The Missouri Economic and Research Information Center (MERIC) says the state’s cost of living ranked 4th in the U.S during the third quarter of this year. All of the participating Missouri cities had a composite Cost of Living Index below the national average.

Missouri’s cost of living ranks 4th in nation during third quarter

MERIC derives the cost of living index for each state by averaging the indices of participating cities and metropolitan areas in that state.

The city with the lowest index was Joplin. Joplin’s housing costs appear to drive down its overall cost of living and clip Springfield for the bottom spot. However, Joplin’s utility costs are the highest of the six Missouri cities surveyed.

Columbia had the highest cost of living. Health and utility costs appear to be driving up Columbia’s marks.

Kansas City has by far the lowest utility costs.

To see the survey, click here.