When the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a statistical analysis of housing costs recently, everyone flipped out because results showed that DC is a more expensive city to live in than New York. That is indeed surprising (and also more complicated than it seems on the surface). But we here at Baltimore Fishbowl were shocked by another data point that the survey revealed.
Believe it or not, according to BLS data, Baltimore is the fifth most-expensive city to live in in the entire country, after DC, San Francisco, New York, and San Diego. The report takes into account how much average households spend on housing, utilities, furniture, and other expenses related to living. While the cost of housing itself is relatively cheaper in Baltimore than in those other metro areas, “utilities, fuels, and public services” are pricier in Baltimore than in many other places.
It’s also important to keep in mind that for the purposes of studies like this one, “Baltimore” means not just “the city of Baltimore” but rather “the Baltimore metro area” (i.e., Towson and other northern suburbs, too). The same could be said of DC, where the priciness (and much of the new construction) is not in the struggling District itself, but in its affluent suburbs.
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