The New York boroughs of Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn nabbed three spots on the list of the 10 most expensive cities to live in the U.S. – while towns in Texas scored among the cheapest.
Not surprisingly the island of Manhattan nabbed the top spot with the most expensive housing, according to a new report released by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) which indexed the cost of living in 300 cities across America.
While California cities were found to be equally pricey, locales down South fared among the least expensive.
“The top 10 most expensive cities are pretty stable, they remain almost static,” Dean Frutiger, project manager for the Cost of Living Index project at C2ER, told ABC News.
“There’s more change with the bottom,” he added.
The research by C2ER compiled the prices of 60 consumer goods and services in six key categories that include grocery items, housing, utilities, transportation, health care and miscellaneous expenses.
Housing was found to be the significant expense, accounting for an estimated 29% of a resident’s income.
The Big Apple is known to be notoriously expensive, with eye-popping rents charged for just the tiniest square footage.
The cost of living for a resident of Manhattan was found to be 133.5% higher than the national average.
Just across the East River in Brooklyn, living expenses are equally staggering.
The New York City borough that has been a haven for families and artists wanting to escape the bustle of Manhattan is now on par in terms of prices, with a cost of living index at 183.4.
Thus the hipster hideout is no longer offering relief for wallet-wearied New Yorkers, coming in at number two on the list.
The island getaway of Honolulu came third on the priciest places to settle down.
The tropical paradise had a cost of living index of 170.8.
The tech city of San Francisco came fourth, with an index of 163.2, and the neighboring California town of San Jose was fifth, with 156.5.
The New York City borough of Queens, whose Long Island City neighborhood has increasingly been welcoming Manhattan transplants, came sixth with an index of 151.4.
The wealthy Connecticut suburb of Stamford was seventh, with a cost of living 46.7% higher than the national average, and Washington DC was close behind in eighth with an index of 145.5.
Framingham-Natick, Massachusetts came in ninth, with an index of 143.0, and Orange County, California finished off the list in the number 10 spot, with living expenses at 42.5% above the average American.
With metro areas and holiday hot spots among the most enviable locales, towns in the U.S. South were found to be among the least expensive areas.
Harlingen, Texas, a border town on the southern tip of the Lone Star state, came in at the cheapest, with a cost of living index at 81.6 or 18.4% below the national average.
Two other Texas towns, Wichita Falls, in North Texas, and McAllen, near Harlingen, came in second and third.
Cities in neighboring Oklahoma were found to be equally inexpensive in addition to Memphis, Tennessee, Fayetteville, Arkansas and Springfield, Illinois.
THE MOST EXPENSIVE CITIES IN THE U.S.
1. Manhattan, New York – 233.5% of average
2. Brooklyn, New York – 183.4
3. Honolulu, Hawaii – 170.8
4. San Francisco, California – 163.2
5. San Jose, California – 156.5
6. Queens, New York – 151.4
7. Stamford, Connecticut – 146.7
8. Washington, DC – 145.5
9. Framingham, Massachusetts – 143.0
10. Orange County, California – 142.5
THE CHEAPEST CITIES IN THE U.S.
1. Harlingen, Texas – 81.6
2. Wichita Falls, Texas – 84.7
3. McAllen, Texas – 85.4
4. Muskogee, Oklahoma – 85.7
5. Norman, Oklahoma – 86.0
6. Fayetteville, Arkansas – 86.1
7. Memphis, Tennessee – 86.6
8. Ardmore, Oklahoma – 86.9
9. Springfield, Illinois – 87.0
10. San Marcos, Texas – 87.0