These Cities Saw the Highest Rates of Inflation

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  • Inflation rose 7.5% the past 12 months, the most since June 1982.
  • Cities like Atlanta and St. Louis saw higher inflation rates than large coastal cities like New York.

If you're feeling the sting of inflation, you're not alone.

Inflation rose on average 7.5% in the 12 months through January 2022, across the U.S., hitting a 40-year high, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The price increases were not uniform across the country, but if your bank account is feeling the pinch of inflation, you're certainly not alone. Some cities saw higher levels of housing, energy, and food cost than others. Based on the data from BLS, here are the cities that saw the highest and lowest levels of inflation in 2021.

Cities with highest levels of inflation

Prior to the pandemic, remote workers were leaving large cities for smaller ones, looking for better weather and lower cost of living, and the pandemic accelerated that migration. As more people moved to these areas, the influx helped drive up higher costs.

Several cities saw an increase in inflation as more people moved from larger cities to smaller metropolitan areas, particularly in the Sun Belt -- three of the top five cities are in the southeast and southwest.

These cities saw the highest inflation rates:

  • Atlanta: 9.8%
  • Phoenix: 9.7%
  • St. Louis: 8.3%
  • Baltimore: 8%
  • Tampa: 8%

Cities with lowest levels of inflation

The cities with the lowest levels of inflation are large coastal cities. These cities already tend to have the highest cost of living across the country. During the pandemic more people left large metropolitan cities than moved into them. For example, San Francisco and New York had 80% more people leave than move in, according to moving data from HireaHelper. These cities also tended to have more restrictive pandemic measures than the cities with higher levels of inflation.

Here are the cities that saw the lowest level of inflation:

  • San Francisco: 4.2%
  • New York City: 4.4%
  • Boston: 5.3%
  • Honolulu: 5.4%
  • Washington, D.C.: 5.8%

Managing your budget during periods of inflation

With inflation on the rise across many major cities, now could be a good time to stash a little extra money away in an emergency fund. You can also see if it's possible to revise your budget to check if there are any places you can cut back. If you're looking for more tips to help manage your finances during this tough time, take a look at our personal finance guides.

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