Michigan Tech News

It's Official: It Is Cheaper to Live Here

Last Modified 3:41 PM on Mon Jul 20, 2009

906-487-2343, 

By Marcia Goodrich

January 19, 2007—

Faculty and staff being recruited to Michigan Tech commonly ask about the area's cost of living. To find a good answer, Michigan Tech has begun gathering information from Houghton businesses and analyzing it using data and formulae supplied by the Council for Community and Economic Research (founded as the American Chamber of Commerce Researchers Association, or ACCRA).

The council developed the ACCRA Cost of Living Index (COLI), which compares prices in about 300 cities all over the U.S.

The average for all participating places equals 100, and each participant's index is read as a percentage of the average. For July 2006, Houghton’s composite index was 93.1, indicating that the cost of living in Houghton was about 7 percent lower than average.

The following types of expenses are included in the ACCRA Cost of Living Index. Michigan Tech's scores are listed below.

Grocery items--93.6
Housing--83.4
Utilities--102.9
Transportation--95.1
Health care--87.4
Miscellaneous goods and services--97.8
Composite Index for Houghton--93.1

Houghton is not an official participant in the ACCRA Cost of Living Index survey because the community too small; the minimum population is 35,000. However, ACCRA is allowing us to use their information to calculate a Cost of Living Index for Houghton.

The COLI survey is geared toward upper-income families. It assumes that (1) a household is made up of two adults and one child; (2) both adults hold college degrees; (3) at least one adult is salaried and holds a professional or managerial position; (4) household income is in the top 20 percent for the area; (5) housing is priced only in areas where these families would live; and (6) stores surveyed are those where these households would normally shop.

Because the Cost of Living Index is copyrighted, reproduction of its data is prohibited. However, data are available in Human Resources for departments looking for information on other cities.

For more information, contact Becky Christianson at 487-2416 or rwchrist@mtu.edu , or visit the ACCRA web site at http://www.coli.org .

Michigan Technological University (www.mtu.edu) is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.

Original URL: http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2007/january/story10733.html