Index: Dare’s cost of living 8.7 percent above national average

By on May 22, 2014


Dare pays 13.48 percent more than average for groceries.

It’s cheaper than living in New York City, but Dare County was still above the national average for the cost of living in the first quarter of 2014, according to a national index.

With 100 being the mean, Dare County was reported at 108.7 among the 288 urban areas that participated in the Cost of Living Index. That translates to 8.7 percent above the national average.

The after-tax cost for a professional/managerial standard of living ranged from more than twice the national average in New York (Manhattan) to almost 19 percent below the national average in Norman, Okla.

The Cost of Living Index is a national report published quarterly by the  C2ER – The Council for Community and Economic Research.  Local data is collected  by The Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce.

The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile. It is based on more than 90,000 prices covering 60 different items for which prices are collected quarterly by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and university applied economic centers in each participating urban area.

The composite index is based on six categories — housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services.

Dare County’s data for the rirst quarter of 2014 showed:

Grocery Items, (13.48%),  105.0

Housing (26.05%),  112.2

Utilities (9.95%), 99.6

Transportation (12.63%),  105.9

Health Care (4.89%),  102.3

Misc. Goods and Services (33.01%),  112.1

Composite Index (100%), 108.7

In comparison, other areas in NC were Asheville at 105.7, Greenville at 99.2, Raleigh at 94.6, Wilmington at 99.4, and Winston Salem at 88.8.  Charleston, SC came in at 110.3, Hilton Head Island, SC at 105.3, Pittsburgh, PA at 118.8, Richmond, VA at 100.8, Virginia Beach, VA at 100.5, and Newark, NJ at 128.1

The most expensive places to live in the U.S. were:

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New York (Manhattan) NY, 220.3

Honolulu HI, 175.1

San Francisco CA, 163.9

New York (Brooklyn) NY, 163.4

Hilo HI,  150.6

San Jose CA, 148.3

Orange County CA, 143.9

Washington DC , 139.6

Oakland CA , 137.6

Fairbanks AK , 136.4

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) produces the Cost of Living Index to provide a useful and accurate measure of living cost differences among urban areas. Items on which the Index is based have been carefully chosen to reflect the different categories of consumer expenditures. Weights assigned to relative costs are based on government survey data on expenditure patterns for professional and executive households in the top income quintile. All items are priced in each place at a specified time and according to standardized specifications.

Because the number of items priced is limited, it is not valid to treat percentage differences between areas as exact measures. Since judgment sampling is used in this survey, no confidence interval can be determined. Small differences, however, should not be construed as significant, or even as indicating correctly which area is the more expensive.

Areas included in the survey are those where organizations have volunteered to participate.  Data for the Outer Banks is collected by the staff of the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce and submitted to the Council for Community and Economic Research for analysis.

For more information about the report, contact visit C2ER online at or call 703-522-4980. For other economic data reports on the Outer Banks, visit or call (252)441-8144, ext. 225.




County Dare, North Carolina
Dare County Tourism Board

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Visitors Bureau will hold a public meeting to review the plans for an Outer Banks Event Center. The meeting will take place on Monday, June 6, 2022 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Keeper’s Galley building at Haven on the Banks, 115 Dove Street, Nags Head North Carolina 27959.

Still in the conceptual phase, the Event Center is intended to provide suitable and flexible space for year-round events, concerts, sports, meetings, smaller tradeshows, galas and any number of other uses. Learn more about the benefits for visitors and residents and how the Event Center is planned to complement the new Soundside boardwalk that is being designed.

Staff will be on hand to answer any questions. For additional information, please visit our Event Center FAQ page.


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