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Puerto Rico Supermarkets 25.4% more Expensive than Stateside

By on June 17, 2016

SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico Statistics Institute (PRSI) said Friday that grocery items on the island are 25.4% more expensive than the average on the U.S. mainland.

The data are part of the Cost of Living Index (COLI), which 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 almost 60 different items for which prices are collected three times a year by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations or university applied economic centers in each participating urban area.

The composite index is based on six components: housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, healthcare, and miscellaneous goods and services.

COLISan Juan metropolitan area statistics, which include Carolina and Caguas, are now included in the index, which has been published since 1968 by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). The PRSI has been providing data to C2ER, but it was not until this month that the council formally included Puerto Rico.

The data reveal that the San Juan Metropolitan Statistical Area’s COLI is 11.6% higher than the average of other U.S. metropolitan areas. In the utilities category, for example, the San Juan metro area ranked fourth among the most expensive cities.

Grocery items on the island are 25.4% more expensive than the U.S. average, but housing costs are 3.6% cheaper than the stateside metropolitan area average.

Index data show San Juan’s healthcare services as the most economical among all participating cities.

“COLI has been instrumental in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent announcement of its allocation of $25 million annually in additional resources for the Puerto Rico Education Department’s School Meal Program. This not only benefits our students, their nutrition and education, but also injects millions of dollars into Puerto Rico’s agriculture,” PRSI Executive Director Mario Marazzi Santiago said.

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