• Cost of Living Index

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    May 28, 2021
    COST OF LIVING INDEX QUARTERLY UPDATE
    Among the 265 urban areas that participated in the first quarter 2021 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 Kalamazoo, MI.   
     
    The Ten Most and Least Expensive Urban Areas
    in the Cost of Living Index (COLI)
    First Quarter 2021
    National Average for 265 Urban Areas = 100
     
    Most Expensive   Least Expensive  
        COL        COL
    Ranking Urban Areas Index Ranking Urban Areas Index
    1 New York (Manhattan) NY 240.6 1 Kalamazoo MI 76.3
    2 San Francisco CA 188.0 2 Harlingen TX 77.0
    3 Honolulu HI 187.6 3 McAllen TX 78.4
    4 New York (Brooklyn) NY 174.6 4 Muskogee OK 79.4
    5 Washington DC 154.7 5 Richmond IN 80.9
    6 Boston MA 151.8 6 Jackson-Madison County TN 81.2
    7 Seattle WA 151.8 7 Amarillo TX 81.2
    8 Orange County CA 151.0 8 Kokomo IN 82.3
    9 Oakland CA 150.3 9 Tupelo MS 82.3
    10 New York (Queens) NY 148.1 10 Pittsburg KS 82.4
                   

     
     
    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 60 different items for which prices are collected quarterly by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and university applied economic centers in each participating urban area. Small differences should not be interpreted as showing a measurable difference.
    The composite index is based on six component categories – housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services.
     
     
     
    What Do Groceries Cost?
    Each quarter, C2ER collects more than 90,000 prices from communities across the US for the Cost of Living Index. With food prices still being a big part of the national conversation, C2ER decided to once again feature those communities with the most and least expensive food costs as measured by the grocery item index number. C2ER collects data on twenty-six items from a variety of surrogate categories to represent the grocery item component of the index. 
     
    The Five Most and Least Expensive Places for Grocery Items by Index Number
    in the Cost of Living Index (COLI)
    First Quarter 2021
    Average for 265 Urban Areas = 100
     
    Most Expensive   Least Expensive  
               
    Ranking Urban Areas   Index Ranking Urban Areas Index
    1 Honolulu HI 157.9 1 Temple TX 77.0  
    2 New York (Manhattan) NY 147.4 2 Kalamazoo MI 77.9  
    3 Kodiak AK 144.7 3 Waco TX 78.5  
    4 Juneau AK 140.6 4 Harlingen TX 79.2  
    5 Seattle WA 131.4 5 Nacogdoches TX 84.5  
                       
     
     
     
    The Most Expensive and Least Expensive Cities to Get A Men’s Haircut
    Since the start of the pandemic, the process of getting a haircut has gone through rapid change and shops across the U.S. coped with the new reality by implementing sanitation fees, decreasing the number of clients see at once, just to name a few. With increased demand in conjunction with additional safety measures, the haircut prices have increased. Now with the country beginning to reopen, it is important to highlight how the price of a haircut has shifted. To examine female or longer haircuts, check out the “Beauty Salon” price in the full dataset.
     
    The Five Most and Least Expensive Places to get a Haircut
    First Quarter 2021
    Average for 265 Urban Areas = $19.76
     
    Most Expensive   Least Expensive  
    Ranking Urban Areas Avg. Rate Ranking Urban Areas Avg. Rate
    1 Washington DC  $44.60 1 Harlingen TX  $10.00
    2 Boston MA  $43.89 2 McAllen TX  $10.63
    3 Portland OR  $37.13 3 Thomasville-Lexington NC  $11.50
    4 Chicago IL  $34.80 4 Hastings NE  $12.00
    5 Stamford CT  $32.60 5 Dare County NC  $12.00