Apr 20th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


An Examination of Boise’s Relative Cost of Living

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Samia Islam


It is a commonly held belief of many Idahoans that the cost of living in Boise is much lower than in other metropolitan areas in the country. Our purpose is to test this hypothesis and evaluate its accuracy. In addition to the analysis of the cost of living in Boise compared to other metropolitan areas, we will reconcile the differences in the costs of living with quality of life measures to ascertain the effect of local area amenities. We will compare Boise to several cities across the United States based on the ACCRA cost of living index which measures differences in expenditures on grocery items, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. We will also use additional data obtained from the most recent U.S. census, U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics and American Statistical Association, among other sources. With a simple econometric model, we will show that cost of living is correlated with quality of life indicators. We also expect to find that the cost of living in Boise is lower than larger cities, but may not be lower than cities of a similar size.