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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. 

downtown merced - large clock

Cost of Living Comparison

Source: Sperling's Best Places (, 2022 data.


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

  • 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.

illustration - magnifying glass



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