The ARC threw a bunch of expenses – groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods and services – into a blender to come up with the cost of living index. A score of 100 is average. Atlanta came in at 99.9.
It could be worse: New York City's cost of living index is 227.4 Somebody making $50,000 in Atlanta would need $114,000 in the Big Apple to live a commensurate lifestyle. But, take heart: Atlanta is only the 15th most expensive city among the top 25 largest metro areas.
The surge in housing and transportation costs largely explains Atlanta’s rising cost of living. Transportation – the cost of time-wasting congestion, mainly — is five percent more expensive versus the average American city.