Top 10 Most Expensive U.S. Cities To Raise A Family

By | December 16, 2015

This Top 10 list is presented for those of us who think that their cost of living has gotten completely out of control!

After reading the list some might feel a little bit better knowing that their hometown is not present while others will have confirmation of a fact they have always known or at the very least suspected.

So does your city, town or county make this list?

While mine unfortunately and predictably does, at least one entry came as a surprise.

Courtesy of MarketWatch, the Top 10…

1. Washington, D.C.

A family of four needs $106,493 just to get by in Washington — making this city the most expensive place for parents to raise two children. Child care here is particularly pricey at $31,158 a year on average — the highest in the nation.

2. Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y.

Generations of city dwellers have headed to Long Island to raise their kids, but apparently not to save money. The Nassau–Suffolk County region is the second most expensive place to raise two kids in the U.S., costing families there $103,606. You’ll likely spend a lot on rent (a median of $19,356 a year), as well as on taxes ($16,822) and other necessities ($13,881 on average).

3. Westchester County, N.Y.

Like Long Island, this suburban region outside New York City is notably pricey for families — $99,592 on average. The area shares many of the characteristics of Nassau–Suffolk County, including high taxes ($15,589 a year on average).

4. New York City

The Big Apple takes the No. 4 spot on this list — requiring a family of four to make $98,722 just to get by. The good news: City dwellers get a break (not surprisingly) on transportation costs — at least compared with their suburban neighbors in Westchester and Nassau–Suffolk County.

5. Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.

A family of four in the Stamford-Norwalk area needs $97,350 to pay the bills — and gets hit particularly hard by housing costs ($22,290 a year), other necessities ($15,603) and taxes ($15,487).

6. Honolulu

You’ll pay — dearly — to live amid the sunshine and sand of Honolulu. It costs a family of four here $94,092 to get by. Food costs ($11,244) are the highest in the country, thanks in large part to extra shipping expense.

7. Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, N.Y.

These towns typically aren’t known for ultra-posh living, but due in part to high housing costs (which plague many towns near New York City), these municipalities collectively claim the No. 7 spot on the list. It costs a family of four $92,837 to pay the bills in this area.

8. Ithaca, N.Y.

Living in this charming college town (it’s home to Cornell University and Ithaca College) won’t come cheap — it costs a family of four $92,603 to get by. This high cost is due to high taxes and rents, and may be skewed slightly upward thanks to the costs of child care in New York state (the EPI data used a statewide survey of child-care costs).

9. San Francisco

Despite housing costs that are the highest in the country (a median of $23,472 a year), this city only takes the No. 9 spot, with housing offset partially by child-care costs that are much lower than in much of New York ($10,815).

10. Danbury, Conn.

With high housing and child-care costs, as well as high taxes, it will cost a family of four just over $89,000 to pay the bills in this city.

Michael Haltman is President of Hallmark Abstract Service in New York. He can be reached at mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

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