The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) has released their third-quarter data for 2012, in which they rank 304 urban areas according to average local costs. Among the components were: food items, home purchase or rental, clothing, utilities, services, health care, and other expenses.
Not much has changed on the top of the list in the last few quarters' reports: New York City still holds down the number one spot at 229.6 — more than twice the national average cost of living. Brooklyn again took second place at 180.2.
Yet down the list where the least expensive cities are, there is more turnover. The cost of living index numbers for the ten least expensive urban areas all fall into a range of roughly 7 percentage points: from 86.4 to 79.5. That's partly why the majority of following list of places that had the lowest cost of living, is different from the last quarter's list. And now, a countdown to the most affordable urban area, which includes some of the most inexpensive products they offer.
These are the most affordable U.S. cities, according to CNBC: