As one of the necessities for human survival, food is a major part of anyone’s budget. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Americans spent nearly $1.5 trillion on food and beverages at grocery stores and other retailers in 2014, representing a significant portion of our economy.
But where do people shell out the most for food? CareerTrends — an employment and career research site powered by the Graphiq network — found the places with the most expensive food in the U.S. The data comes from the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index, which is compiled by pricing items across different locations at a specified time. The list is ranked by the weighted cost of certain groceries, including steak, ground beef, chicken, eggs and other commonly-purchased goods, which combine to form each place’s “Grocery Items Index.” Using this formula, the national average is 100, and each location’s index value gauges how far they are from the national average.
Each place on the list has a Grocery Items Index of 105 or more, and the top two places check out at over 150. Among the top 50, the Northeast region has the highest concentration of places with pricey food, though it does not claim the top spot. Click the tab on the map below to see the top 200 locations in the country, which are more even distributed than the top 50.
Note: In the event of ties, the place with the higher population was ranked ahead on the list.