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COST OF LIVING INDEX QUARTERLY UPDATE
Beginning with the fourth quarter of 2007, C2ER has annually published an unweighted average of prices accumulated from the previous three quarters. This analysis uses average prices submitted for the first three quarters of 2020.
Among the 269 urban areas that participated in the 2020 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.
|The Ten Most and Least Expensive Urban Areas
in the Cost of Living Index (COLI)
National Average for 269 Urban Areas = 100
|Most Expensive||Least Expensive|
|Ranking||Urban Areas||COL Index||Ranking||Urban Areas||COL Index|
|1||New York (Manhattan) NY||244.7||1||Harlingen TX||75.0|
|2||Honolulu HI||198.6||2||Kalamazoo MI||77.8|
|3||San Francisco CA||194.0||3||McAllen TX||78.1|
|4||New York (Brooklyn) NY||178.8||4||Pittsburg KS||80.6|
|5||Washington DC||159.0||5||Amarillo TX||80.7|
|6||Seattle WA||156.8||6||Muskogee OK||80.8|
|7||Oakland CA||154.7||7||Richmond IN||80.9|
|8||Orange County CA||150.3||8||Tupelo MS||81.0|
|9||Boston MA||150.0||9||Joplin MO||81.2|
|10||Arlington VA||149.8||10||Conway AR||82.5|
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.