Cost of Living is Drastically Different across the U.S.

Cost of Living is Drastically Different across the U.S.

The cost of living can look drastically different depending on where you are. It will cost a single person about $29,118 a year to live in Brownsville, Texas, for example, but in San Francisco, California, that expense more than doubles, to $69,072.

The Economic Policy Institute's (EPI) newly updated family budget calculator, shows how much income for differently sized families is needed in order to attain a baseline standard of living across the U.S. In other words, it measures "what families need to get by," says EPI Senior Economist Elise Gould.
You can access their calculator by clicking here.

The calculator factors in geographic differences in cost of living and six main expenses: housing, food, transportation, health care, other basic necessities and taxes.

"In order to keep the budgets modest, the calculator notably does not include many expenses associated with a middle-class lifestyle, such as paying off student loans or saving for college or retirement," the EPI notes.

The EPI gathered data for 10 family types in all 3,142 counties and in all 611 metro areas.

Below is a list of 10 metro-city areas across the country so you can see how housing expenses and the cost of living stacks up in each area.

San Antonio, Texas
Housing costs: $649 per month ($7,788 per year)
Total cost of living: $2,716 per month ($32,587 per year)
Columbus, Ohio
Housing costs: $601 per month ($7,212 per year)
Total cost of living: $2,719 per month ($32,632 per year)
Jacksonville, Florida
Housing costs: $604 per month ($7,248 per year)
Total cost of living: $2,759 per month ($33,104 per year)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Housing costs: $599 per month ($7,188 per year)
Total cost of living: $2,794 per month ($33,530 per year)
Dallas, Texas
Housing costs: $730 per month ($8,760 per year)
Total cost of living: $2,880 per month ($34,563 per year)
Phoenix, Arizona
Housing costs: $684 per month ($8,208 per year)
Total cost of living: $3,143 per month ($37,715 per year)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Housing costs: $824 per month ($9,891 per year)
Total cost of living: $3,191 per month ($38,291 per year)
Chicago, Illinois
Housing costs: $879 per month ($10,548 per year)
Total cost of living: $3,217 per month ($38,605 per year)
Los Angeles, California
Housing costs: $1,067 per month ($12,804 per year)
Total cost of living: $3,569 per month ($42,825 per year)
New York, New York
Housing costs: $1,514 per month ($18,168 per year)
Total cost of living: $4,277 per month ($51,323 per year)

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