These Are The 10 Most Expensive Cities In California To Raise A Family

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings - 2 years ago
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There are some parts of the country where your dollar goes further. For example, a steak dinner in Sacramento costs less than a steak dinner in San Francisco.

And the cost of living can have a big impact on how far your hard earned salary stretches for you and your family. So if you have a choice in where you can live for your job, the cost of living can play a big part.

That’s where Zippia comes in; to show you the places in California that would eat up a big part of your paycheck on expenses — the San Franciscos of the world if you will. Where housing is expensive and day care will put you back a pretty penny.

These are the cities in California where the cost of living is actually higher than the national average because, for the most part, California isn’t all that expensive.

After we crunched all the numbers, we were left with this set of the most expensive places to raise a family in the Golden State:

  1. Los Altos Hills
  2. Hillsborough
  3. Woodside
  4. Atherton
  5. Stanford
  6. Los Altos
  7. Tiburon
  8. Saratoga
  9. Palo Alto
  10. Kentfield

Read on to see how we determined the places that try to keep up with the Joneses a little too much.

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How we determined the least affordable places to live in the Golden State

There are basic necessities that you have to buy no matter where in the country you live. Those things include:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Gas
  • Health Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

You can then compare the cost of these things in each of the places in California to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” that normalizes to 100 for an average place in the United States. And lucky for us, AreaVibes has such an index for us.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank the largest 619 places in California.

And just so you can better understand how the cost of living index works, 100 is the average cost of a place in the United States. A score of 90 means that the place cost 10% less than average. A score of 120 means it’s 20% more expensive.

San Francisco has a score of 243 meaning it’s almost 2.5 times as expensive as the average place in the country.

1. Los Altos Hills

Most Expensive California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,013
Housing: 1563

2. Hillsborough

Most Expensive California

Source: Flickr Andrew Solovay

Population: 10,879
Housing: 1544

3. Woodside

Most Expensive California

Source: Flickr Patrick G

Population: 5,329
Housing: 1337

4. Atherton

Most Expensive California

Source: Flickr Antti T. Nissinen

Population: 6,972
Housing: 1241

5. Stanford

Most Expensive California

Source: Flickr Juliana Su

Population: 13,523
Housing: 1005

6. Los Altos

Most Expensive California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 29,129
Housing: 916

7. Tiburon

Most Expensive California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,959
Housing: 879

8. Saratoga

Most Expensive California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 30,059
Housing: 869

9. Palo Alto

Most Expensive California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 64,514
Housing: 846

10. Kentfield

Most Expensive California

Source: Flickr D Coetzee

Population: 6,616
Housing: 729

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