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Local cost-of-living indicators

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Every month the federal government releases national cost-of-living information. But does the government issue simliar information for states, counties or cities? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden responds.

“This is one of the most frequent calls I get during the year. People hear that we have cost-of-living data coming out for the nation. They want to know, ‘Well, what does it say for my state?’ or ‘What does it say for my city or county?’

“Unfortunately … we do not have those kind of same official cost-of-living measures for areas under the broad United States. We do have some cost-of-living indicators for regions of the nation, in collections of states. We don’t have any official ones for individual states or individual cities.

“However … there are some private and public groups that try to piece this information together. One of the best in terms of looking at cost-of-living differences between states is out of the University of Missouri. Every year, they produce a cost-of-living indicator for all 50 states.

“And then for cities, there’s a group called the Council for Community and Economic Research. They do put together some cost-of-living indicators for metropolitan areas.

“I should say in all of these indicators, North Carolina looks good. We either have an average cost of living for the nation or slightly under.”

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