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The ACCRA Cost of Living Index is published quarterly by C2ER, The Council for Community and Economic Research. Each of the first three quarters of the year, approximately 318 urban areas participate in a pricing event. The fourth quarter of each year, C2ER publishes an unweighted average of data accumulated from those three pricing periods. That annual report for 2010 was released on Jan. 14.

The national average Cost of Living Index for the participating urban areas is always 100. The year-end review of the first three quarters of 2010 shows an Index value of 91.7 for the Wichita metro area. The urban area with the highest Cost of Living Index was New York (Manhattan), N.Y., at 216.4, while the area with the lowest Index value was Harlingen, Texas, at 82.8.   

C2ER collects more than 50,000 prices from communities across the United States for the COLI. Over the first three quarters of 2010, a dozen eggs and a head of lettuce had the largest price differentials. The price of eggs decreased 16 percent from first to third quarter, while the price of lettuce declined 12 percent.

The average price of eggs in the 318 participating metros in 2010 was $1.33. The most expensive place to buy eggs was in Kodiak, Alaska, at $3.01 per dozen. The least expensive place was Covington, Ky., at $0.96 per dozen. The average price for a dozen eggs in Wichita was $1.27.

The average price of a head of lettuce in the 318 participating metros in 2010 was $1.30. The most expensive place to buy lettuce was in New York (Manhattan), N.Y., at $2.16 per head. The least expensive place was Covington, Ky., at $0.89 per head. The average price for a head of lettuce in Wichita was $1.36.  

Learn more about or subscribe to the quarterly ACCRA Cost of Living Index.

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