Inflation is at an all-time high, and companies continue to raise profits without compensating their employees. As 2022 continues to move forward, the cost of living continues to rise as well, just as it has in the past few years. Even things like insurance premiums are being affected by the rising inflation.
Most Expensive States To Live In (Price Index):
- Hawaii (193.3)
- Washington D.C. (158.1)
- New York (148.2)
- California (142.2)
- Massachusetts (135)
- Oregon (130.1)
- Alaska (127.1)
- Maryland (124)
- Connecticut (121.6)
- Rhode Island (117.2)
Least Expensive States to Live In (Price Index):
- Mississippi (83.3)
- Kansas (86.5)
- Alabama (87.9)
- Oklahoma (87.9)
- Georgia (88.8)
- Tennessee (89)
- Missouri (89.8)
- Iowa (89.9)
- West Virginia (90.5)
- Indiana (90.6)
Understanding the Price of Living Index
Before looking at how prices have increased in the past year for living, it is important to understand the Price of Living Index and how it works. The cost of living index is used to compare cities and states to see how expensive it is to live in one or the other.
While there is no official cost of living index, the Bearue of Labor Statistics publishes the Consumer Price Index, which is used by most cost of living indexes. Since there is no official cost of living index, you may come across different data on different websites.
On most of them, though, 100 represents the national average, and then each city or state is given a number that is either above or below 100. This is only a rough guide to the cost of living in a place and is based more on your personal situation.
The All-Items Index Continues to Rise
In just the last year, between March of 2021 and 2022, the all-items index has seen a rise of 8.5%. This is the largest it has risen since 1981, over 40 years ago, without considering the seasonal adjustment.
Grocery Store Prices Continue to Hurt Your Wallet
Separate from the food index, grocery prices have continued to rise as the months go by. In March of 2022 alone, grocery store prices have risen by 1%. The food at home index has also risen, rising by 1.5% in March 2022. It does not seem like much, but as time goes on, that will continue to have a larger and larger effect on your wallet.
Meat Prices Are Becoming Crazy
One of the largest price index rises for food in 2022 is meat prices, which have continued to skyrocket as inflation grows. Combining meats, poultry, eggs, and fish, their price index has risen by 14% in the last year. Beef was the highest meat price index that rose as it increased by 16% alone.
Healthcare Keeps Going Up In Cost
It should come as no surprise that healthcare continues to rise in 2022 alongside everything else. In March of 2022 alone, healthcare costs increased by 0.5%, though prescription drug prices decreased by 0.2%. Not a huge difference, but in this day and age, with how expensive things are, any price drop is a good price drop.
Used Car Prices are Dropping Finally
After so many months of watching used car prices increase, they are finally beginning to decrease. After two consecutive months of price decreases, the price index for used cars dropped by 3.8% in March. They may continue to drop, making it easier to get your hands on a new, used vehicle.
Housing Once Again Begins to Climb
Housing costs always go up and down as the economy fluctuates, but it has not seen such a huge increase since May 1991, 30 years ago. This makes it even more difficult for the current generations to get a house, as 2022 has seen an increase of 5% in housing costs around the country.
Travel Becomes More Expensive as Airfare Costs Rise
With Covid-19 making travel almost impossible for the past two years, people have started to travel more as restrictions become lifted. This has caused a large increase in airfare costs, rising 10% in March 2022, after a rise of 5.2% in February. If current trends continue, travel could become far more expensive than most people can afford.