The index is published by the Council for Community and Economic Research. It uses prices collected from chambers of commerce, economic development organizations or university-applied economic centers to measure regional cost differences of consumer goods and services for households.
The council measures several different components: groceries, health care, housing, transportation, utilities and miscellaneous goods and service. Taxes and other non-consumer expenditures are excluded from the quarterly reports.
“I just think this is one more reason people would want to live here,” said Amy Madison, president of the San Marcos Economic Development Corporation.
Madison said she thinks the city has done an excellent job in providing the foundation for a healthy economy.
“These particular reports come out all the time and I think that they are nice barometers to give us a sense of where we are at and what we can do better,” said.
Guerrero said being strategically located between Austin and San Antonio also adds value to the city and makes San Marcos an even more attractive location to live.
“In previous years we have been ranked as one of the best communities in the United States to raise a family,” Guerrero said. “This ranks right up there.”
Dean Frutiger, project manager, said he reviewed and categorized roughly 90,000 to 100,000 average prices taken in April from the 300 participating urban areas.
“It takes me a good three months to review the data and get it out, and then once I have reviewed it I re-review it and review it again,” Frutiger said.
For this quarter, three other cities in Texas took the top spots as least expensive areas. Harlingen was the cheapest city, falling 18.4 percent below the national average. Wichita Falls came in second at 15.3 percent below, and McAllen was named third at 14.6 percent under.
Frutiger said Texas is probably the most represented state in the nation with more than 35 participating urban areas.
Manhattan ranked as the most expensive urban area with an index number more than twice the overall participating average.