Cost of Living

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Cost competitive. Merced is less expensive than many Central Valley locations and substantially less expensive than the San Francisco Bay Area. The result? Lower overhead for your company along with employees who can afford to live close to their jobs. 

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Cost of Living Comparison


  • This index compares the relative cost of living in different locations. Using the United States as the base location (i.e., a value of 100), an index value of 120 means that the cost of living in that particular community is 20 percent higher than in the base location; a value of 94 indicates a more affordable location.

  • The total of all cost of living categories is weighted as follows: 30% housing, 15% groceries, 10% transportation, 6% utilities, 7% health care, and 32% miscellaneous (clothing, services, entertainment); state and local taxes are not included.

Source: Sperling's Best Places (, 2017 data (April 2020).

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