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Wally & Patricia Neal
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Arizona Cost of Living

The Arizona cost of living is definitely on the low side compared to most metro areas in the USA, but I’ve learned that the answer to what it costs to live in any given US city depends on who you ask. The table below is a sort of “medium” considering several Internet sources. The numbers are as of year-end 2010.

Except for housing and taxes, the numbers and the relative position of any city do not change much over several years. Cities experiencing strong net in-migration, such as metro Phoenix was, are experiencing relative increases in housing costs over the numbers shown below. Most cities experiencing strong net out-migration are experiencing relative decreases in housing costs.

Metropolitan Area Composite Food Housing Utilities Trans. Health Other
New York City 231.8 141.5 460.3 179.8 119.6 185.8 135.2
Oakland CA 156.6 121.6 249.9 107.3 134.0 146.8 114.7
Nassau County NY 143.5 124.5 177.8 160.0 116.4 153.0 126.5
Washington DC 137.8 110.2 196.0 97.1 136.4 123.4 114.4
Boston MA 136.2 114.5 186.0 138.2 118.7 130.7 110.0
San Diego CA 126.4 122.5 158.7 104.0 121.1 122.4 108.4
LA-Long Beach CA 123.1 110.0 155.5 119.8 113.5 114.3 107.0
Seattle WA 118.7 109.7 144.5 66.4 124.5 130.4 110.2
Philadelphia 116.9 107.0 132.0 145.1 107.0 98.0 107.9
San Bernardino CA 114.7 114.4 108.0 135.0 113.8 131.7 108.9
Detroit MI 112.9 106.2 137.6 107.7 103.0 109.6 100.0
Cleveland OH 112.2 108.9 117.4 `38.6 110.7 118.9 102.5
Chicago IL 109.0 109.3 109.6 110.7 115.8 112.4 105.5
Minneapolis 105.4 99.5 104.9 101.6 107.8 130.2 105.4
Atlanta GA 103.2 106.7 101.8 97.1 99.8 114.9 103.5
Phoenix AZ 102.3 104.9 95.7 105.2 109.5 114.8 101.9
Dallas TX 101.1 99.2 96.9 107.2 104.7 106.8 102.2
S Louis MO 97.3 99.6 95.9 96.1 99.5 105.7 95.7
Baltimore MD 97.0 97.2 92.4 121.0 97.1 94.0 95.5
Houston TX 94.5 93.3 83.8 100.0 105.8 110.7 97.1