Capital Region Cost of Living Index


The Capital District Regional Planning Commission, in partnership with the Center for Economic Growth and the Capital Region Chamber are pleased to provide the ACCRA Cost of Living Index created by C2ER, the Council for Community and Economic Research. The ACCRA Cost of Living Index is the most reliable source of region to region quarterly comparisons of key consumer costs and is referenced in the Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States. The data for the Capital Region is collected quarterly by graduate students enrolled in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University at Albany. The methodology, data requirements and parameters of the data collected are consistent nationwide in order to assure comparability among the participating regions.

The Cost of Living Index measures relative price levels for consumer goods and services in participating areas. The average for all participating places, both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan equals 100 and each participant’s index is read as a percentage of the average for all places.

The Index reflects cost differentials for professional and executive households in the top income quintile influencing the weighting structure. Homeownership costs, for example, are based on the average cost of housing that is greater than it would be if it reflected a clerical worker standard of living or average cost for shelter. Also, since state and local tax burdens vary widely among states and metropolitan areas and within metropolitan areas, it is not feasible to calculate state and local tax burdens reliably and accurately. Therefore, the Index does not incorporate taxes levied on real and intangible property, retail purchases, and income.

Using $100,000 as the baseline for after tax income in the city/region you are comparing to the Capital Region (Albany), the calculator will tell you the comparable after tax income in the Capital Region (Albany) based on the Composite Index of the costs of goods and services. If less than $100,000, then the cost of living is less in the Capital Region; if more, then the overall cost of living is greater. In addition to the Composite Index, there are six component indexes – Grocery Items, Housing, Utilities, Transportation, Health Care, and Miscellaneous Goods. There is an even further detailed comparative average price listing for each of the selected categories.

Cost of Living Web Calculator

The COLI online calculator allows users to make cost of living comparisons across different U.S. cities. This calculator allows for accurate and reliable cost of living comparisons between the Capital Region and any other participating city across the United States.

Read more about COLI Below:

2023 Cost of Living

2023, Q1 Cost of Living Index (COLI) Update

Cost of Living Q4 Update

Cost of Living in the Region Declines Overall