Puerto Rico Joins the Cost of Living Index

The upcoming collection period marks Puerto Rico’s third consecutive quarter of participation in C2ER’s Cost of Living Index. Researchers in San Juan first implemented COLI methodology in the second quarter of 2014 and recently began utilizing the Cost of Living Index Calculator. The Calculator is an easy-to-use tool which allows researchers, businesses, governments, and individuals to compare cities across a number of economic factors.

The Calculator asks users to input whether they are moving to/from Puerto Rico, to/from which city they are moving, and their annual salary. From this information the Calculator determines the comparable salary in the new city and the average price difference between the selected cities for groceries, housing, utilities, healthcare, transportation, and miscellaneous goods. Users can also see the average prices in Puerto Rico, their selected city, and the United States for 56 items listed in the Index.

Consider a person planning to transfer from her office in Arlington, Virginia to an office in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She earns $60,000 in Arlington and, using the Calculator, determines that a comparable salary in San Juan is $42,568. She would find that food is approximately 8% more expensive in San Juan while housing, healthcare, and transportation are less expensive than in Arlington.

Overall, the cost of living in Puerto Rico is approximately 13% higher than in the United States. Grocery prices are 22.7% higher than the United States average.  The cost of utilities is approximately 85% higher than in the United States. Housing and transportation are slightly lower than the national average. The average cost of healthcare in Puerto Rico is 55.6% the average cost of healthcare in the United States.

The information provided by the Cost of Living Index and the COLI Calculator can help governments plan for economic development, businesses and individuals to make informed decisions before moving, and researchers to compare regions. Puerto Rico joins a long list of communities utilizing the quarterly Cost of Living Index and the COLI Calculator to make their region more enticing to business and individuals.

Click here to utilize the Puerto Rico COLI Calculator.

For more information on the Cost of Living Index and the COLI Calculator, please visit www.coli.org.