Calling a city home has always been incredibly expensive, but in certain places, the rising cost of living is making it extortionate! In this article, we collected information on 17 U.S. cities that are becoming increasingly expensive to live in and why this is the case.
New York City, NY
Perhaps not a surprise to many, but New York City has one of the fastest-rising costs of living in the United States, specifically in areas like Manhattan and Brooklyn. According to Salary.com, the cost of living in New York is 77% higher than the national average, having increased by 1.6% since last year. This is mainly due to housing, utilities, and daily expenses.
Honolulu, Hawaii, is a gorgeous, unique island and popular tourist destination—both of which impact local prices and contribute to higher living expenses. The city unfortunately suffers from expensive housing, transportation, and food costs, which only seem to be rising year after year.
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, a tech industry stronghold, has some of the highest housing costs in the United States, 202% higher than the national average, according to RentCafe. The city also faces significant expense increases in transportation and utilities, which are currently 36% and 33% higher than the average, respectively.
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, known for its entertainment industry and sunny beaches, faces high housing and transportation costs. The city’s cost of living index is 149.1, according to CNBC, which reflects its diverse economy and lifestyle. Los Angeles is home to many celebrities and Hollywood stars, which contributes to its rising costs in housing and entertainment.
The nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., has experienced a 1.3% increase in the cost of living this year, with high housing costs in and around the city. The presence of government and political institutions impacts the local economy, continuously driving up expenses in healthcare, education, and daily living.
Boston is a historical city that experiences significant rates of tourism and also has an impressive educational sector, making it a popular place to live and visit. Unfortunately, this means that the city faces increasingly high costs in the housing, transportation, healthcare, and education sectors.
Seattle, home to the Space Needle and tech giants Amazon and Microsoft, experiences high housing costs. The average home price is over $1 million, and the average rent is $3,300, according to Forbes. Despite the high (and increasing) cost of living, Seattle’s robust job market and beautiful natural scenery continue to attract residents.
San Diego, CA
Another popular city in California, San Diego faces high housing costs and elevated, increasing real estate prices. As reported by 7 San Diego, “San Diego is a great place to live. That drives the pricing up because there’s more and more people choosing to settle here now.” The city also suffers from expensive utilities and transportation.
Portland is facing rapidly rising housing costs, especially in its most popular neighborhoods. The increasing cost of living is said to be due to growth in high-paying industries, such as healthcare, technology, and finance. The city also faces elevated expenses in food, entertainment, and public services.
Located in the Northern California Bay Area and part of the larger San Francisco metropolitan area, it’s not surprising that Oakland has a high and increasing cost of living. RentCafe reports that the Oakland, CA, housing market is 98% more expensive than the country’s average, and the general cost of living is 44% higher.
Denver, with a growing labor force and strong economy, has a cost of living index of 11% above the national average. The city has plenty of job opportunities in the technology, healthcare, and aerospace industries, attracting residents despite its higher-than-average housing and utility costs.
San Jose, CA
In the heart of Silicon Valley, the city of San Jose has faced a significant increase in living costs. The high demand in the housing market has led to soaring real estate prices, and the cost of living is now significantly above the national average due to the tech industry boom.
Mesa’s workforce has grown by 3.9% since 2022, and the cost of living index is 3% above the national average—likely to continue to increase. The city’s strong job market and affordable housing options make it a popular choice for new residents, despite the increasing costs.
The booming music and entertainment industry in Nashville has driven the city’s population growth. As a result, there have been rising housing costs due to increased demand and economic growth. Overall, the cost of living is growing faster than the national average.
Minneapolis has seen a gradual increase in its cost of living. This is partly due to the steady increase in housing prices, both in the buying and renting markets. The city is experiencing a growing economy, and rising costs in healthcare, education, and utilities are contributing to the overall cost of living.
Miami, a much-loved beach destination and luxurious party hotspot, comes with a cost of living that is 20% higher than the national average. Housing in Miami is a particularly expensive sector, currently 50% above the national average. The city’s population continues to rise due to its attractive lifestyle, meaning costs are likely to follow suit.
Austin has experienced a rapid increase in living costs over the past few years, particularly in the housing sector. KVUE reports that the cost of living in Austin is 17.8% higher than it was a decade ago, with housing costs having increased by 20.7%.
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