattanooga, TN64.5536.3851.3363.7659.4490.03
77.Dallas, TX64.1748.7556.9357.1664.72145.79
78.San Antonio, TX64.1538.8052.2558.1870.09102.23
79.Huntsville, AL64.0730.5748.3465.5757.92111.85
80.Akron, OH64.0721.3844.0368.2648.1899.60
81.Salt Lake City, UT63.3038.8351.8158.7561.48123.73
82.Cincinnati, OH63.2238.2051.4760.1759.73108.58
83.Oklahoma City, OK63.1132.7748.8764.9052.59108.93
84.Boise, ID62.9938.1551.3356.9567.4997.57
85.Tulsa, OK62.6129.4947.0662.4755.85108.73
86.Little Rock, AR62.4726.4445.5558.7968.01119.74
87.Austin, TX62.3752.7957.8760.3565.51125.80
88.Memphis, TN62.2730.1347.1854.5766.7095.75
89.Wichita, KS61.3223.3343.4855.1061.75103.14
90.Lexington, KY59.8227.5844.6860.2954.73119.18
91.El Paso, TX56.0223.3640.6955.4444.85113.90

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Conclusion on the Top 10 Most Expensive Cities in the US 2020

By now, you are acquainted with the cities that are the most expensive in the country and they are also ranked among the Most Expensive Cities to Live in the US 2021, you will see that majority of the cities enlisted are in California State. Thus, before visiting any of these cities, make sure you know how much it cost to rent or purchase a home, pay for groceries, buy clothing, and other accessories while visiting that city.

Tag: Top 10 Most Expensive Cities in the US 2021