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COLI Release Highlights, 2016 Annual Average


This report represents the tenth edition of a new format for the Cost of Living Index.  Beginning with the fourth quarter of 2007, C2ER has annually published an unweighted average of prices accumulated from the previous three quarters. The data presented represent average prices submitted for the first three quarters of 2016.

Among the 264 urban areas that participated in the 2016 Cost of Living Index, the after-tax cost for a professional/managerial standard of living ranged from more than twice the national average in New York (Manhattan), NY, to more than 20 percent below the national average in McAllen, TX.   The Cost of Living Index is published quarterly by C2ER – The Council for Community and Economic Research.

The Ten Most and Least Expensive Urban Areas
in the Cost of Living Index (COLI)
Year-End Review of Three Quarters in 2016National Average for 261 Urban Areas = 100
 Most Expensive  Least Expensive
Ranking Urban Areas COL Index Ranking Urban Areas COL Index
1 New York (Manhattan) NY 228.2 1 McAllen TX 76.4
2  Honolulu HI 190.5 2 Harlingen TX 79.4
3 San Francisco CA 177.4 3 Richmond IN 79.9
4  New York (Brooklyn) NY 173.6 4 Kalamazoo MI 80.1
5  Orange County CA 151.6 5  Ashland OH 81.5
6  Washington DC 149.2 6 Cleveland TN 82.7
7 Oakland CA 148.7 7 Tupelo MS 82.8
8 Boston MA 148.1 8 Martinsville-Henry County VA 82.8
9 Stamford CT 145.9 9  Memphis TN 83.0
10 Seattle WA 145.1 10  Hattiesburg MS 83.8

The Cost of Living Index 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. It is based on more than 90,000 prices covering almost 60 different items for which prices are collected three times a year by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations or university applied economic centers in each participating urban area. Small differences in the index numbers should not be interpreted as significant.

The composite index is based on six components: housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services.

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