Cost of Living Index to take place later this week

13 Jan 2014

News Release

Later this week, January 16-18, the Iowa Lakes Corridor staff will gather data from local stores to compile a Cost of Living Index (COLI) for the communities it serves. The COLI is the most reliable source of city-to-city comparisons of consumer costs. Its purpose is to provide a useful and accurate measure of various costs among urban areas and make that information available to the community.

The index has five key areas: food, housing, transportation, healthcare, and miscellaneous goods and services. These items have been carefully chosen to reflect different categories of consumer expenditures. Prices are collected at a specific time, in strict conformance with standard specifications determined by the Council for Community and Economic Research. This provides a sound basis for gauging the differences in the cost of consumer goods and services.

“As employers are recruiting employees to our area and we market the region to prospective residents and employees, the Cost of Living Index is often the most requested information,” said Kathy Evert, president and CEO of the Iowa Lakes Corridor. “We are happy to gather and compile this data to help existing employers and our region attract newcomers and thank the many businesses who cooperate and respond to the survey request,” said Evert.

The Iowa Lakes Corridor will participate in the Cost of Living Index for the fifth time since beginning in July of 2012. A separate index for each of the five areas will be entered, composing the complete index. Corridor staff will be conducting these surveys in person at area grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, as well as by telephone. Area business support will be greatly appreciated to help ensure an accurate index is collected.

A cost of living calculator is available for public use on the Corridor’s website ( The calculator uses continuously updated data pulled directly from the highly regarded ACCRA Cost of Living Index to make these comparisons. The index is based on the prices of more than 60 goods and services, updated quarterly.

For more information regarding the Cost of Living Index, contact Kathy Evert at or 712.264.3474.