Americans are drawn to big cities for various reasons. It could be the appeal of better job opportunities. Or maybe the quality of life in the bigger cities. However, good things come at a price. And the better the quality of life, the bigger the cost of living.

The US News and Work Report has identified a new list of the most pricey metropolitan areas to live in the US in 2023-2024. This list is based on factors from median housing costs and monthly rent to average annual salary. Here are the top 15 most expensive cities in the U.S. that don’t include New York and Los Angeles.

15. Stockton, California

The city was originally ranked 17th in the US News and Work Report article. Stockton is the 11th largest city in California with a population of 771,406. The Median Home price stands at $589,200 with a median monthly rent of $1,387. The average annual salary of its citizens is around $55,020 according to the report.

Source: Flickr/Christine Lynch

Stockton may seem more rational than places in the Bay Area, but overall expenses and cost of living remain considerably higher than the national average.

14. Denver, Colorado

Denver is known as the “Mile High City” because its official elevation is exactly one mile above sea level. The city hosts up to 300 days of sunshine and has picturesque landscapes, but its cost of living has increased immensely in recent years.

Source: Flickr/Jeffery Hudson

The Population of citizens in its metro area is about 2,936,666 with a median home price of $658,554. The median monthly rent sits at $1,554 per the report while the average annual salary of its citizens is $66,750.

13. Sacramento, California

The median home price in Sacramento was still lower than in other major California cities in 2022. However, its average home price was still over $230,000 higher than the national average, according to US News and World Report. According to state estimates, the city’s residents grew the most out of California’s largest 10 cities from 2022 to 2023, Sacramento Bee reported.

Source: Flickr/Jirka Matousek/David Von Schlegell

The metro area hosts 2,379,368 people and boasts a median home price of $619,981, with a median monthly rent of $1,465. The average annual salary is $65,580.

12. San Jose, California

The capital of Silicon Valley is the largest city in Northern California both in population and area. Here, housing prices are higher than in most other places across the country and the price of basic needs, such as utilities and groceries, is even higher.

Source: Flickr/Branden Frederick

The bustling metro area is home to nearly 2 million residents. It has a median home price soaring at $1,524,907. Renters can expect to pay around $2,511 per month, while the average annual salary stands at an impressive $99,430.

11. Seattle, Washington

No surprises here, though some might expect the city in the Pacific Northwest to be higher on the list. Washington State’s largest city is home to a large tech industry, with Microsoft and Amazon headquartered in its metropolitan area.

Source: Flickr/Chris Alleyne-Chin

The city is home to over 3.9 million people, the median home price is $768,396, with monthly rent averaging $1,701. The city’s residents earn an average annual salary of $76,170, showcasing its thriving economy per the US News and Work Report.

10. Boston, Massachusetts

The Insider’s Maria Noyen calls Boston “a mini New York City. The capital of Massachusetts has a great food scene and modern housing but is also family friendly.

Source: Flickr/jmk440

In the vibrant metro of Seattle, where over 4.9 million reside, homes command a median price of $716,746, while monthly rent averages $1,659. With an average annual salary of $76,850, Seattle’s economic beat resonates strong.

9. Vallejo And Fairfield, California

Vallejo, California, and Fairfield, California, are only 18 miles apart but they form a safe harbor for those escaping the high costs of the San Francisco Bay Area. Despite still being higher than the national average, the cost of living in Vallejo and Fairfield are lower than the California average.

Source: Flickr/Wayne Hsieh

Statistics from US News and World Report reveal that the metropolitan area of Seattle boasts a population of 451,432. In this dynamic city, the median home price stands at $606,442, with median monthly rent at $1,802. Despite the bustling real estate market, individuals here earn an average annual salary of $64,270.

8. San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan may attract potential residents with its low rents, but its average power bills are way more expensive than what most Americans pay on the mainland, the Associated Press reported last June.

Source: Flickr/brucecarlson66

The Population of its metro area is around 2,096,657. The city has a median monthly rent of $551 and its residents have an average annual salary of $31,650 per the report.

7. Santa Rosa, California

Santa Rosa is home to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. It is also the bedrock of wine country and attracts people from all over the US and the world.

Source: Flickr/Timothy S. Allen

In Santa Rosa, where nearly 492,500 people reside, the housing market is dynamic, with a median home price of $889,590 and median monthly rent at $1,856. The average annual salary of its citizens stands at $64,080.

6. Salinas, California

Salinas is known as the “Salad Bowl of the World” due to its extensive agricultural industry, particularly in lettuce production. The city’s fertile soil and favorable climate make it a prime location for farming.

Source: Flickr/Bill

In Salinas, a metropolitan area with nearly 439,000 residents, the median home price is $925,458, and the median monthly rent is $1,718. Despite the high living costs, the average annual salary stands at $56,350.

5. San Francisco, California

San Francisco is the 13th largest city in the US. With fewer new homes being constructed within city boundaries in recent years, house fees have soared, according to US News and World Report.

Source: Wikimedia/Joseacaraballo

Per the report, in the expansive metro area of San Francisco with a population exceeding 4.7 million, the median home price is $1,122,946, with a median monthly rent of $2,155. Despite the high cost of living, the average annual salary is a robust $86,590.

4. Santa Barbara, California

Known for its celeb citizens and picturesque coastline, Santa Barbara is a dream to live in. Well, that’s if you can afford to.

Source: Flickr/Alain Girard

The city with many broad, sandy beaches has a population of about 447,600 people. The typical home costs about $464,954, and monthly rent is around $1,810. People here make about $62,020 each year on average.

3. Miami, Florida

You’ve probably been reading this waiting for Miami to pop up. Well, here you have it. Miami is a major hub in finance, commerce, culture, arts, and international trade.

Source: Flickr/B C

In the vast metro of Miami, home to over 6.1 million, the median home price is $608,742, with rent averaging $1,492 monthly. The average annual salary stands at $54,790. It is also one of the most visited cities in the US with over 4 million visitors in 2022 per wiki.

2. Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is known for its stunning beaches like Waikiki Beach, its vibrant cultural scene, including hula and ukulele performances, and historical landmarks like Pearl Harbor.

Source: Flickr/Pavel Best

Honolulu, Hawaii, home to over a million people, features a median home price of $581,658 and a median monthly rent of $1,870. The average annual salary is approximately $61,860.

1. San Diego, California

There you have it. Coming out top of the list of most expensive cities to live in the US per the US News and Work Report is San Diego. With a captivating climate, residents refer to their lofty cost of living as the “sunshine tax.”

Source: Flickr/mfnure31

San Diego, a coastal gem in California, is home to over 3.2 million people. With a median home price of $919,507 and a median monthly rent of $1,842, it offers diverse housing options. Despite the cost, the city’s average annual salary stands at $67,200