How Much Money You Need to Live Comfortably in the 50 Biggest Cities

  • Ashok Reddy

    It would be helpful to know how federal and state taxes work into these numbers. People tend to know what their gross salary is, and if this comparison is helping people decide “where to live,” state taxes can move that number significantly. While deductions can vary widely, that is much easier to manage than state tax variations…

  • This really didn’t need to be a slideshow!

  • Jim Beam

    Great idea for an article, with *extremely* poor execution. A slideshow to show the results?? And its not even in any order??? You couldn’t make a map to click on? Or at least an alphabetical list? Very poor journalism here.

  • Mark Steinbrueck

    Pre-Tax Income?

  • IDB

    Love this. However… this is not taking into account taxes. So while I’d agree that TAKEHOME of 60k a year in Philly would be fine, living off of 60k pre tax per year in Philly with, federal, state AND City Wage tax factored in would hardly be comfortable.

  • Nicholas Hardesty

    I don’t get how this works. When I click on each number it gives me a photo of a city, but I don’t see any information on how much it would take to live comfortably in each city. What am I doing wrong?

    • ISL

      It’s a dynamic article – choose a photo from the gallery then look at the content section – text should be changed…

  • Jonathan Harrold

    Is it just me or is there nothing to this “article” other than a series of photos with no information at all attached to them?

    • acumen

      yes, another pseudo-fluff piece justifying certain statistical models which are completely out of line with real life models.

    • Toecutter

      just you

    • ISL

      It’s a dynamic article – choose a photo from the gallery then look at the content section – text should be changed.

  • Rick

    No mention of what’s pre-tax and post-tax, dumb and meaningless.

  • Rick

    No mention of what’s pre-tax and post-tax. Clarify

  • Rick

    Median pretax or post-tax?

    Cost of living with tax?

  • Jeffiekins

    Wow. It’s really rare to have so many things wrong with one page. It takes way too much figuring out how to see anything about any particular city, unless you want to sit through an interminable slide show. (In all of recorded history, do you seriously think anyone will? Why bother having it, then?)

    I was amazed when I pointed to a city, and its numbers did not pop up automatically (i.e., no hover tooltip). Also none for the boxes 1 – 51. So, click blindly? If I were trying to make it hard to tell anything, while still being able to say “it’s all in there”, I don’t think I could do any better.

    And what on Earth do the half-and-half circles mean?

    Best of all, in Firefox, after you click “see all” and scroll to a certain point, it keeps jumping up and down every second or two. For a few minutes. Then it stops. Awesome.

    Once upon a time, I taught web page design. I hope this page is still available if I ever do it again. This page is, seriously, one of the best examples I have ever seen of how not to do a web page.

    • Mary C

      If you click the “view all” at the bottom of the slide show page, all info will be available. The half circles mean the income needed and median are approximately equal.

      • Jeffiekins

        If you have to explain how to use it, it’s a major fail.

        It must be obvious how to use a web page from 5 seconds of study, at most. Most people won’t even spend that long before they give up. What you see here in the comments is 99% just close the tab and get on with their lives.

        My serious professional advice: borrow a Jakob Nielsen book from the library. Any one will do. They’re ridiculously expensive, but you obviously need one desperately.

        • Mary C

          No need for insults or a lecture. If you re-read what I typed you’ll see my response was a neutrally stated answer to your questions, not a critique. However, you could use to relax a little.

  • CitizenWhy

    Useless. The slides do not identify the city.

    • Toecutter

      You have to read the text under the pictures…

  • Dru Olson

    This article overlooks taxes. Income necessary does not include taxes. However the average income appears to be gross income. Adding taxes would significantly increase the gap.

  • Frank N. Blunt

    USN retiree starving & barely surviving while enduring health, nutrition, & shelter crises (beside injuries, injustice, corruption, terrorism, abuses & violations) in San Diego, CA.

    • Adrienne

      Not surprised. You are living in a fairly expensive area on military retirement. Thank you for your service to our country sir!

      • Frank N. Blunt

        Please allow me to enlighten you about the matter. Those values are an illusion, exaggerated, & inflated with the relatively easy money that has indulged others with their delusional entitlement & bailed them out from irresponsibility, fraud, & malfeasance while imposing undeserved austerity, disparity, & poverty upon me & others; propped up fraud-ridden market schemes, subsidizing local kleptocracies from the cities to counties & states that are on the dole alleviating their operation & maintenance budgets while they are enriched with absurd fees & other unwelcome impositions without representation (beside San Diego, CA injuring, torturing, persecuting, & terrorizing me along with stealing my vehicle & property), indulged supposed non-profit scams & crony-ridden NGOs exploiting my military status that are meant to distribute subsidies (such as housing) & provide other forms of support but which mostly benefit their own self-interests & enrich their own coffers, … these ethical & moral issues beside those not held accountable in the Veterans Administration so that abuses & violations are more blatant while there are many other forms of corruption & injustice along with fraud, waste, & abuse (such as the DoD 1033 program that also oppresses & endangers citizens with violence & harm without any accountability, holds communities hostage by imposing occupation with an overt show of excessively over-armed capabilities that are horrible & undeserved) that are indulged seemingly without awareness, contest, concern, or objection. Yet these undeserved indulgences & aberrant policies promote exploitation, disparity, poverty, abuses, & violations while further indebting the Federal level where the supposed representatives & their cronies along with the kleptocrats administering the malevolent conditions somehow resolve the aberrant conditions by imposing further austerity & injustice upon me. A repulsive culture of corruption continues …

    • Iris Moonbeam

      Thank you for your service Mr. Blunt. The way Veterans are treated is a disgrace!

      • Frank N. Blunt

        I’m enduring & thanks for your consideration.

  • Felipe

    this is neat, but i have no idea where some of these cities are, and cool pictures with filters don’t help much.

  • CJS

    Bedroom communities, living in one community and working in another. Phoenix, Candler, Mesa … I live there and freeways make living in one place and working in another likely. Shopping also, living in one community and shopping in another. But thanks for trying.

  • Mary C

    It would be nice to have the figures for St. Louis, MO which, including the metro area population, is among the 50 largest cities (larger than Kansas City, the second largest city in Missouri).

  • blipsman

    No mention of taxes… is this take home pay then? Or else, where do taxes fit within the 50-30-20 budget they talk about?

  • systemBuilder

    These are incomes after taxes for 1 renting person in a 915 sq ft apartment, so multiply by anywhere from 1.2x to 1.4x for gross incomes. Also it makes no sense to compare expenses for 1 person to median family income (with is for 2.2 or 2.3 people.) The stats are poorly reported. I have lived in the 3 most expensive west-coast cities. The gov stats for median family incomes here are UTTER BS / 20-80% too low!!! Lots of people have tax-free bonds or HIGHLY varying (by year) incomes, or they make their incomes elsewhere (asia) and then move into these cities with $2M to $10M in the bank!! The government only reports tax-return incomes, which exclude those things. The stats are only accurate near the peak of a financial bubble.

  • SpeakMyMind2011

    Ok, so is the reader supposed the recognize the cities by the photos? I saw no names of any cities…

  • Erik Swenson

    Cost of living and income will always be very subjective no matter location.

    Yeah everyone knows NYC and San Fransisco are very expensive places to live. However this list leaves out so many determining factors. For example Denver Colorado is incredibly difficult to find affordable housing because it is growing faster than it can keep pace with due to Colorado being a cannibis “refugee” state. Average incomes in Denver cannot sustain the rapid rise in the cost of living. That is just one example of one cities economy effected by a major paradigm shift in how economies are changed in a huge way. I see none of this talked about or discussed…yet.

  • Toecutter

    they are two of the most expensive cites to live in.

  • Iris Moonbeam

    People in Miami earn less, that’s why.

  • Brian L. Baker

    Are the income figures, “after taxes”? It’s confusing because the calculations listed add up to the income, but there is no listing for taxes.