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Families spend $9,000 more a year to live in city vs. suburbs

Staff Writer |
City living comes with a premium in most major metros, especially for families with kids.

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Nationally, families spend an average of $9,073 more per year to cover basic housing and child care costs in the city than in the suburbs, according to a new Cost of Living analysis from Zillow and

To help with budgeting this home-shopping season, Zillow and identified three common living expenses (property taxes, mortgage payments and child care costs based on rates listed on and calculated how much they cost around the country.

Nationally, families living in the city spend $43,652 a year on housing and child care. Yet, in the suburbs they spend just $34,579.

New York, Chicago and Dallas have the highest variance between urban and suburban living, with city dwellers paying as much as $71,237 more a year, or nearly $6,000 extra a month.

However, city living is not always more expensive. In Philadelphia and Baltimore, families could pay up to $14,000 more a year to live in the suburbs.

While high property taxes and rising home prices are usually the reasons why city living is more expensive, child care can also play a part.

In Minneapolis, child care is nearly $4,119 more a year in the city, but housing costs are actually $189 cheaper.

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