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From eggs to rent, here’s how much more (or less) you are paying than everyone else, Boston

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Adobe-Stock-Carton-Eggs
The Boston metro area pays $2 on average for a dozen eggs. The national average is $1.47. Adobe Stock

Boston was the ninth most expensive metro area in the United States in 2020, according to an annual Cost of Living Index published by the Council for Community Economic Research (C2ER).

After comparing community-reported price data on everything from groceries and gas to rent and haircuts, the cost of living in the Boston area was 50 percent more expensive than the national average — placing us just ahead of Arlington, Va., Los Angeles, and Queens, N.Y.

Manhattan held onto the top spot, even as rents cratered due to COVID, followed by Honolulu and San Francisco. Brooklyn, N.Y., Washington, D.C., Seattle, Oakland, and Orange County, Calif., rounded out the top 10.

(‘Taxachusetts’ no more? To some people moving here, Massachusetts is a bargain.)

While our housing costs were more than double the national average, other items — notably groceries — weren’t much costlier than in cheaper cities. (Call it the Market Basket effect?) Some differences reflect geography: Boston’s cold winters raise our non-electric energy costs, for example, and nearby vineyards no doubt keep the price of wine lower in San Francisco.

Below, we compare the average pre-tax cost of selected items and services in Boston with three other metros and the national average, according to the 2020 Cost of Living Index. (Note that, because the report is geared toward corporate relocation clients, the community-reported data reflect costs paid by higher-income individuals in all locations.)

 

Item/Service Boston Manhattan   San Fran.   Dallas U.S. Avg.
Rank (out of 269) 9 1 3 50
Apartment rent $3,157 $4,738 $4,098 $1,705 $1,168
Mortgage $2,463 $7,380 $4,378 $1,236 $1,215
Dozen eggs $2 $2.92 $3.16 $1.15 $1.47
Lettuce $2 $2.48 $2.01 $1.57 $1.61
Steak $13.53 $14.38 $14.94 $10.44 $11.78
Peaches $2.33 $3.07 $2.64 $1.90 $1.94
Bottle of wine $12.09 $11.63 $8.56 $9.21 $9.12
Beer (6-pack) $9.29 $12.01 $10.50 $10.12 $9.42
Pizza $11.16 $12.33 $13.47 $9.44 $10.66
Gasoline $2.19 $2.62 $3.46 $1.92 $2.21
Veterinary services $68.38 $91.29 $68.04 $64.43 $52.74
Facial tissues $1.66 $3.28 $2.25 $1.90 $1.82
Dentist $108.27 $124.43 $132.68 $133.84 $99.32
Beauty salon $64.17 $60.79 $82.05 $44.45 $39.27
Other energy (incl. heat) $161.39 $63.89 $84.62 $55.19 65.25
Electricity $72.47 $93.82 $183.22 $133.58 $99.83

Jon Gorey blogs about homes at HouseandHammer.com. Send comments to [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @jongorey. Subscribe to our free real estate newsletter at pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @globehomes.