10 Most Expensive Cities in the U.S.

New York City Downtown View

Brigitte Blättler / Getty Images

If a new job has you moving to a new city, you may want to check to see how expensive life in said city is before you celebrate your new salary.

The following is a list of the most expensive cities in which to live in our United States, according to the 2009 Forbes survey.

10. Washington, D.C.

Our nation’s capital rounds out this top 10. Considering a large amount of money flowing through the city as a result of the government, lobbyists, and special interest groups, this makes sense.

However, Washington does lead the U.S. in foreign real estate investment and is considered a great place to buy real estate.

9. Houston, TX

The energy capital of the world, boasting a population of over two million, is understandably expensive. However, it is considered a great place to live due to a relatively high average salary.

8. Boston, MA

Citizens of Boston must compete for a place to live with students from around the nation who move there to attend its famous universities. Real estate is the area pulling Boston onto this list.

7. Chicago, IL

Real estate drives up the price of living in Chicago, the hub of the midwest, and one of the biggest financial centers in the world.

6. Miami, FL

It’s no surprise that the high demand for a Miami lifestyle drives the city onto this list. Also, the additional cost of hurricane insurance raises the cost of living in this tropical city.

5. Honolulu, HI

High costs of goods drive Honolulu to the top half of this list. The cost of shipping goods halfway across the Pacific Ocean makes goods in Honolulu understandably expensive.

4. San Francisco, CA

San Fran lays claim to the second-highest population density of any U.S. city and is the financial center of the west. Its landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Fisherman’s Wharf, attract tourists from around the world, driving up the price of goods and services for everyone.

3. White Plains, NY

With a population of around 60,000, White Plains claims the number three spot. Its proximity to New York City provides this high cost, as it is an ideal location to live for those who work in the city, but wish to live outside its borders.

Plus, White Plains is the center of several national corporations.

2. Los Angeles, CA

The entertainment capital of the world and the second-largest city in the country takes the number two spot. The weather and beaches drive demand for real estate high, while the cost of commuting in and around the city drives the cost of living even higher.

1. New York City, NY

New York City remains the most expensive city in which to live in the U.S. While its goods and services are approximately equal to that of Los Angeles, the average cost of real estate is almost double. Manhattan’s financial centers, entertainment, and nightlife make every square foot of its skyscrapers highly competitive.

As a densely-populated financial center and highly-popular tourist destination, it easily takes the top spot.

New York City Downtown View

Brigitte Blättler / Getty Images

Joshua Williams

Joshua Williams

Joshua is a freelance writer with years of experience blogging about business and finance, and a whole host of other things too. When he's not writing, he enjoys camping with his dog, a golden retriever named Oakley.

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