New York vs. Los Angeles: What's the Cost of Living Fabulous?

New York Los Angeles Skyline - H 2013
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New York Los Angeles Skyline - H 2013

THR crunches the numbers for both entertainment/media capitals -- home to many of the world’s rich and famous -- to see which will take the biggest bite out of your budget.

The entertainment/media capitals of New York and Los Angeles are home to many of the world’s rich and famous.

According to The New York Times, incomes for the top 1 percent in the L.A.-Long Beach metro area start at $465,000 (nationally, the minimum is $383,000), while in New York-Northeastern New Jersey, you aren’t considered a One Percenter unless you make at least $608,000.

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It’s no surprise that the Big Apple is America’s most expensive metropolis, but just how pricey is its Left Coast counterpart?

“The recession a few years ago took a number of California cities out of the top 10 [most expensive urban areas],” says Dean Frutiger of the Cost of Living Index at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness. “L.A. is hovering in the top 15, whereas Manhattan remains No. 1.”

Measuring lifestyle expenses for the top 20 percent of income earners, COLI found L.A. to be 30.9 percent more expensive than the national average, whereas Manhattan clocked in at 125.4 percent, nearly 50 points above the second-most-expensive region — Brooklyn. But geography means less the higher you move up the food chain.