Report Says Lansing Sees Slow Rise in Cost of Living

Lansing has long received accolades and attaboys for being one of the most affordable places to live in the United States

Lansing has long received accolades and attaboys for being one of the most affordable places to live in the United States, but the city now has another huzzah to add to the growing number of notches in its belt.

A new report from Filterbuy looking at the U.S. metropolitan areas with the largest increases in the cost of living over the last decade found that Lansing had the 10th smallest cost of living bump (11.8%) out of all U.S. midsize metropolitan regions over the past decade.

The data used in the analysis was taken from the most recent U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis regional price parities dataset, released in December. To determine the locations with the largest increases in living cost over the past decade, researchers calculated the percentage change in dataset between 2010 and 2020, adjusted for the U.S. Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index over the same time period. In the event of a tie, the location with the higher regional price parities in 2020 was ranked higher. Regional price parities measure the differences in price across locations relative to the national average. They are calculated annually using a wide range of items from the Consumer Price Index as well as housing data from the American Community Survey.

From 2010 to 2020, the housing and food and beverage sectors in the United States saw the greatest increases in cost, with increases of 25.7% and 21.2%, respectively. Transportation had a much lower 4.1% increase. Energy saw a decrease of 6.8% over the same period. Yet in recent months, transportation and energy have seen some of the fastest increases.

Researchers ranked metropolitan areas according to the percentage change in the cost of living between 2010 and 2020. The finding for the Lansing/East Lansing area was as follows:

  • Percentage change in cost of living 2010-2020: +11.8%
  • Overall cost of living compared to the average: -6.5%
  • Cost of goods compared to the average: -6.2%
  • Cost of housing compared to the average: -18.9%
  • Cost of utilities compared to the average: -2.3%

But, as mentioned, this isn’t Greater Lansing’s first rodeo. Livability.com, an online resource used for researching communities, ranked Lansing as the fourth best small to midsize city to live in 2015. Lansing rose to the No. 1 spot on the website’s annual list in 2018, taking into account such things as housing prices, transportation, food costs and health care. Bestplaces.net also gives Lansing a cost-of-living score of 76.5 based on an average of 100 for the United States.

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