Article Table Of Contents
If you're about to move to the Wolverine State but want to avoid living in an outrageously expensive city, you're in the right place. We've done the research to discover which places in Michigan are the most expensive to live in.
While big Michigan cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids may be the first to come to mind, they actually aren't among the most expensive cities in the state. In fact, Michigan's priciest places are fairly well distributed throughout the state. Ann Arbor and some its surrounding cities make up a big chunk of this list, but there are also a few on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, like Houghton, and a handful in Michigan's mitten, like Traverse City. Wherever you are on this list geographically, it's a safe bet that life's going to be a bit tougher economically.
So how much money should you have in the piggy bank if you want to hang with the elite in these hyper-expenive Michigan cities? Earning at least $24,133/year oughta keep you from going bust in any of these places. If you want to compete with Michigan's native son Larry Page, you'll have to earn substantially more. Just invent the world's most popular search engine -- easy!
Get ready to swap stock tips with Michigan's many billionaires, because we're heading to the most expensive places to live in the Wolverine State.
What's the most expensive place to live in Michigan? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that East Lansing is the most expensive place to live in Michigan.
So hopefully Ishpeming (the cheapest place to live in Michigan) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.
And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Michigan and the most expensive cities in the country:
The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Michigan For 2020
East Lansing is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan directly east of Lansing, the state capital. Most of the city is within Ingham County, with the rest in Clinton County. The population was 48,579 at the 2010 census, an increase from 46,420 in 2000. It is best known as the home of Michigan State University.
The median income in East Lansing comes in at $38,502 and the median home value is $186,700 for 2020.
Houghton is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and largest city in the Copper Country on the Keweenaw Peninsula. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,708. It is the county seat of Houghton County. It has been listed as one of the "100 Best Small Towns in America."
The median income in Houghton comes in at $24,133 and the median home value is $148,200 for 2020.
Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. The 2010 census recorded its population to be 113,934, making it the sixth largest city in Michigan.
The median income in Ann Arbor comes in at $63,956 and the median home value is $298,400 for 2020.
Marquette is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Marquette County. The population was 21,355 at the 2010 census, making it the largest city of the state's Upper Peninsula. Marquette is a major port on Lake Superior, known primarily for shipping iron ore, and is the home of Northern Michigan University. In 2012, Marquette was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the U.S. by CBS MoneyWatch.
The median income in Marquette comes in at $40,398 and the median home value is $178,200 for 2020.
Howell is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 9,489. It is the county seat of Livingston County and is located mostly within Howell Township, but is politically independent from Howell Township. The city is part of the South Lyon-Howell-Brighton Urban Area.
The median income in Howell comes in at $45,760 and the median home value is $164,100 for 2020.
Ypsilanti, commonly shortened to Ypsi, is a city in Washtenaw County in the U.S. state of Michigan, perhaps best known as the home of Eastern Michigan University. As of the 2017 census, the city's population was 21,018. The city is bounded to the north by Superior Township and on the west, south, and east by Ypsilanti Township. Ypsilanti is located 6 miles east of Ann Arbor and about 18 miles west of the Detroit city limits.
The median income in Ypsilanti comes in at $36,982 and the median home value is $141,100 for 2020.
Traverse City is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is the county seat of Grand Traverse County, although a small portion extends into Leelanau County. It is the largest city in the 21-county Northern Michigan region. The population was 14,674 at the 2010 census, with 143,372 in the Traverse City micropolitan area.
The median income in Traverse City comes in at $53,871 and the median home value is $240,100 for 2020.
Brighton is a suburb in metro Detroit located in the southeast portion of Livingston County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,444. Brighton forms part of the South Lyon-Howell-Brighton Urban Area. It is one of two incorporated cities in Livingston County, and incorporates land that was once part of Brighton, Green Oak and Genoa townships.
The median income in Brighton comes in at $58,041 and the median home value is $194,600 for 2020.
Mount Pleasant is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Isabella County, located in Central Michigan. The population was 26,016 at the 2010 census.
The median income in Mount Pleasant comes in at $37,984 and the median home value is $135,600 for 2020.
Petoskey is a city and coastal resort community in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 5,670 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Emmet County.
The median income in Petoskey comes in at $40,903 and the median home value is $178,400 for 2020.
How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Wolverine State For 2020
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Michigan to figure out which is the most expensive.
What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 148 places in Michigan that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the highest cost of living in Michigan according to the data is East Lansing. You can download the data here.
Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Michigan For 2020
Well there you have it, the places in Michigan that have the highest cost of living, with East Lansing ranking as the most expensive city in the Wolverine State.
Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Michigan according to the data:
- Iron Mountain
- Bay City
For more Michigan reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In Michigan
- Best Counties To Live In Michigan
- Cheapest Places To Live In Michigan
- Best Places To Raise A Family In Michigan
- Best Places To Retire In Michigan
- Richest Cities In Michigan
- Safest Places In Michigan
Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Michigan
|37||Grosse Pointe Park||59.67|
|47||East Grand Rapids||62.67|
|53||Grosse Pointe Woods||65.0|
|60||Grosse Pointe Farms||68.67|
|63||Sault Ste. Marie||69.33|
|75||St. Clair Shores||75.33|