How Much Money You Need to Get By in the District

D.C. ranks second most expensive for raising a family

By Kelvin Robinson
|  Friday, Jul 12, 2013  |  Updated 8:08 PM EDT
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How Much Money You Need to Get By in D.C.

Living in the Washington, D.C., region can be pretty expensive (duh), but new data shows that it can actually be one of the costliest places in the country to raise a family.

It takes $88,615 per year. That's how much money a new report by the Economic Policy Institute suggests a family of four (two parents and two kids) would need to live comfortably in this area.

EPI looked at a number of factors, including housing, food, transportation, child care, health care, other necessities and taxes. When you add all that up, the District (including the surrounding suburbs in Maryland and Virginia) ranks second in the nation, just behind New York City ($93,502). Boston, Philadelphia and Milwaukee round out the top five, respectively. The cheapest place for a family of four: Marshall County, Miss., where the cost is almost half that at $48,144.

Being a single-parent doesn't make it much cheaper to live in Washington. The amount needed for a single parent with one child: $70,235.

EPI's report suggests that the real cost of living for families is much higher than conventional estimates. And for minimum wage workers it's nearly impossible to meet the basic needs.

Check out EPI's full report here. Try the Family Budget Calculator here.

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