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Cost of Living

We know that equitable access to opportunity and upward mobility is of key concern for young people across the state. Current data has illuminated the deep disparities and disproportionate impacts of the pandemic and economic crisis on young people and particularly communities of color. In listening to young Arizonans statewide, we heard about the pressures of affording childcare and housing, and the discouraging realities for those entering a challenging job market. These all present meaningful challenges that we must confront head on as a state.

What Young Arizonans Said

"People are drawn to Arizona with its competitive cost of living. That'’'s outstanding for now, but rapid growth could drive these costs up too fast."

"It's been sad to see cost of living continue to increase as wages stay the same or increase at a MUCH slower rate. It’s going to be difficult for this state to continue to prosper if it continues that way."

"Keeping Arizona'’'s cost of living down and preventing displacement and gentrification should take precedence over supporting growth in industries that benefit a few."

"The state of Arizona already has a low cost of living."

"The cost of living was one of the factors that drove me to relocate to a different state."

How to Interpret the Data

This metric is measured by the Consumer Price Index for select Arizona localities. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the average change over time of a selection of goods and services. The items included in the CPI analysis include food, housing, clothing, transportation, medical care, education, communication, and a variety of other common expenses. CPI is often referenced as a measure for “purchasing power” and a way to compare localities for the relative cost of living. Importantly, CPI data has a three-year lag from when the data is collected to when the index is published. For this reason, it is a better measure of long-term trends than sudden changes in cost.

For more information on the Consumer Price Index please visit: https://www.bls.gov/cpi/questions-and-answers.htm#Question_1

Cost of Living is updated annually and is available for the following localities:

  • Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSA
  • West Urban

Progress Meters:

Data Profile

Download these consolidated reports to get a “snapshot in time” of the data we’ve collected on our shared priorities. These reports cover all 15 of Arizona’s counties as well as urban areas and demographic subgroups. Each profile features information and data visualizations that Arizonans can use to better understand and impact their communities.
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