Campbell and Sheridan are expensive counties to live in, but they could be worse, according to a recent report from Wyoming Economic Analysis Division (EAD).
At the end of 2018, northeast Wyoming saw a 4.8 percent increase in annual inflation, which was the highest annual increase in the fourth quarter of 2018 (4Q2018).
Inflation measures year-over-year price changes from the same quarter the previous year. The EAD surveyed 140 consumer items from six consumer categories: medical, apparel, transportation, food, housing, and recreation and personal care.
The average statewide inflation rate was 2.5 percent, approximately 2.3 percent less than the average inflation rate for northeast Wyoming.
Central Wyoming’s average inflation rate was measured at 2.7 percent, northwest was 2.3 percent, southeast was 1.9 percent, and southwest was 1 percent.
Inflation is one of two parts that makeup the overall Wyoming Cost of Living Index (WCLI). The other part is the Comparative Cost of Living Index (CCLI), which compares the cost of living in one period, in each county, to the statewide average, according to the EAD.
In 4Q2018, the CCLI showed that the cost of living in Teton County was approximately 59 percent higher than the statewide average. The cost of living in Sublette was the next in line and was 6 percent higher.
Niobrara County had the lowest cost of living, which was approximately 11 percent below the statewide average.
From northeast Wyoming, both Sheridan and Campbell counties were relatively high in the WCLI rankings. Sheridan County was ranked fifth and Campbell County was ranked sixth.
The cost of living in both counties was reportedly equal to the statewide average, though there were slight deviations within both, according to the EAD.
Housing prices were similar in the two counties and both were slightly lower than the statewide average in 4Q2018. According to the EAD, housing carries the most weight in a consumer’s budget and drives the overall CCLI values.
Average monthly rent for an apartment was $676 in Campbell County and $684 in Sheridan County for 4Q2018.
Comparatively, average monthly rent for an apartment is $2,138 in Teton County and $827 in Sublette County.
Prices for food and apparel in Sheridan County were, on average, 8.5 percent higher than in Campbell County.
Transportation and medical were slightly more expensive in Campbell County than in Sheridan County. Both categories in both counties were higher than the statewide average.
Cost associated with recreation and personal care in Sheridan County were equal to the statewide average, while the same costs in Campbell County were slightly below.