COLUMBIA — Living costs in Columbia were 8.9 percent below the nationwide average of 100 for 2009. Columbia received a composite index figure of 91.1 in the latest numbers from the American Chamber of Commerce Researchers Association. That means $100 worth of goods purchased in an average U.S. city cost $91.10 in Columbia.
The Columbia Chamber of Commerce collects the local data for the researchers association. Its cost of living index measures differences among cities in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer spending. The index often is used in evaluating relocation costs and developing wage and salary policy to achieve parity in living standards among cities. It does not measure the the rate of inflation.
The cost of living index is based on six weighted components. Columbia's components were grocery items, 94.9; housing, 80.2; utilities, 92.9; transportation, 91.3; health care, 97.6; and miscellaneous goods and services, 98.0.