While some things change, other things stay the same. It seems that even in light of a quaking economy and pseudo depression, the one thing Americans can always count on is that it is expensive to live — no matter where you are.

Yet, there is no illusion that some places are just more expensive to call home than others.

According to the 2012 Cost of Living Index from the Council for Community and Economic Research, some of the most expensive places to live in America include three boroughs of New York City, three cities in California and the capitals of both Alaska and Hawaii.

The Cost of Living index is comprised of more than 300 urban neighborhoods across the nation, taking into account 60 different items from six different categories, including housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care and miscellaneous good and services.

Each city’s index number is based on a national average of 100.

According to these figures, Manhattan is the most expensive place to live in America with more than twice the national average at 228.3. The Big Apple is the only place in the country with a score over 200.

All of the other cities to make the top 10 list ranked well above the national average with scores of at least 140.

A variety of factors outline what it is that makes a place more expensive to live than others. Housing seems to be a major contributor to higher index numbers, as well as geography, making it expensive to have products transported to certain places as opposed to the rest of the country.

Top 10 Most Expensive Places in America

  1. New York (Manhattan), NY – 228.3
  2. New York (Brooklyn), NY – 183.1
  3. San Francisco, CA – 166.5
  4. Honolulu, Hawaii – 165.8
  5. San Jose, CA – 154.3
  6. Stamford, CT – 147.4
  7. New York (Queens), NY – 145.9
  8. Orange County, CA – 144.7
  9. Washington, D.C. – 144.6
  10. Juneau, Alaska – 140.5

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