The Most Expensive Places to Live in the US

Sunset at Clearwater Beach Pier Florida
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data on inflation for the month of March, and it shows some clear regional differences. The region with the highest increase in its Consumer Price Index was Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater in Florida, which posted annual inflation of 4.9% between 2020 and 2021. This region includes Belleair Shores, number 23 on our list of the 30 most expensive communities in the United States.

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San Diego-Carlsbad, in California, had the second-highest rate of annual inflation at 4.1%. None of the 18 California communities on our list is in this region, nor are they in the third-highest region: Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California at 3.6%.

The average annual increase in prices for the nation as a whole was 2.6%. Many economists have been expecting inflation given the high rate of government spending and the post-pandemic increase in consumer demand.

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Regionally, the Midwest had the highest inflation rate, 3.0%, and the Northeast had the lowest, 2.1%. Of the nation’s three largest cities, the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area had the highest inflation rate, 2.6%. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, home to many of those expensive cities, came in at 2.2%, while New York-Newark-Jersey City showed only 2.0% inflation.

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If the regional differences continue, they could affect next year’s list of most expensive communities. For now, the message seems to be that no matter where they live, Americans are paying more than they did last year, and that trend is likely to continue.

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About the Author

Ann Logue is a writer specializing in business and finance. Her most recent book is The Complete Idiot’s Guide: Options Trading (Alpha 2016). She lives in Chicago.

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