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Cost of Living Ranking of the US Major Cities

Published in January 2011
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For a few months, the US dollar has strongly reinforced against the euro. This exchange rate fluctuation has deeply modified the worldwide ranking of the most expensive cities for expatriates.
US cities have indeed progressively risen the ranking to compare again with the main European capitals.

EuroCost International has compared 28 US major cities in terms of cost of living for expatriates, including housing costs. A global overview reveals strong discrepancies between those cities, not only for housing, but also for daily expenses.

New York ranks first. The cost of living there is 35% more expensive than the average of the cities considered in the study. It is also up to 60% more expensive than the cheapest cities.
Such a difference comes from the rental costs that are ± 3 times more expensive in New York than in the cities offering the cheapest rents.

Honolulu and San Francisco come second and third, just before Los Angeles and Washington. The cost of living is also very expensive in Boston (that ranks third in a ranking excluding rent).
Cincinnati is the cheapest city, the most affordable rents are found in Indianapolis.

From a geographical point of view, the top 10 locations are mainly situated either in California (San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego) or on the East Coast (New York, Washington, Boston and Philadelphia).


Cost of living ranking of the US major cities (September 2010)
1 New York, NY   15 Houston, TX
2 Honolulu, HI   16 Denver, CO
3 San Francisco, CA   17 Orlando, FL
4 Washington, DC   18 Portland, OR
5 Los Angeles, CA   19 Detroit, MI
6 Boston, CA   20 Pittsburgh, PA
7 Newark, NJ   21 Milwaukee, WI
8 San Diego, CA   22 Dallas, TX
9 Chicago, IL   23 Houston, TX
10 Philadelphia, PA   24 Raleigh, NC
11 Miami, FL   25 Cleveland, OH
12 Seattle, WA   26 Phoenix, AZ
13 Minneapolis, MN   27 Indianapolis, IN
14 Atlanta, GA   28 Cincinnati, OH

About Eurocost International

Eurocost International specialises in expatriation and conducts expat cost of living surveys in more than 270 locations worldwide.
Those data are used by HR professionals to calculate their expat remuneration packages.
EuroCost International cost of living indices are updated 4 times a year (in March, June, September & December). They are based on a basket of 350 goods and services representative of the consumption habits of expatriates and can be customised to fit any company’s or organisation’s salary policy.
3 types of indices are available (home based, adapted expenditure and host based); they are systematically provided together.
EuroCost International also provides specific reports on rental costs, school costs, business trips or on quality of life for expats.