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Quarter 3, 2018 Cost of Living Index Release


Among the 268 urban areas that participated in the third 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 3, 2018 marks the 50th Anniversary year of the publication.

The Ten Most and Least Expensive Urban Areas
in the Cost of Living Index (COLI)
Third Quarter 2018
National Average for 268 Urban Areas = 100
 Most Expensive  Least Expensive
Ranking Urban Areas COL Index Ranking Urban Areas COL Index
1 New York (Manhattan) NY 240.6 1 Harlingen TX 76.5
2 San Francisco CA 191.4 2 McAllen TX 76.9
3 Honolulu HI 188.9 3 Richmond IN 79.0
4 New York (Brooklyn) NY 177.3 4 Kalamazoo MI 79.4
5 Washington DC 161.0 5 Muskogee OK 79.7
6  Seattle WA 153.6 6  Memphis TN 81.3
7  Oakland CA 153.5 7 Pryor Creek OK 81.6
8  Arlington VA 152.3 8 Joplin MO 82.1
9 New York (Queens) NY 150.7 9 Martinsville-Henry Co VA 82.4
10 Boston MA 150.4 10 Conway AR 82.6

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.

Download the Full Press Release Here