The following information supports the claim that living along the I-44 corridor, located in the middle of the continental United States, brings the advantage of a comparatively lower cost of living.

Prepared by the Council for Consumer and Economic Research, the Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile. It is based on more than 90,000 prices covering 60 different items for which prices are collected quarterly by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and university applied economic centers in each participating urban area.

Cost of Living Statistics for 2nd Quarter of 2012 by Index Rating:

Joplin
89.1
Rolla
88.5
Springfield
89.6
St. Louis
91.8