Making Sense of Data

One of our favorite quotes at Evolytics and the driving mindset behind our data visualization practice is that “The key to making sense of data is visualization.” That’s why we are very excited to share a series of data visualizations, starting with an examination of the cost of living in the United States. The cost of living in Houston or any other city can be up for constant change, and it could affect those who are looking to retire. Finding out the information needed can be hard for those who aren’t aware of how to do so, luckily there are places like Key Advice that are able to give information that could help with later in life. You can also check out this site to find out the cost of living in specific areas to help inform your moving decisions (here’s a great example with some information about Fairhope, Alabama) – With the cost of living increasing there are many family members who may be worried about what will happen with their family members once they have passed away. Many families look at the cost of life insurance on life insurance comparison sites for information that might be able to help their family with their financial needs.

To use the interactive visualization above, select the total cost of living index or any of six unique expense categories from the dropdown filter. Also, to see a specific city’s cost of living across categories, change the secondary filter to one of over 300 U.S. cities. Finally, the heatmap at the bottom can be sorted by any of the cost of living indices by clicking on the index’s name.

Key Findings

Here are a few key findings from our cost of living visualization:

  • Manhattan, New York is the most expensive place in the United States to live. Manhattan has the highest index in the total cost of living index as well as in the housing and miscellaneous goods categories.
  • Three cities in New York account for the top five in total cost of living.
  • Alaskan cities are the most expensive when it comes to health care, with the four highest indices in that category coming from the state.
  • If you are looking for an affordable place to live, you may want to consider Pryor Creek, Oklahoma, the city with the lowest cost of living overall that also under-indexes in every category.
  • Our own Kansas City came in just under the national average with a total cost of living index of 98.

How does your city compare? Do you feel like these numbers are an accurate reflection of your hometown?

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This post is curated content from the Evolytics staff, bringing you the most interesting news in data and analysis from around the web. The Evolytics staff has proven experience and expertise in analytics strategy, tagging implementation, data engineering, and data visualization.