Cost of Living Index, 10 most expensive, least expensive cities.

The after-tax cost for a professional/managerial standard of living ranged from more than twice the national average in New York City to more than 20% below the national average in McAllen, TX.

The composite index is based on six components: housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. Here's more on what factors go into it.

The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile. It is based on more than 90,000 prices covering almost 60 different items for which prices are collected three times a year by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations or university applied economic centers in each participating urban area.

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