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Cities where single parenting costs most

DC has the highest costs of living in the country for one-parent, two-child households
  • With all expenses in mind, the national average cost of living for single parents is $4,818 per month.
  • The highest cost of living for single parents raising two kids lies in our nation’s capital, with a monthly expense of $8,669.
  • Four out of the top 10 – and 12 out of the top 50 – most expensive cities for single parenting are in New York.
  • San Francisco’s monthly cost of living for single-parent, two-child households is $7,404, equaling $88,848 annually.

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It’s not easy raising one child, let alone two, without a dual income.

Now imagine single parenting in a pricey housing market, where most high-paying jobs are concentrated. Unfortunately, the dollar amount required for a secure household in some of the biggest cities reaches far beyond mid-range wages, according to a new report.

CareerTrends, Graphiq’s employment research site, used the Economic Policy Institute’s 2015 Family Budget Calculator for location-specific overhead on childcare, food, healthcare, housing, taxes and transportation across 618 communities.

With these expenses in mind, the national average cost of living for single parents is $4,818 per month, with seven locales requiring single parents to make over $7,000 per month:

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Single parenting priciest in the Northeast

The highest cost of living for single parents raising two kids lies in the nation’s capital, with a monthly expense of $8,669.

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The annual cost of living in D.C. is $104,027 — far beyond median income, which is just under $70,000, according to U.S. Census findings from 2010-2014. This leaves many single parents under the line for providing the absolute necessities, let alone savings.

After Credio ranked New York the priciest state in the U.S. for childcare costs, it shouldn’t be much surprise that four out of the top 10 — and 12 out of the top 50 — most expensive cities for single parenting are in the Empire State.

New York City hit second in the nation, with $7,795 monthly costs and a steep $93,534 annual cost of living.

At no. 4, San Francisco’s monthly cost of living for single-parent, two-child households is $7,404, equaling an annual $88,848. Silicon Valley isn’t much better at $6,654 per month and just under $80,000 per year, ranking 1oth on the list.

Los Angeles-Long Beach isn’t as steep as you might assume, at least in comparison to the top cities. The monthly expenses reach $5,769, or $69,230 per year.

Other SoCal cities are similar in cost, including Santa Barbara at $5,991 monthly ($71,886 per year). San Diego costs $5,770 per month and $69,244 per year, landing one spot above L.A.

Although closer to the bottom of the list, Baltimore-Towson still requires $5,708 per month and $68,490 per year for single parents to get by realistically.

Chicago isn’t exactly cheap, either — but still not as expensive as comparatively sized cities. The monthly cost for single parenting in the Windy City is $5,439 per month, or $65,273 per year.

For the full list, check out the study on CareerTrends.

Email Jennifer Riner