Folks had something to say about Washington D.C. being the most expensive – Susie wanted to make sure Honolulu was considered, and so did the WSJ.com:
As it happens, the Department of Commerce directly measures price levels for different regions. These price levels are the average prices paid by consumers for the things they consume. That’s probably what most people mean when they say a place is expensive.
These data show that the most expensive region in the U.S. is Honolulu, followed by New York. The D.C. area is seventh.
The Council for Community and Economic Research produces an index measuring the cost of housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care and goods and services. This is pretty close to the concept people are curious about when they want to know how expensive different cities are. It scores Manhattan as 117% more expensive than most cities (more than double) and Brooklyn 67% more expensive. D.C. is only 38% more expensive, according to their rankings.