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D.C. is the most expensive city in the U.S. to raise a family

If you've been reading DC Refined for more than a hot minute, you know by now that we love this city and could rattle off 10 reasons why it's amazing on request! But I think it is safe to say that we all know the cost of living in D.C. is high. We consistently rank within the top five most expensive cities in the U.S. and in 2016, D.C. was ranked as the 26th most expensive city in the world on the "Worldwide Cost of Living" report. The most recent bummer news to arise is that D.C. is the most expensive city in the U.S. in which to raise a family.

According to data from the nonprofit and nonpartisan think tank the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four needs $106,493 just to get by in D.C. Child care was also the highest in the country at $31,158 a year on average.

The study looked at 618 metro areas and calculated the cost of living in each based on the costs of housing, child care, food, transportation, health care and other necessities (such as school supplies and clothing), as well as taxes.

“This does not mean a middle-class lifestyle,” says Elise Gould, a senior economist with EPI. “This is just living, no savings.”

Child care was the single most expensive line item for families in 500 of the 618 areas EPI studied, averaging about $12,500 annually nationwide.

The 10 most expensive places to raise a family in the U.S.

  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y.
  3. Westchester County, N.Y.
  4. New York City
  5. Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.
  6. Honolulu
  7. Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, N.Y.
  8. Ithaca, N.Y.
  9. San Francisco
  10. Danbury, Conn.

The study found D.C. to be nearly $3,000 more expensive for a family of four than the next city on the list in Long Island. You can see the full study here.