The Cost-of-Living Index compares the cost of living in one city/region versus another to help job seekers, researchers, organizations, like economic development organizations, and site selectors. The Index has been published by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) since 1968 with data recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and CNN Money, just to name a few.
Participants (in our region, it is the Greater Fargo Moorhead EDC) gather pricing information for more than 60 commonly used goods and services. Each organization submits the prices and C2ER analyzes and publishes a quarterly index of this information. Pricing information is gathered on housing costs, groceries, specific clothing items, entertainment, utilities and more to understand how prices are changing in real-time and how they compare against other metros.
It’s a tool used to compare different region’s costs against one another and against a national average.
The average for all participating places is equal to 100, and we read the index as a percentage of the average.