Indicator of the Week: Juneau More Expensive than Other Alaska Cities
Overall, Juneau had the highest cost of living in 2011 among four selected Alaska communities (the others being Anchorage, Fairbanks and Kodiak), according to a national cost of living survey. The Council for Community and Economic Research produces the ACCRA Cost of Living Index, comparing prices of about 120 goods and services in 318 communities across the country. The average of those national costs is set at 100, and the community indexes are then calculated relative to the national average.
Goods and services are priced in the spending categories of grocery items, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. A weighted average or composite index is also calculated.
The following table shows the costs in the four Alaska communities as compared to the national averages in each category in 2011. As can be seen, Alaska communities have a much higher cost of living than the national average, ranging from 27.6% to 39% higher in 2011. Figures for each city are shown as percentages of the national averages.
ACCRA Cost of Living Index for Alaska Cities, 2011
120528 Indicator Chart 2B Source: ACCRA National Cost of Living Index, Council for Community and Economic Research, 2012.
Juneau had the highest composite index of the four Alaska communities surveyed. Although Juneau's costs were lower than some communities in several of the spending categories measured, it had far higher housing costs (28.64% of the composite market basket) and health care costs.