City living has its costs, and a new analysis of data from Zillow and Care.com reveals just how much. According to the new report, families (define as having two children) living in major urban areas in the U.S. spend an average of $9,073 more a year on housing and child care expenses than their suburban counterparts. Families in New York City, Chicago, and Dallas pay the highest premiums on basic housing and child care—in the New York City area’s case, that’s $71,237 more a year for urban families than suburban families.
In half of the 30 U.S. metros studied, the costs of suburban housing and childcare actually outpaced those of city life, albeit to a milder degree. The suburban premium is highest in Philadelphia ($13,859) and Baltimore ($10,790).
In many metro areas, childcare can make a big difference. Urban Cincinnati had the lowest average child care costs of all the cities analyzed at $13,759 a year—that’s nearly $3,000 less than in suburban Cincinnati. Housing in the city was also cheaper. Meanwhile, in urban Minneapolis, the cost of housing was actually $189 cheaper, but childcare costs an additional $4,000.
"Deciding whether to live in the city or suburbs is a personal choice, but when you do the math, it's easy to see why moving to the suburbs is about more than just a bigger yard–it can also save you a lot of money," said Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist, in a statement. Check out the full study here.