(Related: D.C. is more expensive than New York? Twitter reacts.)


Once filled with warehouses and small businesses, Washington’s NoMa neighborhood is now booming with the development of condos, apartments and retail. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

Related: Wait a second? Is D.C. really #1 in housing costs? More than NY? Yes. Here’s the latest on why. (And no, Honolulu is not in this ranking.)

The Washington region ranks as the most expensive place to live in the country, ahead of the pricey markets of New York and San Francisco, according to a government study.

The surprising statistic comes from a Bureau of Labor Statistics report that shows that — on average — Washingtonians spend more on housing and related expenses (utilities, furnishings and equipment) than New Yorkers and San Franciscans.


The report, called “Housing: Before, During, and After the Great Recession,” gives detailed comparisons on the expenses of housing, utilities, furniture and other household supplies for major cities. The study, written by economist Demetrio M. Scopelliti, looks at 2012 data and also hits on construction jobs in home-building.

Here are some of the most interesting finds from his 25-page report.

Breakdown of cost of living 

Across the country, the study says, Americans spend about 33 percent (or $16,887) of their annual expenses on housing.

Labor Department spokesman Stephen Barr said on Monday evening, after the Post reported on the study, that residents of the D.C. region spend an average of $28,416 on housing. On average, $17,603 of that money goes directly toward shelter, while the nationwide average is $9,891 for shelter costs.


Men vs. women 

The study also looked at how much time is spent on household activities between the sexes.

On average, women spent six hours per week on housework — more than three times as much as men in 2013. The study said men spent almost two hours per week on lawn and garden work — almost twice as much as women.


Water, electricity and furnishings

The wide-ranging study also takes a broad look at household expenses, from the price of windows, appliances and floor coverings, to water, sewer and trash collection costs: