The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) has released
its third-quarter data for 2012, in which they rank 304 urban areas according to average local costs. Among the components were: food items, home purchase or rental, clothing, utilities, services, health care, and other expenses.
Not much has changed on the top of the list in the last few quarters' reports: New York City still holds down the most expensive spot at 229.6 — more than twice the national average cost of living. Brooklyn again took second place at 180.2.
Yet down the list where the least expensive cities are, there is more turnover. Here's a countdown of the top five most affordable urban areas, including some of the cheapest products they offer.