10 Most Expensive Cities in the US to Raise a Family

10 Most Expensive Cities in the US to Raise a Family
Image: iStock.com/aldomurillo


As any parent knows, having kids is expensive. But just how expensive can depend quite a bit on where you choose to raise your family.

Here, a list of the 10 most expensive US cities for rearing little ones, according to WalletHub, census data, and information from the Economic Policy Institute, which tracks costs of living, including food, childcare, transportation, and more.

Spoiler alert: California is not exactly a bargain. The sunny weather is gonna cost you. 

  • 1. Miami, Florida


    Median household income: $46,946 (according to Census bureau data)

    Median home price: $258,200 (according to Zillow)

    What a family needs to get by: $68,503 (according to the Economic Policy Instititute)

    Miami and nearby Hialeah grab the no. 1 and no. 2 least affordable spots in the country. Of course, that won't stop parents from flocking there. Remember, the weather's great and kids can be outdoors ... a lot. To some, that's just priceless. 

  • 2. New York City Metropolitan Area


    Median household income: NYC-$50,711; Newark-$34,387

    Median home price: NYC-$586,400; Newark-$209,700

    What a family needs to get by: $98,722

    It's not exactly surprising that the New York area is so expensive for families -- just look at that average home price and you'll catch our drift. 

    What surprises us more is that Newark, New Jersey, is up there, too. While its median home price is less than half of New York's, incomes are too, so it totally makes sense. 

    But New York's strong schools and its myriad kid-friendly attractions (museums, shows, zoos!) will always attract families. The great (and well-paying) jobs are also a huge draw, and can help offset some of the sticker shock of housing costs.

  • 3. Orange County, Los Angeles


    Median household income: $54,387

    Median home price: $469,700

    What a family needs to get by: $73,887

    Orange County (or, more notoriously, the O.C.) is part of Greater Los Angeles and is known for its large houses and beautiful beaches -- two things that families love that also happen to come at a premium. 

    More from CafeMom: Money Smarts for Your 20s, 30s & 40s, According to a Financial Planner

  • 4. San Bernardino, California


    Median household income: $39,097

    Median home price: $232,400

    What a family needs to get by: $67,985

    Sometimes called the Inland Empire, San Bernardino County is east of Los Angeles and nestled in the mountains. There's a lot of allure for outdoor enthusiasts, and while home prices are fairly moderate, be prepared for a long commute into Los Angeles proper to secure a high-paying job.

  • 5. and 6. Los Angeles & Glendale, California

    iStock.com/Predrag Vuckovic

    Median household income: Los Angeles-$55,909; Glendale-$54,369

    Median home price: Los Angeles-$585,100; Glendale-$735,800

    What a family needs to get by: $73,887

    These two areas, about 10 minutes apart, come one after another, so we decided to group them together (kind of like with New York and Newark) -- though, according to WalletHub, Los Angeles is marginally less affordable than Glendale.

    Still, both are attractive for families because of the weather (it's nearly perfect) and access to outdoor space (hiking Runyon Canyon, for example, is an easy day activity that's smack in the middle of the city).

  • 7. Providence, Rhode Island


    Median household income: $56,253

    Median home price: $162,300

    What a family needs to get by: $71,455

    The third largest city in New England, Providence has lots of goings-on, particularly by its waterfront area.

    Worth checking out: the Roger Williams Zoo and Roger Williams Park (in case you're wondering, Roger Williams is a big name in the area -- he's the founder of Rhode Island and was a champion of religious freedom).

    The city is particularly nice for families since it boats the conveniences you'd expect without the size of megacities like New York or Los Angeles. 

    More from CafeMom: 6 Smart Strategies for Retiring While You're Still Young Enough to Enjoy It

  • 8. Fresno, California


    Median household income: $42,276

    Median home price: $197,100

    What a family needs to get by: $61,994

    Fresno is the largest inland city in California (and the fifth largest in the state overall), and perfect for nature-loving families who can't get enough time outside.

    It's got the sunny weather and palm trees of Los Angeles, but national parks like Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon are short drives away.

  • 10. Birmingham, Alabama


    Median household income: $51,549

    Median home price: $61,200

    What a family needs to get by: $63,041

    The most populous city in Alabama, Birmingham, has lots of suburbs which are attractive to parents looking for more space. And far as attractions go, there's the Southern Museum of Flight, Birmingham Zoo, and Rickwood Field, the oldest surviving professional ballpark in the country, originally opened in 1910.

finances real estate

More Slideshows