How much it costs to live in Columbus
Why it matters: Columbus' relatively low cost of living is a selling point for companies and people who want to be in a big city without a big price tag.
Driving the news: Each quarter, the Council for Community and Economic Research assembles a cost-of-living index designed to measure "regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services."
- That includes housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services, and is based on spending by "professional and managerial households in the top income quintile."
How it works: An index value of 100 represents the national average cost of living across 269 cities.
- If a city has a value over 100, its cost is higher than average. Under 100 is lower than average.
- The index only applies to city limits, not entire metro areas.
By the numbers: Columbus' value, as of 2023's third quarter: a solid 92.4.
- Our most expensive category was groceries (103.9), and least expensive were transportation (84.5) and housing (84.9).
The big picture: Goods and services tend to be more pricey in cities along the coasts, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report.
- Among cities with more than 100,000 residents, Honolulu (179.2), San Jose (171.3) and San Francisco (169.5) had the country's highest relative cost of living.
- McAllen, Texas (80.2); Augusta, Georgia (82.8); and Amarillo, Texas (84.4) had the lowest.
Of note: Because the list of participating cities changes each quarter, the cost-of-living index can't be used to measure inflation — but other indicators suggest that higher prices are certainly sticking around.
The bottom line: Folks looking to save money should consider a move to Columbus — especially if they're working remotely and can bring along a coastal salary.
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