Just how expensive is it to live in metro Atlanta?  This month’s Regional Snapshot examines one tool used to answer that question – the 2017 Annual Cost of Living Index (COLI) produced by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER).  Every quarter, C2ER coordinates with metro areas around the country to collect pricing data for a number of products and services, including housing, grocery, transportation, utilities, healthcare, and miscellaneous goods and services costs, (such as haircuts and dry-cleaning). The pricing data is used to develop composite index scores, which can then be used to compare a given metro to another metro, or to the national average.  More information on C2ER’s Cost of Living Index can be found at coli.org.

Highlights from this snapshot:

  • Metro Atlanta’s overall cost-of-living is slightly below the national average, meaning that it is less expensive here than in the average metro area.
  • When considering individual items, health care is the most expensive category in metro Atlanta. Health care in metro Atlanta is 7.5 percent more expensive than in the average metro area.
  • Overall, New York is the most expensive metro in which to live. Out of the 25 largest metro areas, metro Atlanta ranks as the 18th most expensive metro based on cost-of-living.
  • If someone in metro Atlanta with a $50,000 salary were to move to New York, she would need to make around $120,600 to have the equivalent spending power. To move to San Francisco, she would need about $97,500; to move to Dallas, she would need $51,600.

Click through the slides below or download the PDF Regional Snapshot: The Cost of Living in Metro Atlanta.