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The South Lake Union neighborhood in Seattle is home to Amazon, Google, Facebook and more. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

A study looking at the cost of living in 257 cities across the United States has ranked Seattle as the fifth most expensive place to live in the country.

Seattle trails only New York City (Manhattan), San Francisco, Honolulu and Brooklyn in the latest Cost of Living Index from The Council for Community and Economic Research. Portland, Ore., made the top 25 along with cities such as Boston, Washington, D.C., San Diego and Chicago.

The quarterly study looks at six categories — housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services — to determine rankings. It measures “regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile.”

(The Council for Community and Economic Research Graphic)

Yahoo Finance pointed out that housing was the biggest expense for those living in the top five cities, forming 29.34 percent of the overall composite index of the cost of living.

Earlier this year, Seattle-based Zillow ranked the city as the second toughest housing market in the U.S. for first-time buyers.

Seattle’s rise as one of the world’s leading hubs for technology jobs has been powered by homegrown tech giants Amazon and Microsoft, a host of successful startups and Silicon Valley mainstays that are continuing to bolster outposts in the region, such as Google, Facebook and Apple.

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