Here’s what you need to earn to be in the top 1% in the 11 most expensive US cities

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Paramount

In March, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) came out with an updated “Worldwide Cost of Living” report, which highlights the most expensive cities to live in across the globe.

The biannual report compares over 400 individual prices across 160 products and services, including food, drink, clothing, household supplies, utility bills, private schools, and recreational costs. All cities are compared to a base of New York City, which has a cost-of-living index set at 100.

One factor the EIU chooses not to use when creating the cost-of-living index for each city is accommodation. Roxana Slavcheva, a cities economist at EIU, explained to Business Insider: “We supply prices of rented accommodation for reference, but consider that to be a separate and relatively subjective item to price since choice in apartments and houses is dictated by taste, income, and family size.”

We decided to see what it takes to become one of the wealthiest of the wealthy in the priciest US cities.

Using an interactive tool from The New York Times, we gathered the annual household income required to be in the top 1% (and top 5%, for comparison) of earners in the 11 most expensive US cities.

Note that we did not include Honolulu, Hawaii – which tied as the ninth-most-expensive US city – because of insufficient data.

How do you stack up?


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Boston, Massachusetts.
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Shutterstock

Boston

12th most expensive city in the US.

Income required to be in the:

Top 1%: $529,343

Top 5%: $260,286


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Miami, Florida.
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Shutterstock

Miami

11th most expensive city in the US.

Income required to be in the:

Top 1%: $408,153

Top 5%: $180,005


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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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Shutterstock

Pittsburgh

Ninth most expensive city in the US (tied with Honolulu).

Income required to be in the:

Top 1%: $393,600

Top 5%: $169,841


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Seattle, Washington.
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Shutterstock

Seattle

Eighth most expensive city in the US.

Income required to be in the:

Top 1%: $408,153

Top 5%: $225,000


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San Francisco, California.
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Shutterstock

San Francisco

Seventh most expensive city in the US.

Income required to be in the:

Top 1%: $558,046

Top 5%: $349,693


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Houston, Texas.
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Shutterstock/Jorg Hackemann

Houston

Sixth most expensive city in the US.

Income required to be in the:

Top 1%: $423,345

Top 5%: $216,189


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Washington, DC.
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Shutterstock

Washington, DC

Fifth most expensive city in the US.

Income required to be in the:

Top 1%: $513,000

Top 5%: $278,516


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Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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Shutterstock/Rudy Balasko

Minneapolis

Fourth most expensive city in the US.

Income required to be in the:

Top 1%: $428,000

Top 5%: $207,925


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Chicago, Illinois.
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Flickr/giuseppemilo

Chicago

Third most expensive city in the US.

Income required to be in the:

Top 1%: $479,844

Top 5%: $218,557


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Los Angeles, California.
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Shutterstock

Los Angeles

Second most expensive city in the US.

Income required to be in the:

Top 1%: $466,895

Top 5%: $218,018


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New York, New York.
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Shutterstock

New York City

Most expensive city in the US.

Income required to be in the:

Top 1%: $608,584

Top 5%: $247,596