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Cost of Living

Every attempt has been made to provide current, accurate, and consistent data in this database. There may be some differences due to sources, methodologies, or timing of data-assembly.

Topeka participates in the ACCRA Cost of Living Index study which measures differences between areas in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile.

Annual Report 2017 data ranked Topeka at 95.7 with the average for 269 urban areas participating being 100.

The study is based on more than 60 items, for which prices are collected quarterly by the Greater Topeka Partnership or similar organization in each participating urban area. The composite index is based on six components–housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. Small differences should not be interpreted as showing any measurable difference, according to ACCRA.

“Our cost of living is attractive when compared to communities on the east and west coasts, as well as cities in the Midwest,” says Molly Howey, senior vice president of economic development. “We are pleased to see Topeka/Shawnee County getting recognition as a great place to live and work that is cost-pleasing to the family budget. Our housing costs continue to be very affordable and we’re pleased this study confirms our belief that Topeka offers a quality living experience at a below average cost.”

Click here to compare our cost of living to other US cities.


ACCRA Cost of Living Index Third Quarter 2017 Averages: A sampling of Midwest cities

Metro/Micro Urban AreaComposite Index
Little Rock, AR98.9
Denver, CO112.1
Chicago, IL123.5
Des Moines, IA89.2
Topeka, KS96.0
Kansas City, MO-KS91.4
St. Louis, MO90.5
Omaha, NE91.0
Columbus, OH89.2
Oklahoma City, OK83.4
Dallas, TX102.0
Houston, TX98.1

The ACCRA Cost of Living Index provides a useful and reasonably accurate measure of living cost differences among urban areas. Items on which the index is based have been carefully chosen to reflect the different categories of consumer expenditures. Weights assigned to relative costs are based on governmental survey data on expenditure patterns for professional and executive households.

The Third Quarter 2017 rankings will be available by Fourth Quarter 2017; those results will be reported as they become available

Cost of Doing Business

Topeka and Shawnee County reflect the openness of our natural surroundings. We welcome and encourage business and champion our budding entrepreneurs. We have the prime location, the business friendly environment and people-friendly way of life.

We encourage new direction and growth and offer solutions to help businesses with customer retention, development of a more efficient supply chain and finding new profit opportunities. In Topeka, it’s not business as usual.

Whether it’s bringing in raw materials or shipping finished product out, our central location makes for timely and cost-efficient delivery throughout North America. Within one day, goods shipped by truck reach 25% of the U.S. population, reaching 90% by day two. In addition to convenient access to major roadways, Topeka offers rail service and an air logistics facility at Forbes Field.

  • Our cost of doing business is 10%-15% lower than national average. (Moody’s)
  • Energy costs are over 10% lower than the national average. (Moody’s)
  • State and local taxes are 10%-15% lower than the national average. (Moody’s)
  • Highly educated workforce with 18.4% of adults over 25 holding a Bachelor’s degree (U.S. Census)
  • Unemployment in Topeka is less than 6%, much lower than the national average.