Understanding our Cost of Living Indexes

The cost of living indices provided on this website are relative to New York City (NYC), with a baseline index of 100% for NYC.

Here's a breakdown of each index and its meaning:

  1. Cost of Living Index (Excl. Rent): This index indicates the relative prices of consumer goods like groceries, restaurants, transportation, and utilities. It excludes accommodation expenses such as rent or mortgage. For instance, a city with a Cost of Living Index of 120 is estimated to be 20% more expensive than New York City (excluding rent).
  2. Rent Index: This index estimates the prices of renting apartments in a city compared to New York City. If the Rent Index is 80, it suggests that the average rental prices in that city are approximately 20% lower than those in New York City.
  3. Groceries Index: This index provides an estimation of grocery prices in a city relative to New York City. Numbeo uses item weights from the "Markets" section to calculate this index for each city.
  4. Restaurants Index: This index compares the prices of meals and drinks in restaurants and bars to those in NYC.
  5. Cost of Living Plus Rent Index: This index estimates consumer goods prices, including rent, in comparison to New York City.
  6. Local Purchasing Power: This index indicates the relative purchasing power in a given city based on the average net salary. A domestic purchasing power of 40 means that residents with an average salary can afford, on average, 60% less goods and services compared to residents of New York City with an average salary.

For more details on the weights and formulas used, please refer to: Motivation and Methodology page.