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COLI Release Highlights, Annual Review 2015

This report represents the ninth edition of a new format for the Cost of Living Index. Starting in 2007, C2ER has published an Annual Review of data for the preceding year. The data contained within the report represents unweighted average prices submitted for the first three quarters of the year, with new index numbers calculated using the modified weights for the upcoming year applied to these average prices. For further details on the annual average methodology, please visit our website at http://coli.org/Method.asp.

Among the 273 urban areas that participated in the 2015 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 The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER).

The Ten Most and Least Expensive Urban Areas
in the Cost of Living Index (COLI)
Annual Review 2015
National Average for 273 Urban Areas = 100
 Most Expensive  Least Expensive
Ranking Urban Areas COL Index Ranking Urban Areas COL Index
1 New York (Manhattan) NY 227.4 1 McAllen TX 78.3
2 Honolulu HI 188.2 2 Harlingen TX 79.7
3 San Francisco CA 176.4 3 Richmond IN 81.2
4 New York (Brooklyn) NY 173.2 4 Norman OK 81.5
5 Hilo HI 149.0 5 Ashland OH 82.3
6 Orange County CA 148.6 6 Youngstown-Warren OH 82.8
7 Oakland CA 147.0 7 Jackson MS 83.2
8 Stamford CT 146.9 8 Hattiesburg MS 83.2
9 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA 146.8 9 Idaho Falls ID 83.2
10 San Diego CA 144.8 10 Tupelo MS 84.2

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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