Is it cheaper for metro Atlanta parents to live in the city or the suburbs?

Atlanta has some of the highest cost of living disparities in the nation, according a 2017 study from Care.com and Zillow, "Cities vs. Suburbs: Where can American parents save the most money?"

The collaborative study found that people living in Atlanta proper spend an additional $12,557 each year compared to the metro’s surrounding suburbs. Nearly 28 percent above the national average for families living in urban areas across the U.S.

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Analysts from Care.com and Zillow gathered data on child care costs, surveys and property tax data to publish the 2017 Cost of Living report, which compared the cost of living in cities versus their corresponding suburbs to find out where families can get the most bang for their buck.

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Avondale Estates' historic main drag

Avondale Estates' historic main drag

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Avondale Estates' historic main drag

For child care costs, Care.com contributed data from its child care center profiles in 2016 for two children in the same center to determine annual child care costs. In calculating annual rates, weekly rates were multiplied by 52 weeks, and monthly rates were multiplied by 12 months.

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To understand housing expenses, Zillow analysts surveyed Americans to determine if they live in urban or suburban communities and used the data to ultimately find the median home value of homes in each type of area. Analysts also applied property tax data to the median home values.

Here’s what the study found about living in the city of Atlanta (urban) vs. its surrounding suburbs:

Suburban

Suburban vs. urban living cost difference: $12,557

Annual child care costs (child care center for two kids): $17,236

Total annual housing and child care expenses: $30,805

Annual property taxes and mortgage payment: $13,569

Median square feet: 1,988

Urban

Annual child care costs (child care center for two kids): $20,927

Total annual housing and child care expenses: $43,362

Annual property taxes and mortgage payment: $22,435

Median square feet: 1,611

Nationwide, Care.com and Zillow found that families living in cities spend approximately $9,073 more per year to cover child care and basic housing

costs.

In New York City, city-dwelling families can spend up to $71,237 extra each year—an average of nearly 6,000 extra per month—compared to those living in suburbs.

More about the study and its methodology.

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