Nov 16, 2023 - News

Fayetteville cost of living, in perspective

Cost-of-living index in Fayetteville, Q3 2023
Data: The Council for Community and Economic Research; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Even though it's been feeling pricier in recent years, cost of living tends to be less expensive in Fayetteville compared to the national average, per a new analysis.

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."

  • The group's proverbial bucket 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."
  • The result: A snapshot in time useful for comparing relative costs across cities.

The intrigue: Costs in Fayetteville were lower than the national average in every category except miscellaneous goods and services.

Of note: The data represents Fayetteville city limits, and it was the only one of our cities to be analyzed. Areas included in the survey had organizations that volunteered to participate.

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 of living is higher than average. Under 100, lower than average.

By the numbers: Fayetteville's cost-of-living index value, as of the third quarter of 2023: 92.1.

The big picture: Goods and services tend to be more expensive in U.S. cities along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as compared to inland areas.

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 as of Q3 2023.

  • Residents of McAllen, Texas (80.2); Augusta, Georgia (82.8); and Amarillo, Texas (84.4) were enjoying the lowest cost of living.

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.


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