America’s biggest cities are among its most expensive.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released data on personal income and the cost of living in 2014 for metropolitan areas and the non-metropolitan parts of states. One of the main indicators the BEA released shows the relative cost-of-living in different parts of the country.
The Regional Price Parity (RPP) is an index that sets the national average cost of goods and services at 100, with a particular region’s RPP showing how the cost-of-living in that region compares to that average. For example, the New York City metropolitan area had a 2014 RPP of 122.3, which means that NYC is about 22.3% more expensive than the national average. Meanwhile, Beckley, WV had a RPP of just 79.7, meaning that goods and services cost just about 4/5 as much as in the country as a whole.
Here’s a map illustrating the RPP’s for the country’s metropolitan areas and for the parts of states that fall outside those areas. Regions in blue are less expensive than the national average, with darker blue regions indicating lower costs of living, while regions in red are more expensive than average, with darker red showing a higher cost of living:
Here are the ten most expensive metro areas in the country. Nine oout of those ten are on the East Coast or in California:
Meanwhile, the ten metro areas with the lowest cost-of-living are scattered across the Midwest and South: