Surprise? Heck, no! The Washington metropolitan area has been declared the fifth most expensive place in the nation in which to live, whether one has a "lower," "intermediate" or "higher" standard of living.
For the intermediate class, neither rich nor poor, it cost $27,352 last year to maintain a so-called "typical" family of four, consisting of a working husband, a nonworking wife and two children, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday.
The survey, which covered buying needs and habits in the nation's 25 largest urbanized areas, showed it would cost a similar family $22,678 to live in the same style in Dallas, which is in the Sun Belt region where costs are generally lower.
Honolulu and Anchorage nearly tied as the costliest cities: $31,893 for the Hawaiian capital, $31,890 for the Alaskan metropolis. On the 48-state mainland, only the New York-northern New Jersey area ($29,540) and Boston ($29,213) topped Washington.
The national average was $25,504, up 9.8 percent from 1980.
For the higher living standard, Honolulu again was the costliest with $50,317, followed by New York-New Jersey with $47,230, Anchorage with $45,119, Boston with $44,821 and Washington with $41,127. Dallas trailed the 25 cities with $33,769.
For the lower standard, Anchorage was the most expensive with $22,939, followed by Honolulu with $20,319, Seattle-Everett, Wash., with $17,124, San Francisco-Oakland with $17,080 and Washington with $16,702. Dallas again was the lowest with $14,392.
Yesterday's report will be the last of its kind, BLS said, blaming budget cuts.