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Quarter 2, 2018 Cost of Living Index Release


Among the 259 urban areas that participated in the second quarter 2018 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 almost 25 percent below the national average in Harlingen, TX.   The Cost of Living Index is published quarterly by C2ER – The Council for Community and Economic Research. Quarter 2, 2018 marks the 50th Anniversary year of the publication.

The Ten Most and Least Expensive Urban Areas
in the Cost of Living Index (COLI)
Second Quarter 2018
National Average for 259 Urban Areas = 100
 Most Expensive  Least Expensive
Ranking Urban Areas COL Index Ranking Urban Areas COL Index
1 New York (Manhattan) NY 238.3 1 Harlingen TX 75.7
2 San Francisco CA 190.0 2 McAllen TX 78.0
3 Honolulu HI 185.5 3 Kalamazoo MI 79.5
4 New York (Brooklyn) NY 177.4 4 Memphis TN 79.9
5 Washington DC 156.6 5 Richmond IN 80.2
6  Oakland CA 152.2 6 Knoxville TN 81.1
7  Seattle WA 152.2 Conway AR 81.5
8  New York (Queens) NY 150.9 8 Wichita Falls TX 82.3
9 Boston MA 149.8 9 Gulfport-Biloxi MS 83.1
10 Arlington VA 149.6 10 Sherman-Denison TX 83.2

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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