The State’s Economics Division has released a Cost Living Index report for 2012 which shows an overall increase in Wyoming’s cost of living. The Index compares state economics to the National Consumer Price Index, which looks at costs over time in specific consumer goods categories, such as housing and food. For the fourth quarter, Wyoming saw a slightly higher increase than the National Average. Senior State Economist, Amy Bittner, says that counties in Central and Northwest Wyoming have seen the largest cost of living increases from 2011 to 2012.
“Teton County had a value in the fourth quarter of 2012 of 130. The statewide average index value is 100. So that’s essentially saying that Teton County’s cost of living was 30% higher than the statewide average,” Bittner explained.The state report also includes average rents by property type for each county. Bittner says that housing costs, whether consumers buy or rent, are the largest percentage of household budgets, and increases in those costs often drive the rest of the numbers up.