McDowell County is one of 320 U.S. metro and non-metro areas which
participate in the quarterly survey of the costs of consumer goods and
services conducted by The Council for Community and Economic Research.
The composite index is based on six components – housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods and services – and includes more than 90,000 prices covering 60 different items.
Prices are collected quarterly by participating chambers of commerce, economic development organizations or university applied-economics centers in each participating area. The survey has been published quarterly since 1968. Marion/McDowell County’s cost of living consistently ranks 6-8 points below the national average.