While lower than the national average, the cost to live in the Dayton area is higher than the cost of living in much larger metro areas in Ohio, including Columbus and Cincinnati, according to the latest “Economic Indicators” report from the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.
In the first quarter this year, the cost of living in the Dayton area was 93.6 percent of the national average, compared to 92.5 percent in Cincinnati, and 88.7 percent in Columbus, based on “Cost of Living Index” figures compiled by the Council for Community and Economic Research (CCER) and released by the chamber.
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Dayton registered the third-highest cost of living out of seven metro areas measured in Ohio, including the Cleveland area, where the cost of living was 1.4 percent above the national average and the highest cost of living in the state.
The cost of living index measured regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, such as housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation and health care in more than 260 metro areas.
While health care and commodity costs where often higher in Dayton, most area residents had lower monthly expenses than their counterparts in larger cities.
Average apartment rent, for example, was $765 in Dayton in the first quarter; $872 in Cincinnati; and $911 in Columbus, according to CCER’s average price index. Meanwhile, monthly energy bills totaled $124.84 in Dayton, compared to $125.64 in Columbus, and $163.30 in Cincinnati.
However, while the average price of a loaf of bread in Cincinnati was $2.91 — the average price was 17 cents higher in Dayton at $3.08.
Nationally, the cost of living ranged from more than twice the national average in New York City to 20 percent below the national average in McAllen, Texas.