Teton County is the most expensive county in the Wyoming to live in, compared to the statewide average. That’s according to the State Economic Analysis Division.
Amy Bittner is a senior economist with the Economic Analysis Division. The statewide average index number is 100, and Bittner says in Teton County, the index number for consumer goods reached 133 in the fourth quarter of last year.
“That essentially means that Teton counties cost of living is estimated 33% higher than the statewide average and the main driver of that are housing costs,” says Bittner. “Consumers spend a large portion of their budget on housing costs so it has a higher weight in a consumers budget, so that’s what’s driving a higher cost of living in Teton county.”
Bittner says, conversely, Platte County had an index value of 86 compared to the state’s average of 100 meaning that the cost of living is lower there.
The state’s economic analysis division also released figures on inflation for 2011 registering a 3.9% increase in consumer goods 4th quarter of 2010. Bittner says they arrive at inflation numbers after pricing a number of consumer goods, then measuring their change from a year prior.
“We divide those items that we price into five categories: food, housing, apparel, transportation, medical, and recreation and personal care,” says Bittner. “Food had the highest annual inflation for the year statewide.”
Bittner says increased transportation costs also helped drive up food prices, and that the Central Region of the state registered the largest increase in inflation at 4.8%.