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Cost of Living

A growing economy, outstanding health care, low cost of living, award-winning schools and diverse cultural options are just a few reasons why people choose West Michigan.

Located in the heart of the Midwest, on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, we’re within a three-hour drive of Detroit and Chicago, and within a day’s travel of most major U.S. markets. Grand Rapids’ international airport welcomes thousands of travelers every day, from locations around the world. We also have a busy train station, offering regular trips to Chicago and points beyond.

Our region has a vibrant-big city feel in Grand Rapids, while retaining smaller-city charm in its neighborhoods, boutique shopping areas and tree-lined streets. All combined in a virtual playground of arts and culture and natural beauty.


This component of the index takes into account the cost of typical grocery items such as milk, canned foods, and meats.

This component incorporates the prices of over-the-counter and prescription drugs, dental appointments, doctors appointments, and other typical health-related expenses.

HOUSING - 77.5
The housing component comprises the second largest share of the composite index since this expense is usually the largest for residents. This takes into account both rental and owner-occupied housing that an average college-educated, married couple might rent or buy. The Housing index also incorporates data on mortgage rates and fees.

Takes into account cost of electricity and gas.

This portion of the index accounts for auto maintenance and gas prices.

The quarterly Cost of Living Index provides a useful and reasonably accurate way to compare cost of living differences between urban areas weighted by different categories of consumer expenditures for mid-management households.