Is Living The American Dream Affordable For Expats?

By

Choosing the right place to live in America can have a big impact on your spending power as an expat.

The global cost of living barometer is New York. Other cities in the States and many global cities across the world have their cost of living rated against New York.

The myth is New York is one of the costliest places to live in the world – it’s not. New York doesn’t even rank in the top 50 expensive cities in the United States.

Taking the most expensive places to live in the USA from below, 29 cities have a cheaper cost of living than New York, while prices are higher in 58 other cities.

The figures are rated on local purchasing power from data supplied by global cost of living tracker Numbeo.

Local purchasing power is how much the average net salary for that city can buy in goods and services.

Prices in London v New York

In comparison, living in New York is slightly more expensive than living in London.

Prices are around 10% higher while rents are 24% more, but New Yorkers earn bigger salaries, which increases their local spending power by 20% over Londoners.

The average salary after tax is £4,317 a month, compared with £3,052 in London.

Cost of Living: New York v Other US cities

Use this table to compare the cost of living in 88 US cities.

New York is the baseline set at 100%.

Any city with a score of more than 100 is more expensive than New York.

For instance, local purchasing power is 117.43 in San Francisco, which means the average salary there can buy 17% more than an average salary in New York.

While in Honolulu, Hawaii, local purchasing power is 72.21 – which leaves earners on an average salary able to buy 28% less than in New York.

CityStateLocal Purchasing PowerCost of Living Rent 
1New YorkNew York100.00100.00100.00
2HonoluluHawaii72.2199.1367.21
3San FranciscoCalifornia117.4394.40120.55
4Santa BarbaraCalifornia109.7392.2476.28
5OaklandCalifornia90.4791.9587.29
6AnchorageAlaska106.4691.8537.47
7QueensNew York94.7387.3276.52
8BostonMassachusetts102.8985.9778.03
9SeattleWashington122.4285.5772.27
10Washington DC104.9384.2479.25
11Jersey CityNew Jersey111.1382.2067.45
12CharlestonSouth Carolina95.2081.0150.98
13Saint PaulMinnesota96.9380.3145.76
14Los AngelesCalifornia104.7779.9375.44
15PhiladelphiaPennsylvania84.7579.5649.13
16MinneapolisMinnesota106.8179.0546.47
17IrvineCalifornia120.9579.0273.30
18PittsburghPennsylvania98.0678.6540.30
19PortlandOregon99.2878.0751.07
20MiamiFlorida77.2477.8964.07
21ChicagoIllinois115.2177.8559.36
22AshevilleNorth Carolina91.6677.6243.76
23TampaFlorida100.7677.0045.12
24SalemOregon82.5276.8536.22
25Fort LauderdaleFlorida104.0076.2358.33
26San DiegoCalifornia114.4276.1670.45
27MilwaukeeWisconsin79.2876.1439.16
28San JoseCalifornia132.0776.1287.08
29AtlantaGeorgia121.8876.0451.48
30SacramentoCalifornia98.6176.0350.63
31FremontCalifornia120.7275.6276.52
32BirminghamAlabama80.7475.5830.34
33BuffaloNew York86.0275.2929.83
34ClevelandOhio77.2475.0241.83
35EverettWashington95.3074.4046.84
36Ann ArborMichigan112.0673.4348.82
37New OrleansLouisiana77.7273.3543.05
38BaltimoreMaryland103.9372.8545.78
39DenverColorado114.5272.6154.99
40Colorado SpringsColorado100.4571.7338.87
41OlympiaWashington104.8771.4342.33
42ColumbusOhio123.3071.4236.15
43SpokaneWashington88.7471.3431.99
44NashvilleTennessee100.5471.3051.32
45RochesterNew York96.3071.1830.56
46Long BeachCalifornia103.9071.0359.08
47AlbanyNew York106.9170.6235.31
48CharlotteNorth Carolina118.9370.5548.54
49Las VegasNevada109.2469.3438.91
50OmahaNebraska102.9269.3030.85
51RaleighNorth Carolina125.6169.1640.38
52JacksonvilleFlorida112.0468.8036.27
53PhoenixArizona106.1968.4941.26
54Fort WorthTexas113.1968.0636.88
55DallasTexas144.2767.8950.31
56Des MoinesIowa103.2367.8931.57
57Kansas CityMontana111.1267.8731.93
58VancouverWashington110.1967.5944.17
59MadisonWisconsin110.8767.3439.30
60RichmondVirginia107.5267.3239.79
61OrlandoFlorida105.9266.8842.53
62EugeneOregon86.4266.5837.62
63Saint LouisMissouri132.2366.5734.66
64RenoNevada110.2766.5645.42
65FresnoCalifornia104.5366.0135.21
66DetroitMichigan75.3865.9741.84
67TucsonArizona91.1665.4627.89
68LouisvilleKentucky107.2665.4235.06
69Oklahoma CityOklahoma105.8865.1832.61
70Baton RougeLouisiana83.9564.8234.14
71CincinnatiOhio103.9964.4740.16
72IndianapolisIndiana123.4964.4632.61
73HuntsvilleAlabama108.9964.4031.82
74Salt Lake CityUtah126.6064.2939.85
75ChattanoogaTennessee90.1063.8736.03
76San AntonioTexas101.5263.5039.54
77AlbuquerqueNew Mexico102.0963.4329.08
78HoustonTexas137.3763.1444.57
79AkronOklahoma99.1563.0221.81
80AustinTexas134.4162.9854.57
81KnoxvilleTennessee98.6362.8235.45
82MemphisTennessee92.5562.6831.79
83BoiseIdaho93.8962.4240.99
84TulsaOklahoma108.6461.0230.35
85Little RockArizona120.1060.8126.98
86LexingtonKentucky112.5259.7727.83
87WichitaKansas104.4759.4823.73
88El PasoTexas110.5056.1224.94
Source: Numbeo

Get Financial Advice

We can put you in contact with a qualified specialist expat financial advisor based in your location. Click the button below to get the expert advice you need to make the best financial decisions.

Related Information

Below is a list of related articles you may find of interest.

Leave a Comment