• Houston, Dallas and San Antonio rank on the top 10 list of the most affordable large metros in the nation.
  • Washington D.C ranks as the most expensive place in the nation to live, with an estimated monthly cost of living of $8,874.
  • Milwaukee was the only non-coastal metro on the list for the most expensive large metros to live.

Living in a major metro has a lot of perks. Downtown living affords access to a large job market, walkable and bike-able communities, public transportation, nearby recreation and much more. However, some of those great places to live are too out of reach for homebuyers.

Using data curated by CareerTrends, Graphiq ranked the most affordable and most expensive large metro areas in the nation in two separate lists.

Graphiq measured seven specific categories to determine the affordability of each market, including monthly costs for childcare, food, healthcare, housing, taxes, transportation and other necessities. The estimated monthly budget was calculated for a married couple with two children, and the lists focused on metros with at least 1 million residents.

The largest bill comes from childcare, which costs an average of $1,025 per month nationwide.

Most affordable large metros

Memphis, Tennessee, ranked no. 1 on the list of most affordable large metros to live in the U.S. While costs are actually higher in Memphis than the state of Tennessee as a whole, the monthly price for a city dwelling family in Memphis is $4,414, according to Graphiq.

Memphis, Tennessee/Flickr user Thomas Hawk

Memphis, Tennessee/Flickr user Thomas Hawk

Ranking no. 5 on the list, Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land wasn’t the only Texas community to rank as one of the most affordable large metros. Dallas ranked no. 7 on the list, and San Antonio ranked even more affordable than Houston, at no. 3 on the list.

The monthly costs for residents of San Antonio is a reported $4,959. Houston families expect to spend $5,051 monthly on living, and Dallas residents shell out an average of $5,096.

Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City and Grand Rapids-Wyoming in Michigan were also on the list of the most affordable metros.

Most expensive metros to live

Ranking as the most expensive place to live in the U.S. was none other than the nation’s capital. Washington D.C. ranked in the top spot with a monthly price tag of $8,874, including monthly childcare bills that run residents an average of $2,597.

1001slide / iStock.com

1001slide / iStock.com

New York City residents ranked second in line for having to shell out the most per month, with a estimated monthly budget of $8,227 on living costs.

Heading to the opposite coast, the no. 3 spot was taken by San Francisco. The northern California metro runs its residents a monthly tab of $7,649. Nearby San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara ranked fifth, costing an estimated $7,038 per month to live there.

While all of the metro areas on the list were near coastal areas, one Midwestern city stuck out as the no. 10 most expensive place to live– and it wasn’t Chicago. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis ranked just a bit more expensive than the state of Wisconsin, with a monthly estimated cost of $6,343.

Email Kimberly Manning

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