• COST OF LIVING INDEX

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    February 01, 2019

     


     PRESS RELEASE - For Immediate Release

    COST OF LIVING INDEX
                                                  

    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 2018.  For further details on the annual average methodology, please visit our website at coli.org.
    Among the 270 urban areas that participated in the 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.
     
    The Ten Most and Least Expensive Urban Areas
    in the Cost of Living Index (COLI)
    Year-End Review of Three Quarters in 2018
    National Average for 270 Urban Areas = 100
    Most Expensive   Least Expensive  
        COL     COL
    Ranking Urban Areas Index Ranking Urban Areas Index
    1 New York (Manhattan) NY 248.5 1 Harlingen TX 75.8
    2 San Francisco CA 196.3 2 McAllen TX 77.4
    3 Honolulu HI 189.7 3 Richmond IN 79.6
    4 New York (Brooklyn) NY 181.7 4 Kalamazoo MI 79.6
    5 Washington DC 162.6 5 Memphis TN 80.6
    6 Seattle WA 154.8 6 Knoxville TN 81.7
    7 Oakland CA 154.5 7 Muskogee OK 81.8
    8 Arlington VA 153.1 8 Conway AR 81.9
    9 New York (Queens) NY 152.6 9 Joplin MO 82.3
    10 Boston MA 150.0 10 Wichita Falls TX 82.3
                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    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 50,000 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.
     
    Since it is cold and flu season, which communities have the highest and lowest prices of orange juice and ibuprofen?
    C2ER collects more than 50,000 prices from communities across the US for the COLI. Two of those items, orange juice and ibuprofen, are essential for those suffering from seasonal bouts of flu and colds.  Below is a list of the most, and least, expensive places to buy those items.
     
    The Five Most and Least Expensive Places to Buy Orange Juice
     Averaged over Three Quarters in 2018
    Average for 270 Urban Areas in 2018 = $3.52
     
    Most Expensive   Least Expensive  
               
    Ranking Urban Areas  Price Ranking Urban Areas      Price
    1 Honolulu HI  $5.36 1 Kalamazoo MI  $2.72
    2 Fond du Lac WI  $4.78 2 Cedar City UT  $2.81
    3 Juneau AK  $4.68 3 Texarkana TX-AR  $2.99
    4 New York (Manhattan) NY  $4.60 4 Burlington IA  $2.99
    5 Chicago IL  $4.40 5 Cedar Rapids IA  $3.00
                 
     
     
     
    The Five Most and Least Expensive Places to Buy Ibuprofen
     Averaged over Three Quarters in 2018
    Average for 270 Urban Areas in 2018 = $9.33
     
    Most Expensive   Least Expensive  
               
    Ranking Urban Areas Price Ranking Urban Areas       Price
    1 New York (Manhattan) NY  $13.18 1 Charlotte NC  $6.91
    2 Honolulu HI  $12.95 2 Cedar City UT  $6.94
    3 Orange County CA  $12.77 3 Jackson MS  $7.62
    4 Los Angeles-Long Beach CA  $12.71 4 Little Rock-North Little Rock AR  $7.66
    5 San Diego CA  $12.71 5 McAllen TX  $7.72
                 
     



    The quarterly Cost of Living Index is available by subscription at: $175 per year for the print edition, $165 per year for the PDF version, or $275 per year for an electronic (excel) version.  Send check, payable to C2ER, P.O. Box 100127, Arlington VA 22210-0407, or subscribe on the Internet at coli.org.
     
     
    If you need additional information on the Cost of Living Index or other COLI-related products such as the COLI Web Calculator, COLI Historical Index, County-Level Index, or Library Web Application, please contact Jennie Allison at jallison@crec.net or Erol Yildirim at ey@crec.net or by phone at 703-522-4980.


    To view the January 2019 COLI, Click Here