The most and least expensive places to live in America

January 31, 2019

America’s big coastal cities are really expensive.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released data on personal income and the cost of living in 2016 for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan parts of states, including the relative cost of living in different parts of the country.

Regional price parity 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 with that average.

For example, the New York metropolitan area had an RPP of 122 in 2016, meaning the city and its suburbs are about 22% more expensive than the national average.

Meanwhile, Beckley, West Virginia, had an RPP of 78.8, meaning goods and services cost about four-fifths as much as the national average.

Here’s a map illustrating the RPP of the country’s metropolitan areas and of the parts of states that fall outside of them. Keep reading…


Topics in This Article