Cities Hit the Worst by Inflation
Inflation is hitting just about everyone hard, but some cities are definitely getting it worse than others. Between the rising costs of gasoline to a gallon of milk, just about everything is getting more expensive. And to put things in perspective for the kiddos, nothing on McDonald's Dollar menu is actually just $1.
Inflation in an economy is perfectly normal. In its broadest term, inflation refers to the rise prices and consumer goods over time. Inevitably it changes, so the value of a dollar now is not as much as it was 20 or even 10 years ago. Ideally, inflation occurs at a rate of less than 2%, but recently it seems to be much higher. But how do we really measure it? Curious about how the rising costs of living are affecting people across the country, we decided to do some investigating.
Looking at the Consumer Price Index is one of the most effective ways to calculate inflation. It is a weighted average of consumer spending that measure price changes over a period of time. WalletHub compiled a list for February 2023, Cities Where Inflation is Rising the Most, that measured the consumer price index for two months and one year prior, determining what cities were hit the hardest. We used this data for our list.
And with that said, here are the Cities Hit the Worst by Inflation...
Minneapolis, Minnesota is the first on our list, ranking number 15 on our list of the cities with the worst inflation. It is tied with both St. Paul, Minnesota and Bloomington, Wisconsin. The city saw a consumer price index change of 0.50% in the latest month versus two months before. And versus the last year, there has been a 5.10% consumer price index change.
To give an idea of just how expensive things have become due to inflation, we decided to look at how much a gallon of milk costs in the city of Minneapolis, and the results were shocking. According to the USDA, the current retail price for milk in Minneapolis is at $5.36 per gallon!
Baltimore, Maryland was the 14th city with the worst inflation, tied with Columbia and Towson, Maryland. The city of Baltimore experienced a slightly improved -0.10% consumer price index change compared to two months ago but a 6.30% change from the last year.
The current price of milk in Baltimore, as of February 2023, was $4.79, according to the USDA. It was down from the previous month at $4.99, but its still higher than the current national average.
The St. Louis metropolitan area encompasses both St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois. In St. Louis, they are seeing the 13th worst inflation rates in the country.
Over the last two months, they saw a consumer price index change of 0.10%. And in comparison to last year, there was a 6.20% change. Those in St. Louis, Missouri are currently paying around $4.42 for a gallon of reduced fat milk.
Atlanta, Georgia, along with Sandy Springs and Roswell, Georgia, saw the 12th worst inflation rates in the country. As the most populous city in the state with nearly 500K people, that's a heck of a lot people hit by inflation.
Compared to the last two months, there was a -0.50% consumer price index change but compared to last year, it's definitely worse with an 8.10% consumer price index change. Currently, the price of a gallon of milk is around $4.54.
Home to the Statue of Liberty, it seems the city is not free from the ravages of time. New York City is the country's most populated city, and with over 8.8 million people living there, the city is getting more hurt by inflation as time goes on.
New York City, along with Newark, New Jersey and Jersey City, saw a 1.00% change in consumer price index versus two months ago and a 6.00% change from last year. Currently, New Yorkers are paying about $5.12 for a gallon of milk.
The metropolitan area that encompasses Denver, Aurora and Lakewood, Colorado makes the top 10 spot for cities affected the worst by inflation. While the consumer price index change over the last two months was slightly better than New York City, its change over last year was worse.
Denver has seen a 0.90% change in its consumer price index compared to two months ago and its consumer price index change compared to last year was 6.40%. What does that look like exactly? Well the city is paying $4.29 for a gallon of milk, so that should give you some idea.
Being the entertainment capital of the world decidedly comes at a cost. Even the rich and famous aren't immune to the rise of inflation as Los Angeles is the ninth city with the worst inflation. Los Angeles is tied with both Long Beach and Anaheim (home of Disneyland).
The city of Los Angeles saw one of the highest consumer price index changes over the last two months at 1.30%. It also saw one of the highest over the year at 5.80%, but still better than Denver! In Los Angeles, the current cost of milk is around $4.55, according to Numbeo.
The cities of Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, along with Newton, New Hampshire saw the eighth worst inflation rates in the country, which is definitely not wicked awesome by any means.
Boston saw a 1.10% consumer price index change compared to two months ago, according to WalletHub. But worse yet, it saw a 6.40% change from last year, which is comparable to Denver's statistics. In Boston, people are paying around $4.40, according to the USDA's retail milk prices report.
Rising out of the ashes is no bird; it's just an increased cost of living as the city is the seventh worst when it comes to inflation. The affected area also includes Mesa and Scottsdale, Arizona. While Phoenix has seen a positive improvement from two months ago, compared to last year, inflation has been hitting the city hard.
A -0.70% change from two months ago may give the city some hope, but if they look at last year, they might be hugely disappointed. Compared to last year, Phoenix has seen a 9.50% change, which is one of the most significant changes in consumer price index on this list. And while $4.22 may not be the highest price of milk in the country, it's up greatly from last year and even from January 2023, being 20 cents higher. in February.
Seattle, Washington, along with Tacoma and Bellevue, are the sixth worst cities when it comes to inflation. While it's 0.10% change from the last two months may not be the worst, its change from last year is rather significant.
Seattle is seeing an increased cost of living thanks to an astonishing 8.40% from last year. Once a fairly affordable place to live, now its residents are paying about $4.56 for a conventional gallon of milk. Yikes!
Dallas, as well as Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas come in at the number 5 spot. The city of Dallas has suffered from inflation in the last two months and over the last year.
From two months ago, Dallas saw a 0.80% change in its consumer price index. After a year, it saw a hefty 7.50% change. In Dallas, the cost of milk is now $3.74; for a place known for its cheaper cost of living, that's quite a lot.
It's probably not too surprising to see two California cities on this list, but if you called it, congratulations, regardless. San Diego sits at number four. The San Diego area is seeing an even greater rise in inflation across the board. This area also includes Carslbad, California, for your reference.
San Diego has been hit worse than any other city in the last two months, with a consumer price index change of 1.80%. The change over a year ago has also been significant, rising as much as 6.40%. The cost of milk in San Diego is said to be about $4.29.
If you thought you'd seen the last of California on this list, you'd be wrong. Coming in at number three is the city of Riverside, California. This area also includes San Bernardino and Ontario. The consumer price index change over the last two months and compared to a year ago is significant on both counts.
Compared to two months ago, the Riverside area had a 1.30% consumer price index change. Over the course of a year, it had 7.30% change. At around $3.73, the cost of milk isn't the highest, but it will likely reach the $4 mark soon enough, considering how hard inflation is hitting the city.
Miami, Florida comes in at number two. The area also includes Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. It saw a notable change in consumer price index compared to two months ago, and when it comes to a year ago, it has seen the worst change overall.
Miami had a 1.00% change in its consumer price index compared to two months ago, and compared to last year, it fared even worse at an astounding 9.90%. A popular vacation spot, Miami is getting even more expensive now with a gallon of milk costing as much as $4.42.
Last, but not least, we have Tampa, Florida the city hit worst by inflation. Things are getting worse for the city, where it has seen the biggest change compared to two months ago - a consumer price index change of 1.70%. Other cities affected in the area are St. Petersburg and Clearwater.
Compared to last year, Tampa has seen a consumer price index change of 8.90%, which is among the widest margins of change on this list. The cost of milk is even higher there, with prices reaching the $4.15 mark. It looks like Tampa may no longer be a great place to retire.