Three times a year, the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) takes a look at pricing for select goods and services in 270 metros around the country and uses this data to create its annual Cost of Living Index (COLI) in which a score of 100 is the average cost of living. This Regional Snapshot dives into data from the index and considers the metro area’s cost of living compared to the country’s other most populous metros.

Main takeaways:

  1. Atlanta’s COLI score is 101.3, so slightly higher than average, but not by much.
  2. Someone making $50,000 in Atlanta and moving to the Manhattan area of New York would need to make $121,200 to have equivalent buying power.
  3. Housing is the main driver of differences in the cost of living, and when compared to peer metros, Atlanta does have a slightly higher housing index score than these other metros.
  4. Our utilities costs, however, are very low – even compared to some otherwise very cheap metros – which defrays the expense of housing and other items that see comparatively higher prices here.