Live in the Yakima Valley - Yakima County's Cost of Living Index Remains Lowest in the Northwest

Joe Schmitt

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Joe Schmitt

Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy.  The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.



Yakima County's Cost of Living Index Remains Lowest in the Northwest

February 07, 2013

531730_392879534105733_744484036_n According to a national research firm, Yakima's cost of living is the lowest of any city in the Pacific Northwest. The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) recently released 2012 cost of living data for over 300 urban areas. C2ER's ACCRA Cost of Living Index is the most reliable source of city-to-city comparisons of key consumer costs available anywhere.

The organization's data is recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNN Money, and the President's Council of Economic Advisors. Our office collects data for this cost of living survey and we can testify that the Council's process for getting comparable cost inputs is very rigorous. The 2012 annual C2ER report gives Yakima County a 92.5 rating. C2ER establishes 100 as the national average so our community's cost of living is a bit below average.

The Council tracks costs across seven areas and gives each of these criteria a different weight toward the cumulative average. For example, housing costs constitute 28.65% of the cumulative index. Other factors and their proportional influence on the index include: grocery items (13.35%), utilities (10.44%), transportation (10.66%), health care (4.44%), and miscellaneous good and services (32.44%).

The table below shows that Yakima and Twin Falls, Idaho enjoy the lowest cost of living among cities in the Northwest. A relatively affordable community is very attractive today given pressures on household budgets. Our favorable costs help local employers recruit employees from other higher cost areas, and they certainly help stretch our own paychecks a little further in comparison to other communities. Our organization posts annual cost of living information on our site and we hope our members and stakeholders find this information useful. We also recommend our latest blog on the housing recovery in Yakima.


C2ER   2012 Annual Cost of Living Index        
    Cumulative   Score Groceries Housing Utilities Transportation Health   Care Misc.   Goods & Services
    100= US   average 13.36% 28.64% 10.46% 10.66% 4.44% 32.40%
Yakima   92.5 100.2 86.8 77.8 101.2 106.5 93.5
Tri-Cities   95.3 96.9 97 89 99.5 102.8 92.4
Seattle   115.2 108.2 135.2 91.5 108.6 118.8 111
Spokane   96.2 96.7 87.9 99.6 100.8 103.6 99.1
Olympia   105.8 104.4 107.4 88.1  111.5 116.6 107.2
Tacoma   107.8 104.1 102.1 98.1 109.3 109.4 116.4
Portland   115.7 105.3 132.6 104 118.4 114.6 108.7
Boise   96.1 98.4 84.4 94.2 101.3 103.6 102.7
Twin   Falls, ID 92 89.6 83 99.5 98.9 92.7 95.5


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