A report issued Monday by the U.S. government showed core inflation rising 2.5 percent in the last 12 months for its biggest one-year gain since January 2010. Everyday living is becoming expensive, it seems. But there are some U.S. towns in which the cost of living remains affordable -- and downright cheap -- as compared to the national average. They're detailed in a BusinessWeek piece titled "The Cheapest 25 Cities In The U.S". In comparing costs across 340 urban areas as compiled by the Council of Community & Economic Research, cities in Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Oklahoma ranked consistently high. Cities in Hawaii did not. Take note, though. Although the BusinessWeek piece highlights inexpensive cities in which to live, a low cost of living does not necessarily correlate to a high standard of living. Cost-leader Harlingen, Texas, for example, boasts a poverty rate nearly triple the national average. Other "Inexpensive Cities" feature similar poverty rates. The Top 10 "cheapest cities", as shown by BusinessWeek are:
And, at the other end of the spectrum, the top 5 most expensive cities/areas were, in order, Manhattan, New York; Brooklyn, New York; Honolulu, Hawaii; San Francisco, CA; and Queens, New York. Manhattan's cost of living is more than twice the national average. The complete list is available at the BusinessWeek website.