These Are The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Michigan For 2018


We used science and data to determine which cities in Michigan that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Michigan does this very well. Families love the Wolverine State’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.

These are the places in Michigan that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Michigan for 2018:

  1. Milan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Petoskey (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Traverse City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Marquette (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Houghton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Manistee (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Escanaba (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Kingsford (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Iron Mountain (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Ishpeming (Photos | Homes For Sale)

So hopefully Springfield (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 the best places to live in Michigan or the cheapest.

1. Milan

Milan, Michigan

Population: 5,731
Services: 111
Groceries: 101
Health Care: 113
Housing: 80
Transportation: 129
Utilities: 119
More on Milan: Homes For Sale | Data
Milan is a city in Monroe and Washtenaw counties in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 5,836 at the 2010 census. About 60% of the city’s area and 75% of its residents are located on the Washtenaw County side adjacent to York Charter Township in Washtenaw County; while 40% percent of the city’s area and 25% of its residents are located on the Monroe County side adjacent to Milan Township.

2. Petoskey

Petoskey, Michigan

Population: 5,710
Services: 97
Groceries: 91
Health Care: 107
Housing: 95
Transportation: 103
Utilities: 111
More on Petoskey: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

3. Traverse City

Traverse City, Michigan

Population: 14,702
Services: 97
Groceries: 91
Health Care: 107
Housing: 94
Transportation: 103
Utilities: 111
More on Traverse City: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

4. Marquette

Marquette, Michigan

Public domain

Population: 21,383
Services: 97
Groceries: 91
Health Care: 107
Housing: 84
Transportation: 103
Utilities: 111
More on Marquette: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

5. Houghton

Houghton, Michigan

Population: 7,692
Services: 97
Groceries: 91
Health Care: 107
Housing: 71
Transportation: 103
Utilities: 111
More on Houghton: Homes For Sale | Data
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.”

6. Manistee

Manistee, Michigan

Public domain

Population: 6,254
Services: 97
Groceries: 91
Health Care: 107
Housing: 59
Transportation: 103
Utilities: 111
More on Manistee: Homes For Sale | Data
Manistee is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 6,226 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Manistee County. The name “Manistee” is from an Ojibwe word first applied to the principal river of the county. The derivation is not certain, but it may be from ministigweyaa, “river with islands at its mouth”. Other sources claim that it was an Ojibwe term meaning “spirit of the woods”.

7. Escanaba

Escanaba, Michigan

Population: 12,609
Services: 97
Groceries: 91
Health Care: 107
Housing: 50
Transportation: 103
Utilities: 111
More on Escanaba: Homes For Sale | Data
Escanaba is a port city in Delta County in the U.S. state of Michigan, located on the Escanaba River in the banana belt of the state’s Upper Peninsula. The population was 12,616 at the 2010 census, making it the third-largest city in the Upper Peninsula after Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie. It is the seat of government of Delta County.

8. Kingsford

Kingsford, Michigan

Population: 5,164
Services: 97
Groceries: 91
Health Care: 107
Housing: 47
Transportation: 103
Utilities: 111
More on Kingsford: Homes For Sale | Data

9. Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain, Michigan

Population: 7,662
Services: 97
Groceries: 91
Health Care: 107
Housing: 46
Transportation: 103
Utilities: 111
More on Iron Mountain: Homes For Sale | Data

10. Ishpeming

Ishpeming, Michigan

Population: 6,500
Services: 97
Groceries: 91
Health Care: 107
Housing: 46
Transportation: 103
Utilities: 111
More on Ishpeming: Homes For Sale | Data

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Wolverine State For 2018

Cheapest And Most Expensive Places To Live In Michigan Map
There are basic necessities that you have to buy no matter where in the country you live. Those things include:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Gas
  • Health Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

You can then compare the cost of these things 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” that normalizes to 100 for an average place in the United States.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 142 places in Michigan that have more than 5,000 people.

And just so you can better understand how the cost of living index works, 100 is the average cost of a place in the United States. A score of 90 means that the place cost 10% less than average.

San Francisco has a score of 243 meaning it’s almost 2.5 times as expensive as the average place in the country.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck

Well there you have it, the places in Michigan that have the highest cost of living, with Milan ranking as the most expensive city in the Wolverine State.

If you’re curious, here are the least expensive cities in Michigan:

  1. Springfield
  2. Albion
  3. Jackson

For more Michigan reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Michigan

Rank City Population Services Groceries Health Care
1 Milan 5,731 111 101 113
2 Petoskey 5,710 97 91 107
3 Traverse City 14,702 97 91 107
4 Marquette 21,383 97 91 107
5 Houghton 7,692 97 91 107
6 Manistee 6,254 97 91 107
7 Escanaba 12,609 97 91 107
8 Kingsford 5,164 97 91 107
9 Iron Mountain 7,662 97 91 107
10 Ishpeming 6,500 97 91 107
11 Menominee 8,603 97 91 107
12 Birmingham 20,153 96 90 99
13 Beverly Hills 10,295 96 90 99
14 Huntington Woods 6,236 96 90 99
15 Grosse Pointe 5,397 96 90 99
16 Grosse Pointe Park 11,523 96 90 99
17 Grosse Pointe Farms 9,433 96 90 99
18 Rochester 12,647 96 90 99
19 Novi 55,319 96 90 99
20 Northville 5,996 96 90 99
21 Ann Arbor 114,725 96 90 99
22 Troy 81,307 96 90 99
23 Rochester Hills 71,251 96 90 99
24 Grosse Pointe Woods 16,061 96 90 99
25 Farmington Hills 80,131 96 90 99
26 Saline 8,845 96 90 99
27 Plymouth 9,070 96 90 99
28 Wixom 13,544 96 90 99
29 Brighton 7,498 96 90 99
30 Berkley 15,037 96 90 99
31 Livonia 96,632 96 90 99
32 Farmington 10,405 96 90 99
33 Royal Oak 57,761 96 90 99
34 New Baltimore 11,884 96 90 99
35 Sterling Heights 129,887 96 90 99
36 Milford 6,211 96 90 99
37 South Lyon 11,306 96 90 99
38 Clawson 11,899 96 90 99
39 Grand Blanc 8,266 96 90 99
40 Southfield 72,280 96 90 99
41 Auburn Hills 21,408 96 90 99
42 Howell 9,537 96 90 99
43 Dearborn 97,509 96 90 99
44 Walled Lake 7,014 96 90 99
45 Ypsilanti 19,638 96 90 99
46 Woodhaven 12,800 96 90 99
47 Richmond 5,720 96 90 99
48 Marysville 9,933 96 90 99
49 Allen Park 28,111 96 90 99
50 Oak Park 29,523 96 90 99
51 Trenton 18,792 96 90 99
52 Riverview 12,451 96 90 99
53 Dearborn Heights 57,454 96 90 99
54 Fraser 14,563 96 90 99
55 Fenton 11,656 96 90 99
56 Swartz Creek 5,717 96 90 99
57 Monroe 20,810 96 90 99
58 Garden City 27,639 96 90 99
59 Ferndale 20,062 96 90 99
60 Tecumseh 8,523 96 90 99
61 Flushing 8,370 96 90 99
62 Flat Rock 9,773 96 90 99
63 East Grand Rapids 10,797 101 94 95
64 Westland 83,770 96 90 99
65 Warren 134,550 96 90 99
66 Harper Woods 14,136 96 90 99
67 Southgate 29,879 96 90 99
68 Madison Heights 29,854 96 90 99
69 Eastpointe 32,569 96 90 99
70 East Lansing 48,449 101 94 95
71 Holly 6,099 96 90 99
72 Taylor 62,916 96 90 99
73 Wyandotte 25,839 96 90 99
74 Lapeer 8,899 96 90 99
75 Davison 5,181 96 90 99
76 Roseville 47,427 96 90 99
77 Burton 29,915 96 90 99
78 Port Huron 30,253 96 90 99
79 Romulus 23,790 96 90 99
80 Walker 23,600 101 94 95
81 Wayne 17,562 96 90 99
82 Owosso 15,139 96 90 99
83 Mount Clemens 16,394 96 90 99
84 Adrian 21,170 96 90 99
85 Rockford 5,710 101 94 95
86 Hudsonville 7,162 101 94 95
87 Lincoln Park 37,998 96 90 99
88 Hazel Park 16,579 96 90 99
89 Kentwood 48,877 101 94 95
90 Grandville 15,502 101 94 95
91 Midland 42,024 101 94 95
92 Pontiac 60,105 96 90 99
93 Melvindale 10,637 96 90 99
94 Grand Ledge 7,805 101 94 95
95 Norton Shores 23,934 101 94 95
96 Detroit 721,459 96 90 99
97 Ecorse 9,545 96 90 99
98 Inkster 25,455 96 90 99
99 Zeeland 5,561 101 94 95
100 Holland 33,307 101 94 95
101 Bay City 34,899 96 90 99
102 Mount Pleasant 26,092 101 94 95
103 Center Line 8,289 96 90 99
104 Grand Haven 10,541 101 94 95
105 Saginaw 51,776 96 90 99
106 Hamtramck 22,317 96 90 99
107 Grand Rapids 189,340 101 94 95
108 Flint 103,263 96 90 99
109 River Rouge 7,951 96 90 99
110 Highland Park 11,971 96 90 99
111 Wyoming 72,408 101 94 95
112 Ludington 8,081 101 94 95
113 Lansing 114,537 101 94 95
114 Big Rapids 10,657 101 94 95
115 Cadillac 10,345 101 94 95
116 Greenville 8,465 101 94 95
117 Ionia 11,602 101 94 95
118 Belding 5,778 101 94 95
119 Alma 9,341 101 94 95
120 Alpena 10,479 101 94 95
121 Muskegon 38,061 101 94 95
122 Ironwood 5,366 93 95 109
123 Muskegon Heights 10,923 101 94 95
124 Niles 11,594 88 90 92
125 Dowagiac 5,899 95 101 94
126 Portage 46,425 89 83 95
127 Benton Harbor 10,113 95 101 94
128 Mason 8,203 89 83 95
129 Marshall 7,094 89 83 95
130 Charlotte 9,075 89 83 95
131 Eaton Rapids 5,228 89 83 95
132 Hastings 7,360 89 83 95
133 Kalamazoo 74,494 89 83 95
134 Allegan 5,004 89 83 95
135 Battle Creek 52,327 89 83 95
136 Sturgis 10,988 89 83 95
137 Coldwater 10,936 89 83 95
138 Hillsdale 8,292 89 83 95
139 Three Rivers 7,792 89 83 95
140 Jackson 33,661 89 83 95
141 Albion 8,638 89 83 95
142 Springfield 5,250 89 83 95

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