The disparity in the cost of living for families (defined as having two children in child care) is greater for residents of New York City and its suburbs than in any other major city in the U.S., according to a new study conducted by Zillow and Care.com. According to the study, it costs $71,237 more annually for a family to live in the New York City metro area than in its suburbs.
The study, which focused on stats surrounding mortgage payments, property taxes, and child care cost, also assessed the cost of living in the city versus suburbs of other U.S. metro areas, like San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, and Philadelphia. The study found that the disparity in cost of living with a family in the New York metro area is not only the largest nationally, it’s also more than triple that of the second-most-divided city, Chicago. In Chicago, it costs a mere $18,472 more per year to live in the city than in the city’s suburbs.
Curiously low on the list is notoriously expensive San Francisco, where city families pay $12,560 more per year than their suburban counterparts. Yet in some U.S. cities, it costs less for families to live in the metro area than the suburbs. Philadelphia tops that list, where families save $13,849 annually versus their suburban counterparts. It’s followed by Baltimore ($10,790), Cleveland ($9,034), and Milwaukee ($8,227). Nationally, families spend $9,073 more per year on housing costs and childcare in metro areas than their suburban counterparts.
Zillow and Care.com used stats pulled from their own sites as data for the study. Here are the particulars, according to a Zillow rep: Annual child care costs are based on rates listed in Care.com child care center profiles in 2016 for two children in the same child care center. Weekly rates are multiplied by 52 weeks and monthly rates are multiplied by 12 months to calculate annual rates. Housing costs came from Zillow and factored in annual mortgage payments and property taxes on the median valued home.
Zillow notes that median property taxes and mortgage payments on urban homes are higher than those of suburban homes, at more than $22,000 a year, compared to $15,000 in the suburbs. Homeowners are more prevalent in the suburbs than the city, where just 23 percent of residents own. The cost of child care in the suburbs is also typically less than in urban areas.