Area ranks among most affordable

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown-Warren Metro Area is one of the least expensive urban areas in the U.S., according to a private data collection firm.

The 2013 Cost of Living Index released by The Council for Community and Economic Research in Arlington, Va., ranked Youngstown the ninth lowest out of 308 urban areas with a cost of living index (COLI) of 86.5. The national average was 100.

The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services. The composite index is based on six components: Housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods and services.

Youngstown-Warren ranked below the national average in all six components. In addition, Youngstown-Warren was the least expensive urban area in Ohio among the 10 areas surveyed. Cleveland-Elyria was the most expensive.

Among the six components, Youngstown-Warren was the most affordable in Ohio in grocery items, transportation and health care, and was ranked the second least expensive in miscellaneous goods and services and was fourth lowest in utilities.

“These types of results are supportive to our economic development efforts in attracting new investment to our community. The Mahoning Valley is an affordable place to do business and live,” said Sarah Boyarko, the Regional Chamber’s vice president for Economic Development, North America.

The lowest cost of living according to the report was Harlingen, Texas with a COLI of 81.6. The highest was New York-Manhattan with a COLI of 220.4.

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