These Are America's 10 Most And Least Expensive Cities (And The 361 Cities Inbetween)

Recently we showed data breaking down of not only the states that have the highest and lowest state tax rates, but also which states are considered the most and least expensive to live in, based on regional price parity data as calculated by the BEA. Of course, the problem with that approach as anyone who has lived in Manhattan compared to upstate New York will know, is that state level data is largely useless when there are extensive price differentials within any given state.

Which is why to drill down on state-level disparities, here is a full breakdown of regional price parities, again using BEA data, this time at the Metro State Level, which shows for example that it is over 30% more expensive to live in New York, NY (which is the second most expensive city in the US after Honolulu) with a regional price parity index of 122.2, than in Utica, NY, which is at 93.0.

First, here are the 10 most expensive cities/MSAs to live in the US:


And, at the other end, here are the 10 cheapest cities and MSAs:


In summary, very much like extensive wage and price differentials within the European "Union", this latest data shows that it is about 54% more expensive to live in America's most expensive city, Honolulu, than to live in what according to the US government is the cheapest city in the US - Danville, IL.

As the US consumer retrenches even further, and is forced to minimize spending to previously unseen levels, we expect to see increasing migration away from America's more expensive cities, into the one at the bottom end of the list of 381 cities and MSAs ranked below.

Full list of all US states ranked from most to least expensive (via the WSJ):