Cover for Top 50 U.S. Metro Areas Household Spend Report 2021

doxo Ranks Household Bill Spend Across America’s 50 Largest Metro Areas

San Jose, CA Metro Area is Most Expensive at $3,151 per month; Buffalo, NY Metro Area is Most Affordable at $1,603 per month

SEATTLEdoxo, the innovative web and mobile bill pay service, today released a report that compares household bill pay behavior across the 50 largest cities in the nation. The “Top 50 U.S. Metro Areas Household Spend Report 2021” takes a metro-specific look at the $4.4 trillion U.S. consumer bill pay market, considering bill payments in the ten most common household bill payment categories in the 50 largest U.S. metro areas (calculated by number of households).

The findings outlined in the Top 50 U.S. Metro Areas Household Spend Report 2021 include the total monthly spend for bills each month, as well as a breakout of each of the ten most common household bills, including: Mortgage; Rent; Auto Loan; Utilities (electric, gas, water & sewer, and waste & recycling); Auto Insurance; Cable & Internet & Phone; Health Insurance (consumer paid portion); Mobile Phone; Alarm & Security; and Life Insurance. The 10 most expensive and least expensive cities among the top 50 largest metro areas are outlined below.

10 Most Expensive Metro Areas for Household Bills:

City Monthly Bill Expense Per Household* Percent of Metro Household Income Percent +/- National Average
San Jose $3,151 31.6% +66.8%
San Francisco $3,080 35.1% +63.0%
Washington DC $2,767 31.8% +46.5%
Los Angeles $2,753 44.3% +45.8%
New York $2,674 38.8% +41.5%
San Diego $2,668 40.8% +41.2%
Boston $2,663 35.3% +41.0%
Seattle $2,553 35.9% +35.2%
Riverside $2,330 43.2% +23.4%
Denver $2,328 35.8% +23.2%

10 Least Expensive Metro Areas for Household Bills:

City Monthly Bill Expense Per Household* Percent of Metro Household Income Percent +/- National Average
Oklahoma City $1,802 36.8% -4.6%
Birmingham $1,797 37.0% -4.9%
Cincinnati $1,786 33.7% -5.5%
Memphis $1,778 38.9% -5.9%
St. Louis $1,777 32.9% -5.9%
Louisville $1,761 35.3% -6.8%
Rochester $1,711 34.1% -9.4%
Cleveland $1,709 35.5% -9.5%
Pittsburgh $1,689 33.7% -10.6%
Buffalo $1,603 33.1% -15.1%

*Household Bill Pay Expense averages shown above reflect the ten most common bills paid, including housing (rent/mortgage). See report for details.

From this list of the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S., doxo’s report reveals the most and least expensive places for Americans to live based on average spend per month on actual household bill payments. Residents of San Jose pay the highest monthly bills out of these 50 metro areas, at an average of $3,151 in monthly expenses, or 66.8% higher than the national average of $1,889. California is well represented among the most expensive metro areas on the list, with San Francisco coming second in the list, Los Angeles coming fourth, and San Diego coming 6th. Seattle, Boston, and Washington, DC are also in the top 10 on the list.

Findings also show that smaller metro areas in the Northeast are the least expensive in doxo’s Top 50 rankings. Buffalo area residents pay the least in average monthly expenses, at $1,603, which is 15.1% lower than the national average. Pittsburgh follows Buffalo as the second least expensive place to live among the top 50 cities. Alos on the list of the least expensive major U.S. metros for household bills are the Midwest-based Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Cleveland.

This comparison of expenses across the top U.S. metro areas is especially relevant given the recent uptick in relocation, since many Americans learned during the pandemic that they could work from home long-term. The New York Times reported an “unusually large flow of urban residents out of New York and San Francisco,” both of which are in the top 5 of doxo’s list of the most expensive major cities to live in. The Pew Research Center found that one fifth of adult Americans moved or knew someone who did due to the pandemic, with financial considerations being the defining factor informing those moves.

Part of these financial considerations may be related to the new realities of working from home. Last month, research from doxo also showed how the rise in remote work also led to elevated household expenses in certain key bill categories, specifically Utilities, Cable & Internet, and Mobile Phone.

doxoINSIGHTS’ detailed, cross-city comparisons about bill expenses help bring greater transparency to a major part of American spending. “We believe transparent bill-pay information is important for all parties involved: billers, municipalities, and consumers,” said Jim Kreyenhagen, doxo’s VP of Marketing & Consumer Services. “Municipalities need to understand the cost of living in their area as they manage policy. Billers need to understand the average consumers pay for their services by geographic region, and consumers can use the information when comparing their own bills to determine if there are additional ways to save money. If they are paying more than the average, they should look into why that is.”

To view more from doxoINSIGHTS and its Top 50 U.S. Metro Areas Household Spend Report 2021, including a full breakdown of the amount paid in household bills across all of the 50 states, as well as previous doxo reports, visit the doxoINSIGHTS website.

Bill Payment Data for 900+ Cities:

doxoINSIGHTS data covers more than the 50 largest metro areas in the United States. Browse infographics for more than 900 cities and towns across the country. The infographics compare average bill expenses in the 10 major household bill categories. Cities and towns are divided by zip code according to the US Census Bureau’s Core-Based Statistical Areas. Look up your city’s infographic on doxoINSIGHTS’ Regional Bill Comparison database.

About doxoINSIGHTS

doxoINSIGHTS provides direct insight into household financial health and spending activity by leveraging consumer surveys and doxo’s unique aggregate bill pay data set, comprising actual bill payment activity to confirmed household service providers across the country. doxo data brings together the broadest available data set for analyzing actual household bill payment activity, pulling from over six million paying consumers across over 97% of U.S. zip codes. doxo’s payment network covers over 100,000 billers in 45 different service categories and enables payments using bank accounts, credit cards or debit cards. This uniquely broad statistical foundation powers doxoINSIGHTS reports – uncovering key trends for household financial health and bill payment behavior.

About doxo

doxo provides simple, secure all-in-one bill payment to any biller, with any payment method, on any device. A doxoPLUS subscription adds free bank payments and five essential financial protections that boost household financial health. Through these services, doxo currently serves over six million paying users who can make payments to over 100,000 local and national businesses, making doxo the largest bill pay directory in the nation. Billers on the network get paid directly, fast and free – and consumers have complete bill pay independence over when and how they pay their bills. doxo expanded its user base by more than 70 percent in the past year and is expanding its team to further accelerate growth and change the bill pay landscape to focus on the customer. doxo investors include MDV, Sigma Partners, and Bezos Expeditions. doxo is based in Seattle, WA. For more information visit