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Here's How Much It Costs to Live in America's 10 Most Expensive Cities Get ready to shell out $15,000 a month to live in some of these coastal locales.

By Madison Hoff

Key Takeaways

  • San Francisco, San Jose, and Boston are three expensive cities for families.
  • EPI analyzed the monthly costs of a household with two adults and two kids based on food, childcare, and other costs.
  • Housing for this household type in San Francisco — the most expensive metro — is $3,188 a month.
Alexander Spatari/Getty Images via Business Insider

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Six of the 10 most expensive US metros for families are in California.

Business Insider looked at the monthly costs for households with two adults and two children from the Economic Policy Institute's "Family Budget Calculator." EPI assembled data from multiple sources and looked at several kinds of expenses a household may have.

"The Family Budget Calculator is constructed to determine the resources needed to generate a decent standard of living, one in which a family can afford the basic necessities," a post from EPI said.

BI looked at families where the parents are "employed, live together with their children, and jointly file federal income taxes." There are assumptions about children's ages too: "Families with two children are assumed to have a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old," a EPI post said.

There are also some assumptions for the various expense categories, such as for healthcare. The budget calculator notes that these "expenses include insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and assume families purchase the lowest cost bronze plans on the health insurance exchange established under the Affordable Care Act."

The EPI post about the calculator noted that data is for 2023 or when needed "inflated to 2023 dollars with the budget-item-appropriate inflator."

San Francisco ranked No. 1 — or the most expensive among the metros analyzed by EPI — based on its monthly total cost of around $15,000. With a monthly cost of over $3,000 for housing, based on the cost of a two-bedroom apartment, this was the largest monthly expense among the seven categories for this area.

San Francisco wasn't the only one with a large monthly housing expense compared to other expenses. Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut, had a housing expense of $2,563 for a two-adult, two-child family, making it its largest monthly expense among the seven categories EPI focused on.

Other metros saw childcare as the highest expense. Childcare was the largest monthly expense among the seven categories for Nassau-Suffolk, New York, for instance.

People may be finding it difficult to afford certain items. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a recent 60 Minutes interview that "if you think about the basic necessities" like bread and milk, "prices are substantially higher than they were before the pandemic."

"We think that's a big reason why people are, have been relatively dissatisfied with what is otherwise a pretty good economy," Powell said.

Parents and guardians also have to think about the cost and type of childcare they need. For some people, childcare is a massive expense and could be larger than their other costs.

"It's almost like $2,000 more than our mortgage," Paige Connell, who has four children, previously told Business Insider. "I mean, that is a pretty significant dollar amount for us. It is the thing that we pay the most money for, for sure."

Below are the most expensive metros ranked based on the monthly total for two adults and two children according to EPI. The dollar amount next to the metro is the monthly total of the costs for this household.

10. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA: $12,725

Boston

John Coletti/Getty Images via BI

Housing: $2,635

Food: $1,198

Transportation: $1,434

Healthcare: $1,244

Other necessities: $1,357

Childcare: $2,635

Taxes: $2,222

9. Napa, CA: $12,765

Napa, California

DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images via BI

Housing: $2,388

Food: $1,261

Transportation: $1,710

Healthcare: $1,599

Other necessities: $1,292

Childcare: $2,311

Taxes: $2,204

8. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA: $12,901

Santa Barbara, California

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images via BI

Housing: $2,667

Food: $1,046

Transportation: $1,641

Healthcare: $1,685

Other necessities: $1,315

Childcare: $2,301

Taxes: $2,246

7. Westchester County, NY: $12,960

Mamaroneck, Westchester County, New York

Alex Potemkin/Getty Images via BI

Housing: $2,029

Food: $1,173

Transportation: $1,382

Healthcare: $1,791

Other necessities: $1,134

Childcare: $3,096

Taxes: $2,357

6. Oakland-Fremont, CA: $12,972

Oakland, California

Brad Wenner/Getty Images via BI

Housing: $2,405

Food: $1,200

Transportation: $1,566

Healthcare: $1,594

Other necessities: $1,276

Childcare: $2,662

Taxes: $2,268

5. Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $13,101

Aerial view of Stamford, Connecticut

halbergman/Getty Images via BI

Housing: $2,563

Food: $1,183

Transportation: $1,503

Healthcare: $2,032

Other necessities: $1,326

Childcare: $2,070

Taxes: $2,424

4. Nassau-Suffolk, NY: $13,565

View of part of New York

littlenySTOCK/Shutterstock via BI

Housing: $2,297

Food: $1,132

Transportation: $1,584

Healthcare: $1,675

Other necessities: $1,214

Childcare: $3,137

Taxes: $2,526

3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $13,752

San Jose, California

Walter Bibikow/Getty Images via BI

Housing: $2,941

Food: $1,183

Transportation: $1,566

Healthcare: $1,366

Other necessities: $1,460

Childcare: $2,726

Taxes: $2,509

2. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA: $14,509

Santa Cruz, California

Housing: $3,293

Food: $1,269

Transportation: $1,652

Healthcare: $1,608

Other necessities: $1,615

Childcare: $2,343

Taxes: $2,728

1. San Francisco, CA: $15,106

San Francisco

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images via BI

Housing: $3,188

Food: $1,333

Transportation: $1,494

Healthcare: $1,682

Other necessities: $1,601

Childcare: $2,900

Taxes: $2,909

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