Helping Communities Shine

Whether researching and implementing ways to shape a community's economic development plan or partnering to create ways to put people to work, CREC connects researchers and policymakers with:

     • Data training
     • Custom portfolios that aid regional competitiveness

Project Profile

C2ER Cost of Living Index

Council for Community and Economic Research
Start Date: Jan 1970 — End Date: Jan 1970

CREC conducts a quarterly survey of prices for a basket of consumer goods and services.  Published by C2ER, the Cost of Living Index provides a useful and accurate measure to compare cost of living differences among urban areas. Items on which the Index is based have been carefully chosen to reflect the different categories of consumer expenditures. Weights assigned to relative costs are based on government survey data on expenditure patterns for mid-management households. All items are priced in each participating community at a specified time and according to standardized specifications. Working with a team of 400 researchers across the U.S., CREC aggregates the pricing data collected from local businesses to compare prices for more than 300 urban places.  Based on that data, CREC has also created a variety of innovative data products using web-based data delivery methods.

Plan Your Economic FutureResearch & Planning

About the Client

Council for Community and Economic Research

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) promotes excellence in community and economic research by improving data quality and availability by fostering learning about regional economic analytic methods.

Project Updates

The 2018 Cost of Living Index Annual Review is now available
February 5, 2019

The 2018 Cost of Living Index Annual Review is now available. C2ER annually publishes an unweighted average of prices accumulated from the previous three quarters. See the 10 most & least expensive urban areas in the U.S. See our full press release here. 

CREC Internship Profile: Mary Feser
July 25, 2018

Each year, the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) hires a number of interns who help the organization during the busy summer period. Each is offered an opportunity to learn how the organization helps municipalities, states, and regions respond to changes in local job markets; and CREC specifically works with undergraduate and graduate students who need academic credit. […]

C2ER Publishes Quarter 2 of COLI
September 9, 2016

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) published their second quarter update for the Cost of Living Index (COLI).

C2ER Releases Q1 of 2016 Cost of Living Index
May 31, 2016

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) published quarter 1 of the 2016 Cost of Living Index (COLI). This is first publication to include San Juan, Puerto Rico

C2ER Releases 2016 Cost of Living Index for U.S. Counties
May 9, 2016

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) released the 2016 County Level Index. The dataset includes 3,114 US counties based on an econometric model that identifies key determinants of an area’s cost of living.

C2ER Publishes 2015 Annual Average Cost of Living Index
February 4, 2016

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) has published the 2015 Annual Average Cost of Living Index (COLI).

CREC Internship Profile: Charlie Braunlich
January 19, 2016

Each year, the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) hires a number of interns who help the organization during the busy summer period. Each is offered an opportunity to learn how the organization helps municipalities, states, and regions respond to changes in local job markets; and CREC specifically works with undergraduate and graduate students who need academic credit. […]

Q3 of Cost of Living Index Report Shows Most- and Least-Expensive Places in U.S.
November 5, 2015

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) published its third quarter Cost of Living Index (COLI) report for 2015 in late October.

CREC’s Allison Discusses Georgia’s Cost of Living for NPR Audiences
August 12, 2015

Jennie Allison, who helps manage the quarterly Cost of Living Index (COLI), joined a panel of economists at National Public Radio on July 14 to discuss the cost of living in metro Atlanta and how that compares to other national markets. As part of the discussion, Ms. Allison talked about how data that is collected for the index helps provide a useful […]