THE BESTPLACES COST OF LIVING SCORE
The BestPlaces cost of living index is the most accurate and complete available because we add many new categories to the current and historical systems. We start with ACCRA’s 100-as-national-average model adopted by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) in 1968, then update and expand it to include 21st-century consumer spending preferences and expenditure types.
Using sophisticated modeling techniques, our BestPlaces analysis expands the geographic scope of our Cost of Living Indexes down to the zip code level, covering every county, city, and metro area in the United States.
The BestPlaces cost of living score includes housing prices for renters or homeowners, utilities (electric, natural gas, oil), healthcare costs (premiums and common surgeries), entertainment costs, transportation expenses (vehicle insurance and registration fees, gas prices and commuting costs, vehicle depreciation), food prices (meat, dairy, ready-to-eat, and more), child care (for both infants and toddlers, at home and away from home), and taxes (income, property, sales, motor vehicle).