MASON CITY — The latest Cost of Living Index Report from the Council for Community and Economic Research shows that living costs in Mason City continue to be a good value. The index is based on six components — housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, healthcare, and miscellaneous goods and services.
A score of 100 represents the national average of 268 metropolitan and micropolitan areas. Mason City Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Robin Anderson says Mason City’s score of 89 indicates a lower-than-average cost. “It just solidifies the fact that North Iowa is a very economical place to live. When you consider our quality of life, having a low cost of living really contributes to that.”
Anderson says she was pleased with two components of this latest report. “We were extremely competitive in groceries, and hopefully our citizens are noticing that when they bring their shopping carts to the checkout lane. We’re also very competitive in the healthcare sector, and when you consider the quality of healthcare that we have here with a top 100 hospital, it’s pretty remarkable that that is such a bright spot as well.”
Anderson says the transportation component is something she’ll be watching in the next few reports. “We’re a little concerned, normally we are competitive in transportation, and it looked like that was unusually high, so we’ll be watching that to see if that is a trend or if it was just a blip.”
The least expensive place to live in the most recent survey was Little Rock Arkansas with a score of 80.4, while Manhattan in New York City is the most expensive with a score of 254.7.