Kalamazoo Takes Top Spot on Cost of Living Index


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 Cost of Living Index is published quarterly by C2ER–The Council for Community and Economic Research.

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 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 data set.

For additional information on the Cost of Living Index or other COLI-related products such as the COLI Web Calculator and the COLI Historical Index, go to www.coli.org.

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