July 10, 2013

The cost to live in Carroll County is much lower than the national average, according to Carroll Area Development Corporation and The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER).

Carroll County's cost-of-living index for the first quarter of 2013 is 87.9. An index of 100 is average.

The cost-of-living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non‐consumer expenditures. It is the most-reliable source of city‐to‐city comparisons of key consumer costs available anywhere. The data are recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNN Money, and the President's Council of Economic Advisors.

The composite index is based on six components - housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods and services. CADC staff collects pricing on 60 goods and services each quarter. Results for more than 300 urban areas are available at www.coli.org.

New to the cost-of-living index is the Small Cities Program, which allows cities smaller than 50,000 population the ability to participate.

"We have been looking for a reliable way to report this data for many years," said CADC executive director Jim Gossett, "C2ER is the gold standard. No other organization uses locally collected data on such a broad range of consumables for this many communities".

Among the 302 urban areas that participated in the first quarter 2013 cost-of-living index, the most-expensive urban area was New York (Manhattan) NY, (227.1). The least-expensive urban area was Harlingen, Texas (80.6).