|COST OF LIVING INDEXES||Port St. Lucie||Fort Pierce||W Palm Beach||Miami||Boston||Chicago||San Diego||U.S. Average|
|Median Home Cost||$95,300||$54,600||$113,100||$190,600||$339,600||$156,100||$360,200||$153.80|
|Property Tax Rate||$13.61||$13.61||$13.37||$14.71||$9.23||$16.10||$7.35||$11.20|
|Air Quality (100=best)||92.6||92.6||92||65.3||26.4||6.8||5.2||82.8|
|Water Quality (100=best)||55||55||30||50||1||31||74||55|
|Temperature – high / low||90 / 50||90 / 50||90 / 57||90 / 60||84 / 19||83 / 18||72 / 53||87 / 22|
|Rain - average annual||58″||58″||61″||60″||45″||36″||11″||37″|
|Source: Sperlings Best Places – www.bestplaces.net. Updated: 06/12
OVERALL:The total of all the cost of living categories weighted subjectively as follows: housing (30%), food and groceries (15%), transportation (10%), utilities (6%), Health card (7%), and miscellaneous expenses such as clothing, services, and entertainment (32%). State and local taxes are not included in any category. Updated: 06/12.
GROCERY:The average cost of food and groceries (not including restaurants.) Updated: 06/12.
HOUSING:The average cost of an area’s housing, which includes mortgage payments, apartment rents, and property tax. Updated: 06/12.
UTILITIES:The average cost of heating or cooling a typical residence for the area, including electricity and natural gas. Updated: 06/12.
TRANSPORTATIONThe average cost of gasoline, car insurance and maintenance expenses, and mass transit fares for the area. The cost of the vehicle and any vehicle registration and license taxes are not included. Updated: 06/12.
HEALTH:The average cost of health care are calculated using the standard daily rate for a hospital room, and the costs of a doctor’s office visit and a dental checkup. Updated: 06/12.
MISC:The cost index of those goods and services not included in the other cost of living categories, including clothing, restaurants, repairs, entertainment, and other services. Updated: 06/12.
MEDIAN HOME COST: This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. Updated: 06/12.
PROPERTY TAX:The property tax rate shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the ‘effective’ tax rate. Updated: 06/12.
AIR QUALITY:Higher is better. Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. Updated: 06/12.
WATER QUALITY: A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better. The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. Updated: 06/12.