The Most Expensive Large Metros to Live In

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Nick Selbe

Anyone who’s moved from a small town to a big city quickly learns that you can’t stretch a dollar as far as you used to. When a 242-square-foot apartment costs $3,000 per month, it becomes pretty clear that cutting costs is a much more pressing need.

Despite the steep costs, some people feel at home in the hustle and bustle of the big city. CareerTrends — an employment and career research site powered by the Graphiq network — found the 10 most expensive large metros. The list is ranked by the monthly dollar amount required for a married couple with two children to meet a secure yet modest living standard, as defined by the Economic Policy Institute’s 2015 Family Budget Calculator.

The EPI provides estimated costs of childcare, food, healthcare, housing, taxes, transportation and other necessities across 618 locations. This list focuses on large metros with a population of at least 1 million people.

Unsurprisingly, large metros in California and New York are among the most expensive. The 10 most expensive large metros each have a monthly budget over $6,300. We’ll run down the list from No. 10, finishing with the most expensive metro of all, which has a monthly budget over $8,800.

#10. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

Monthly budget: $6,343

Annual budget: $76,117
Population: 1.57 million

#9. Philadelphia, PA

Monthly budget: $6,366

Annual budget: $76,393
Population: 6.02 million

#8. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY

Monthly budget: $6,487

Annual budget: $77,843
Population: 1.14 million

#7. Rochester, NY

Monthly budget: $6,759

Annual budget: $81,106
Population: 1.08 million

#6. Hartford, CT

Monthly budget: $6,802

Annual budget: $81,623
Population: 1.22 million

#5. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

Monthly budget: $7,038

Annual budget: $84,461
Population: 1.90 million

#4. Boston, MA

Monthly budget: $7,149

Annual budget: $85,793
Population: 4.65 million

#3. San Francisco, CA

Monthly budget: $7,649

Annual budget: $91,785
Population: 4.47 million

#2. New York, NY

Monthly budget: $8,227

Annual budget: $98,722
Population: 19.87 million

#1. Washington, DC

Monthly budget: $8,874

Annual budget: $106,493
Population: 5.76 million