Cost of living in 10 of California’s major cities, ranked cheapest to most expensive

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It’s more expensive to live in San Jose, California, than Bakersfield, California.
The Council for Community and Economic Research looked at 274 urban areas for the second quarter of 2023.
All 10 urban areas in California in the analysis had an index above the national average.

It can be expensive to reside in San Jose, California.

The Council for Community and Economic Research, or C2ER, publishes a quarterly Cost of Living Index for US urban areas. The composite index is based on local prices of healthcare, housing, and four other categories.

“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,” stated a recent press release.

According to the press release, there were 274 urban areas that participated in the second quarter of this year. A score of 100 means it’s equivalent to the national average for the 274 urban areas. While Manhattan had the highest Cost of Living Index score at 225.8, four places in California made┬áthe top 10, including San Jose and San Francisco.

San Jose had a composite index of 174.9 in the second quarter of 2023. None of the 10 participating urban areas in California for the second quarter had an index below 100, meaning they all were more expensive than the average US city in the study.

The following list shows how the areas in California with data from the second quarter ranked based on their composite indexes. We also included average prices for apartment rent and other things for each place according to C2ER. There were different criteria for these average prices. For instance, home prices below are based on newly-built four-bedroom, two-full-bathroom homes that satisfy a range of criteria. Doctor visit prices are based on an examination for established patients without insurance.

10. Bakersfield, California

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Composite index: 111.5

Home price: $514,808

Apartment rent: $1,447

Energy: $385.66

Doctor visit: $90.5

Beauty salon visit: $39.33

9. Modesto, California

DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

Composite index: 113.0

Home price: $572,240

Apartment rent: $1,816

Energy: $326.49

Doctor visit: $121.67

Beauty salon visit: $48

8. Stockton, California

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Composite index: 117.6

Home price: $660,273

Apartment rent: $1,990

Energy: $326.51

Doctor visit: $133.13

Beauty salon visit: $53.07

7. Sacramento, California

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Composite index: 117.9

Home price: $641,786

Apartment rent: $2,277

Energy: $244.83

Doctor visit: $209.36

Beauty salon visit: $60

6. Oakland, California

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Composite index: 136.4

Home price: $928,340

Apartment rent: $2,716

Energy: $284.29

Doctor visit: $164.43

Beauty salon visit: $76.57

5. San Diego, California

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Composite index: 140.0

Home price: $1,063,748

Apartment rent: $3,101

Energy: $233.36

Doctor visit: $137.5

Beauty salon visit: $65.8

4. Orange County, California

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Composite index: 147.0

Home price: $1,302,694

Apartment rent: $3,016.5

Energy: $170.23

Doctor visit: $110

Beauty salon visit: $77

3. Los Angeles-Long Beach, California

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Composite index: 148.8

Home price: $1,204,996

Apartment rent: $3,161

Energy: $228.07

Doctor visit: $130

Beauty salon visit: $90

2. San Francisco, California

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

Composite index: 169.6

Home price: $1,410,494

Apartment rent: $3,814

Energy: $280.58

Doctor visit: $174.75

Beauty salon visit: $85.25

1. San Jose, California

Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

Composite index: 174.9

Home price: $1,747,830

Apartment rent: $3,761

Energy: $280.58

Doctor visit: $194

Beauty salon visit: $48.33

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