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Chicago Is The 14th Most Expensive City In The World, New Study Says

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Mar 2, 2016 5:14PM

A new "livability" study tells us what we already, sadly, know: Chicago's cost of living is growing, making our fair city one of the most expensive places to live in the world.

The real estate firm Savills Studley actually ranks us the 14th most expensive city this year, just behind Los Angeles and Moscow. They say it costs $44,700 a year for one person to live and work here, which is about 10 percent more than it cost just five years ago. New York, the U.S. city with the highest ranking at #2, right behind London, has an estimated annual cost of living of $111,300, which is horrifying. By comparison, San Francisco is way cheaper—it's #6 with a $66,300 annual cost of living per person.

A researcher from Savills suggested that Chicago's push to be a "global city" might be to blame for the jump in cost of living.

"World cities can become become a victim of their own success when rents rise to the point where affordability becomes an issue,” head of world research Yolande Barnes said in a statement. “Growth without social, economic or environmental loss is perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing our world cities today.”


Chicago's median household income is about $47,000 in 2014 dollars, according to U.S. census data. But that really doesn't mean the average Chicagoan can afford to spend $44,000 a year on living expenses. It's unclear what specific metrics went into Savills' figures, which say they determine the average "total cost of accommodation" in a city. But with median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago around $1,600 a month last year, we can see how that adds up fast.

Chicago's notoriety as a not-cheap place to live has been growing; earlier this year a separate study said we're the 16th most expensive city for Millennials.