Four California markets, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Jose, are considered to be among the “most expensive” urban areas in the nation based on cost of living expenses.

The Council for Community and Economic Research recently published its quarterly Cost of Living Index for urban areas in the United States.

The composite index is based on six categories: housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services.

“The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile,” a news release stated.

Price items for 61 different items were collected quarterly by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and university-applied economic centers in each participating urban area, according to the report.

About 274 urban areas nationwide participated in the second quarter report for this year. To determine which areas exceeded or were below the national average for cost of living expenses, researchers determined that a score of 100 would represent the national average.

The most and least expensive urban areas

Most ExpensiveCOLLeast ExpensiveCOL
Manhattan, New York225.8Decatur, Illinois78
Honolulu, Hawaii181.7Harlingen, Texas      79
San Jose, California174.9Conway, Arkansas81.6
San Francisco, California169.6McAllen, Texas81.8
Brooklyn, New York163Tupelo, Mississippi82.2
L.A/ Long Beach area148.8Ponca City, Oklahoma82.7
Washington D.C147,8Kalamazoo, Michigan82.8
Orange County, California147Florence, Alabama83.1
Boston, Massachusetts144.5Pittsburgh, Kansas83.1
Seattle, Washington143.8Muskogee, Oklahoma83.5
Council for Community and Economic Research