Cost of Living Index


Pittsburgh’s average Composite Cost of Living Index for 2015 was 98.6, below the benchmark average of 103.7.

Transportation costs in the Pittsburgh region were the highest among all benchmark regions at 113.4, above Minneapolis and Philadelphia. The transportation component is based on the price of one gallon of regular unleaded gasoline and the average price of auto maintenance.

Health care costs and miscellaneous good and services costs in Pittsburgh were the third-lowest among benchmark regions at 96.3 and 95.1, respectively. The health care component is based on the price of a full vision eye exam, a routine exam at the doctor’s office and a few other items. The miscellaneous goods and services component is based on the costs of various goods and services such as a 12-inch pizza, a man’s barbershop haircut and a major appliance repair.

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.


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Data Source(s):

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER)

The Index reflects cost differentials for professional and executive households in the top income quintile. It is important to understand both the methodology and how this index differs from the U.S. government data on the cost of living.