Cost of Living in the USA

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Cost of living in the US
The cost of living in the USA varies from region to region and from city to city. However, the chief cosmopolitan centres – regardless of geographical location  are the most expensive places to live in the USA.

Some cities in the USA even rank among the most expensive cities in the world. According to the Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2017, New York City is the eighth most expensive city in the world. About 20 other US cities also make an appearance in this survey of 209 cities worldwide.

The cost of living in a major city can be 50 percent more than that of the national average. To compensate, wages in cities do tend to be higher, but they are often not in proportion to the cost of city living.

On average, expenses are less than in Western European countries. However, some expenses that expats may be unaccustomed to will also need to be considered.
 

Cost of accommodation in the USA

 
A large portion of the high cost of living is due to expensive property prices, a cost that can be somewhat alleviated by living outside city centres. In rural communities, property prices are much lower. In many parts of the USA, heating and air conditioning are also widely used throughout the year, and costs can quickly become fairly expensive.
 

Cost of transportation in the USA


Expats living outside of major cities in the USA will have to invest in a reliable vehicle for commuting. Luckily, petrol tends to be much cheaper than in Europe but expats will need to bear in mind that consumption is likely to be higher. 
 

Cost of living in the USA chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Washington DC for July 2017.
Accommodation
One-bedroom apartment in city centre
USD 2,100
One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre USD 1,700
Three-bedroom apartment in city centre
USD 4,000
Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre USD 2,800
Shopping
Eggs (dozen)
USD 3.30
Milk (1 litre)
USD 1
Rice (1kg)
USD 4
Loaf of bread
USD 3
Chicken breasts (1kg)
USD 11.20
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)
USD 9
Eating out
Big Mac Meal
USD 7
Coca-Cola (330ml)
USD 1.80
Cappuccino
USD 4
Bottle of local beer
USD 6
Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant
 USD 70
Utilities
Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)
USD 0.20
Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)
USD 60
Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)
USD 140
Transportation
Taxi rate (per kilometre)
USD 2
Bus/train fare in the city centre
USD 2.50
Petrol/gasoline (per litre)
USD 0.65

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