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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.

100% COMPOSITE INDEX - 92.0

GROCERY ITEMS - 95
This component of the index takes into account the cost of typical grocery items such as milk, canned foods, and meats.

HEALTHCARE - 91.9
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.

UTILITIES - 94.7
Takes into account cost of electricity and gas.

TRANSPORTATION - 101.6
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.