How Much do you Know About the Cost of Living in These Expensive American Cities?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

When it comes to living cheap, there is no place like Mississippi. But many Americans want the excitement and opportunities of big cities. How much do you know about the most expensive cities in the U.S.?

What's the average price of a home in the ENTIRE United States?

Across the land, homes cost an average of $180,000. But as you're about to find out, some metro areas jack up housing prices to rates that are simply unaffordable for many citizens.


Housing costs in Seattle are about ____ higher than in the rest of the U.S.

Hope your new job at Amazon or Microsoft comes with a great salary. You'll need it. In Seattle, housing prices are 80 percent higher than in the rest of America.


Compared with the rest of America, what's the cost of living like in Boston?

Boston is yet another crowded, popular city. You'll pay a price to join in the fun -- it costs about 48 percent more than other American cities.


What's the average price of a home in New York City?

Want to live in a city that's sometimes called the capital of the world? Be prepared to shell out some quarters and dimes, and then some -- an average home in NYC costs about $500,000.


If you want a furnished STUDIO apartment in Washington, D.C., what will you pay for rent?

Hey, at least it's furnished! Because you won't be able to afford furniture for a studio apartment that costs $1,700 per month.


The cost of living in San Francisco is about ____ higher than the national average.

San Francisco is one of America's priciest cities. It costs about 62 percent more to live there than in most of the U.S.


What will you pay per month for a simple studio apartment in San Jose, California?

You didn't need that single bedroom, right? Because for $2,400 in San Jose, you ain't gettin' one.


It's incredibly expensive to rent or buy a home in Washington, D.C. What's one benefit to the city?

Washington has an effective public transportation system. So you can do away with the expenses of a car and take the bus or the subway instead.


How does the overall cost of living in Seattle compare with the rest of America?

Seattle is a boom town, full of thriving corporations. But it's a crowded place, and it costs 45 percent more to live here than in other parts of the U.S.


The average price of a gallon of milk is around $3.80. How much is the same product in San Francisco?

Around America, milk is usually less than $4 per gallon. In San Francisco, though, you'll pay closer to $5.


You should quit smoking, and living in New York City will help, because there it costs ____ for a pack of cigarettes.

At around $13 per pack, smoking won't kill you -- in New York, you'll die of destitution first.


Compared with the rest of America, what's the cost of living like in Brooklyn?

Looking to escape Manhattan's eye-gouging prices? Brooklyn isn't going to help -- the cost of living there is 73 percent higher than the rest of the country.


Why is Stamford, Connecticut, one of America's most expensive cities?

Oh, you can't afford to live in New York City? Just go next door to Stamford! Oh, wait, everyone else had the same idea. Good luck.


What's the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco?

You need about $4,700 -- per month -- just to rent a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco. In cheaper parts of the country, that kind of cash would get you a virtual mansion.


What's the average value of a house in Washington, D.C.?

There is a price to pay for living in the modern-day version of Rome. You'll blow about $430,000 for an average house in Washington.


Where would you find lower average rent prices for an apartment?

Both Seattle and Washington have exorbitant rental costs. In Seattle, a one-bedroom apartment downtown might cost you $1,900. In Washington, you could easily pay $2,200.


What's the median cost for rent on a two-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles?

And it won't be a ritzy place, either. But that two-bedroom apartment is likely to cost you around $2,600 in the City of Angels.


If you live in Honolulu, Hawaii, you'll pay exorbitant prices on which item?

Hawaii is thousands of miles from the mainland, so food is crazy expensive. You'll pay more for food here than just about anywhere in the country.


What's the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in New York City?

Hey, at least it's not San Francisco, right? In New York City, you'd better be banking some dough, because you'll need it to pay your $3,700 rent.


The new "Star Wars" film is showing in San Jose, California. How much will you spend for a single ticket?

It will cost you at least $13 to get a ticket to the film in San Jose. That figure, of course, doesn't include a drink and popcorn.


If you want to buy an average home in Brooklyn, New York, how much will you pay?

In Brooklyn, it pays to be a millionaire. Because you'll need about $1 million to buy a house there.


What's the average price of a home inside San Francisco city limits?

We hope that your tech startup company pans out, because you'll need the profits to pay your mortgage. Inside the city limits, San Francisco homes cost an average of $820,000.


If you need day care in Washington, D.C., how much will you expect to pay for TWO children per year?

But those snot-nosed little screamers are worth every penny, right? Good thing, because child care in D.C. will set you back about $32,000 per year for two kids.


San Francisco is famous for its high housing costs. Compared to the national average, how much does food cost in that city?

Food is very expensive in San Francisco. Even if you eat at home all the time, you'll pay about 23 percent more than most Americans.


What's the median household income in Oakland, California?

The median income is only around $54,000, but the cost of living is climbing steeply in Oakland. To live there comfortably, you need an income that far exceeds $54,000 per year.


Boston is an expensive place, but compared to other popular cities, some of its housing options are affordable. Why?

Boston has oodles of colleges and universities, so there are a lot of young people in the area. Some places here tend to be more affordable than others on our list.


If you drive a car to work in downtown San Francisco, you might pay ____ per month for parking.

Sure, it's great to have wheels in California. But downtown parking in San Francisco is a nightmare that sets some people back $400 every single month.


Compared with the rest of the country, what are housing expenses like in Washington, D.C.?

Housing costs are painfully high in Washington, where you'll pay twice as much as you would in most of the country.


You want a dozen eggs in Honolulu? What will it cost you?

Honolulu is not Des Moines. Eggs are hard to come by, so you'll pay around $3.40 for just one dozen.


Let's say you opt for roommates. How much will you expect to pay for a three-bedroom apartment in San Francisco?

Three-bedroom apartments command a king's ransom in San Francisco. Hopefully you'll find wealthy roommates who can help you tackle the $6,500 rent.


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