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The most expensive U.S. cities are usually expensive for a reason. Residents pay higher living costs in exchange for favorable geography, climate, culture or economic prosperity — or all of the above. In some cases, however, simple remoteness plays a role. Longer supply lines often translate into higher prices for goods.
To determine just how much the most expensive U.S. cities can really cost, we turned to the latest data from the Council for Community and Economic Research. Its Cost of Living Index measures prices in 270 urban areas for housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services (such as getting your hair done or going to a movie). We also gathered data on household incomes, home values and unemployment rates for each city to provide additional insights into the true cost of living for typical residents. Take a closer look at the 20 most expensive U.S. cities.