I stumbled across Forbes' lists of best & worst
.* Among them is living costs.
The "average" (did they mean median?) U.S. cost was set at 100 and all cities were ranked against that baseline.* The "best" living costs list was all in the 80s:
Fort Wayne, IN, &
The "worst" living costs list was in the 140s:
Salinas, CA* (I remember a sleepy little agricultural town in the late 1980s, full of lettuce fields & migrant workers.* What happened?!?),
San Jose, &
Geez, Honolulu didn't even make the top five at 103.