MHPC: New Cost of Living Data for Portland, Bangor
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007
Subject: New Cost of Living Data for Portland and Bangor
The Maine Heritage Policy Center
New Cost of Living Data for Portland and Bangor
The new analysis reveals that Maine's largest population centers are expensive when compared to other U.S. cities.
PORTLAND, ME - JUNE 20, 2007-Today, The Maine Heritage Policy Center released a new report titled, 2007 Cost of Living Update: First Trimester. The analysis, written by J. Scott Moody, vice president of policy and chief economist for The Maine Heritage Policy Center, used first trimester data from the ACCRA Cost of Living IndexÂ© (ACCRA-COLI) to compare the relative affordability of Portland and Bangor.
"When compared to other peer cities, Maine's two largest population centers, Portland and Bangor, are considerably more expensive," said Moody. "Both Portland and Bangor are more expensive than the U.S. average."
The ACCRA-COLI is the country's longest running cost of living index, published every quarter since 1968. Used widely by both the private and government sector, ACCRA-COLI is regarded as the most respected cost of living index. For the first trimester of 2007, the staff at The Maine Heritage Policy Center performed the survey in Maine for both the Portland and Bangor metro areas.
"The survey provides a good benchmark for assessing both the Portland and Bangor regions' cost of living," said Moody. "The survey results provide policymakers and business leaders with a valuable tool when accessing new policy initiatives and investments."
The survey results reveal that Portland has a high cost of living. It costs 15.6 percent above the U.S. average to live in Portland. Portland ranks 29th highest cost of living out of the 215 metropolitan areas represented in the survey. The two categories most responsible for Portland's high ranking are utilities, which rank 18th highest at 26.3 percent above the U.S. average, and housing, which ranks 27th highest at 34.5 percent above the U.S. average.
When compared to its 23 peer cities, defined as those cities that are within plus or minus 25 percent of Portland's population, Portland had the highest cost of living. The primary culprits for the high ranking were utilities and housing, which both rank first.
For Bangor, the survey results reveal a cost of living that is more inline with the national average. Bangor stands at 3.1 percent above the national average, ranking 58th highest out of the 215 metropolitan areas represented in the survey. In most survey categories Bangor was inline with the national average. However, Bangor utilities are 28 percent above the national average, ranking 13th highest.
When compared to its 50 peer cities, defined as those cities that are within plus or minus 25 percent of Bangor's population, Bangor had the eighth highest cost of living. Again, the primary culprit for this ranking was utilities, which ranked third and health care, which ranked fourth.
Moody's report is available at: http://www.mainepolicy.org.
The Maine Heritage Policy Center is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational organization based in Portland, Maine. The Center formulates and promotes free market, conservative public policies in the areas of economic growth, fiscal matters, health care, and education - providing solutions that will benefit all the people of Maine. Contributions to MHPC are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
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