Americans this year have faced the highest inflation rates in decades, making it harder for them to afford everyday goods and more expensive to raise their families. Prior research from Joint Economic Committee (JEC) Republicans has explored inflation costs by region, giving insight into how inflation varies across the country.[1] JEC Republicans’ Inflation Tracker will continue this work, tracking how much inflation increases costs for American families each month and how the drivers of inflation continue to vary across the country.

Inflation in February reached an annual rate of 7.9 percent, its highest rate since January 1982. Figure 1 displays how much inflation is increasing costs for the average American household. Inflation costs are shown relative to the price level in January 2021, when consumption patterns and inflation levels started to return to normal following the COVID-19 recession.

Figure 1: Average Monthly Cost of Inflation per Household by Census Division, Relative to January 2021

JEC Calculations. The added monthly cost to households is found by multiplying monthly inflation rates, each relative to January 2021, by average monthly household spending, which differs by region. The result shows how much rising prices throughout 2021 and 2022 have increased household costs each month. Consumer Price Indices (CPI) are retrieved for every month of 2021 and 2022 across all nine Census divisions, and the percent change in CPI each month relative to January 2021 is applied to average monthly household spending data across the four Census regions. Households in different divisions within the same region are assumed to have the same average monthly household spending. Household spending data is based on a two-year average from 2019 to 2020, meaning that this analysis likely underestimates current spending and the monthly cost of inflation by Census division. CPI and consumer spending data are both retrieved from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. [2]

Relative to January 2021, high inflation increased costs for the average American household in February 2022 by $435, costs that were $51 higher than last month (total may not add due to rounding). Families in the Mountain region—Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming—are experiencing the highest inflation rates and $582 in added household costs. Alternatively, those in the East South Central—Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama—are experiencing relatively lower inflation costs of $385. Households in the remaining regions are facing monthly inflation costs ranging from $390 to $450. See Appendix for these specific inflation cost values.

Inflation costs are rising in every region. For example, the inflation cost in the Mountain region increased by $71 in February 2022, the largest single month increase across all regions. 

Figure 2 breaks down annual inflation rates by region and spending category. Overall inflation in February ranged from 6.4 percent in the Middle Atlantic to 9.7 percent in the Mountain West. Within spending categories, housing prices rose the fastest in the Mountain West, food prices rose the fastest in the West North Central, energy prices rose the fastest in New England, and transportation costs rose the fastest in the West South Central. See the interactive map below for more insights into how rising prices are affecting Americans differently depending on where they live.

Figure 2: Annual Inflation Rates and Monthly Household Inflation Costs (Relative to January 2021 Price Levels) by Census Division, February 2022

*Alaska and Hawaii are included in the Pacific Region

JEC Calculations. Inflation rates are displayed as annual percent changes from February 2021 to February 2022. Household inflation costs are calculated by multiplying average household spending in each Census Region by the percent change in CPI relative to January 2021 in each Census Division. Households in different divisions within the same region are assumed to have the same average monthly household spending. Household spending data is based on a two-year average from 2019 to 2020, meaning that this analysis likely underestimates current spending and the monthly cost of inflation by Census division. CPI and consumer spending data are both retrieved from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. [3]

Appendix: Average Monthly Cost of Inflation per Household by Census Division, Relative to January 2021

  • Mountain: $582 
  • Pacific: $454
  • West North Central: $443
  • West South Central: $435
  • East North Central: $439
  • East South Central: $385
  • New England: $415
  • Middle Atlantic: $392
  • South Atlantic: $434

Jackie Benson
Senior Economist 


[1] Jackie Benson. “How Much is Inflation Costing You? It Depends on Where You Live.” U.S. Joint Economic Committee Republicans. March 2, 2022. https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/republicans/analysis?ID=C79AE4C4-2B14-4F1A-9AF3-61E2E91F3D6F.

[2] JEC Calculations. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Price Index, All Urban Consumers (Current Series). https://www.bls.gov/data/; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Expenditure Surveys, Calendar two year means tables by geographic areas, 2019-2020. https://www.bls.gov/cex/tables/geographic/mean.htm#msa.

[3] JEC Calculations. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Price Index, All Urban Consumers (Current Series). https://www.bls.gov/data/; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Expenditure Surveys, Calendar two year means tables by geographic areas, 2019-2020. https://www.bls.gov/cex/tables/geographic/mean.htm#msa.

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