Priciest places to be upwardly mobile
Here's how much you'd need to earn to afford the same standard of living in 100 cities.
By Jeanne Sahadi, senior writer

NEW YORK ( Say you and your spouse want to relocate to a new city.

With any luck, the income from your new jobs will allow you to enjoy at least the same standard of living to which you're accustomed now. The table below reflects what a couple without kids who hold middle-management jobs would need to earn to replicate a moderately affluent lifestyle in various cities.

We've listed the 50 most expensive metropolitan areas and the 50 least expensive from among the 364 cities and counties that participated in the latest ACCRA cost-of-living survey.

As you look the list over, keep in mind that the federal tax bite for the couple will vary considerably based on their nominal income. For instance, even though a $167,000 income in New York City will buy you a basket of goods (including housing) comparable to a $92,000 income in West Palm Beach, Fla., it will cost you almost $20,000 more in federal taxes. (Read more about why many otherwise middle-class couples find themselves classified as high-income taxpayers.)

The table below was compiled on behalf of the Tax Foundation by Scott Moody, chief economist with the Maine Heritage Policy Center. Moody used cost-of-living data from ACCRA, income data from the Census Bureau, and estimates for wage and salary growth from the Congressional Budget Office. Top of page

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