Manhattan and San Francisco continue to be the most expensive cities in which to live, according to the most recent Cost of Living Index. The index, produced by the Council for Community and Economic Research, compares the relative price to live in a wide selection of cities across the United States. Unsurprisingly, Manhattan and San Francisco are once again the priciest places for residents.

Manhattan scored a 235.0, and San Francisco recorded a 192.3 on the 100% Composite Index, where a score of 100 represents the average cost of living across the more than 250 areas surveyed. Each score is a percentage of the average of all the locations.

“It’s no secret why those cities led the way,” said Dr. Clifford Lipscomb, Chair of the Technical Advisory Board of the C2ER and Vice Chairman and Co-Managing Director of Greenfield Advisors. “Manhattan and San Francisco have seen tremendous growth, both in the form of jobs and population, following the economic downturn. As a result, housing in both cities is limited, and the prices of homes and consumer goods jumped significantly.”

On the other end of the spectrum, five cities all have a cost of living less than 80% of the index’s average. Tupelo, Mississipi, Richmond, Indiana, Harlingen, Texas, Conway, Arkansas, and McAllen, Texas, were the least expensive places on the list.

The Cost of Living Index is released every quarter and provides economists a unique look at how home prices and consumer goods affect the way of life for residents at cities and areas across the country. By evaluating consumer information from dozens of cities, economists can track trends in transportation, utility, and healthcare spending.

“The economy is more than just jobs and homes,” said Dr. Lipscomb. “The COLI gives us the ability to understand on a much more granular level how a wide variety of factors are affecting consumers on a city, state, region, and national level.”