Richmond Ranks 4th on Cost of Living Year-End Wrap Up for 2017


This report represents the eleventh edition of a new format for the 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. The data presented represent average prices submitted for the first three quarters of 2017.  For further details on the annual average methodology, please visit our website at

Among the 269 urban areas that participated in the 2017 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 McAllen, 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 2017

National Average for 269 Urban Areas = 100

Most Expensive

Least Expensive

Ranking Urban Areas Index


Urban Areas Index
1 New York (Manhattan) NY 238.6


McAllen TX 76.1
2 San Francisco CA 192.9


Conway AR 78.2
3 Honolulu HI 188.3


Harlingen TX 78.6
4 New York (Brooklyn) NY 182.0


Richmond IN 79.0
5 Washington DC 155.7


Kalamazoo MI 79.5
6 Orange County CA 152.6


Tupelo MS 80.1
7 Oakland CA 149.5


Wichita Falls TX 81.7
8 Seattle WA 149.0


Knoxville TN 82.2
9 Boston MA 148.2


Hattiesburg MS 82.7
10 Los Angeles-Long Beach CA 148.0


Ashland OH 82.9


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.