EmploymentThe Cost of Living Index, from The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), 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. This index includes more than 90,000 prices covering 60 different items collected each quarter. The index measures the relative price levels in participating areas. The average for all participating places equals 100, and each area's index is a percentage of the average for all areas.

One of the index components measures the relative price of utilities between areas. The majority of the areas included in the index, 53 percent, had utility prices below the national average in 2017. The three Kansas metropolitan areas included in the index averaged 15.5 percent below the national average when weighted by population, Wichita was the only Kansas metropolitan area above the national average.

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