Topeka participates in the ACCRA Cost of Living Index study which measures differences between areas in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile.

The 2014 Third Quarter ACCRA Data ranked Topeka 94.0 overall with the average for 264 urban areas participating being 100.

The study is based on more than 60 items, for which prices are collected quarterly by the Chamber of Commerce or similar organization in each participating urban area. The composite index is based on six components–housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. Small differences should not be interpreted as showing any measurable difference, according to ACCRA.

For the 2014 Third Quarter, Topeka ranked 98.5 in grocery items, 81.5in housing, 95.14 in utilities, 92.5 in transportation, 97.0 in health care, and 101.9 in miscellaneous goods and services.

“Our cost of living is attractive when compared to communities on the east and west coasts, as well as cities in the Midwest,” says Marsha Sheahan, Chamber vice president public relations. “We are pleased to see Topeka/Shawnee County getting recognition as a great place to live and work that is cost-pleasing to the family budget. Our housing costs continue to be very affordable and we’re pleased this study confirms our belief that Topeka offers a quality living experience at a below average cost.”

ACCRA Cost of Living Index 2014 Third Quarter: A sampling of Midwest cities

Chicago, IL 114.4
Denver, CO 108.0
Little Rock, AR 98.7
Kansas City, MO-KS Metro 98.5
Houston, TX 97.0
Dallas, TX 96.9
Topeka, KS 94.0
Manhattan, KS 93.1
Des Moines, IA 93.1
Oklahoma City, OK 92.3
Columbus, OH 91.5
Omaha, NE 90.3
Springfield, MO 89.4
Lawrence, KS NA

The ACCRA Cost of Living Index provides a useful and reasonably accurate measure of living cost differences among urban areas. Items on which the index is based have been carefully chosen to reflect the different categories of consumer expenditures. Weights assigned to relative costs are based on governmental survey data on expenditure patterns for professional and executive households.

The Year End 2014 Average rankings will be available in early 2015; those results will be reported as they become available.