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The 10 Cities With The Highest Cost Of Living: Report

First Posted: 01/27/2012 1:23 pm   Updated: 01/28/2012 10:50 am

An old adage seems to be proving true: if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.

New York City is home to three of the top five areas in the country with the highest cost of living, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research. Manhattan has the highest cost of living, followed by Brooklyn. Queens ranks number five. Four out of the ten cities with the lowest cost of living are in Texas, according to the index.

In Manhattan, the standard of living is more than twice the national average, the report found, while in Harlington, Texas -- the city with the lowest cost of living -- the standard is nearly 20 percent below the national average. The index was calculated based on regional differences between the cost of consumer goods and services.

Though the labor market may be poised to grow this year, Americans will likely still struggle with low wage growth, potentially placing even more strain on those people living in New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and other high cost cities. In some states, wages may be adjusting slightly to fit the rising cost of living; eight states raised or are slated to boost their minimum wages this year.

In New York, the minimum wage is $7.25, far below the $11.86 an hour it takes to actually live in the city, according to the Living Wage Project. And it takes six figures to effectively belong in the city's middle class. A 2009 study from the Center for an Urban Future found that someone making $60,000 and living in Manhattan is equivalent to someone making $26,092, according to the New York Daily News.

Here are the 10 cities with the highest cost of living, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research:

10. Orange County CA
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Filed by Jillian Berman  |