Northeast US/Central Canada

Competitive Alternatives 2016 includes business cost rankings for more than 100 cities in 10 countries. This page highlights the results for 23 cities in the Northeast US/Central Canada region.

Northeast US/Central Canada
Regional RankCityOverall
1Quebec City, QC83.9
2Barrie, ON84.2
3Sault Ste. Marie, ON85.0
4Montreal, QC85.2
5Toronto, ON85.6
6Gatineau (National Capital Region), QC85.8
7Youngstown, OH92.5
8Lexington, KY93.2
9Charleston, WV93.8
10Cincinnati, OH94.0
11Indianapolis, IN94.6
12Cleveland, OH94.6
13Saginaw, MI94.7
14Richmond, VA95.5
15Baltimore, MD96.5
16Detroit, MI96.8
17Pittsburgh, PA97.0
18Wilmington, DE97.7
19Rochester, NY98.3
20North Virginia, Metro DC99.4
21Philadelphia, PA99.8
22Trenton, NJ101.8
23New York City, NY104.7
1  Business costs are expressed as an index. An index below 100 indicates lower costs than the US baseline. An index over 100 indicates higher costs than the US baseline. (e.g., an index of 95.0 represents costs 5.0% below the US baseline.) US Baseline is the average of the four largest US metro areas.

This regional comparison includes six cities from Central Canada and 17 cities from the US Northeast. The current high value of the US dollar gives all of the Canadian cities a clear cost advantage over their US counterparts, with a cost gap of 6.7 percentage points separating the highest cost Canadian city and the lowest cost US city in this region.

Quebec City, Barrie and Sault Ste. Marie are the cost leaders in this region, all with total business costs 15.0 percent or more below the US baseline. Costs are only marginally higher in the larger Canadian cities of Montreal, Toronto and Gatineau (being the Quebec portion of Canada’s National Capital Region, which spans the border of Ontario and Quebec).

Youngstown is the cost leader among the US cities in this region and ranks second among all US cities in this study, behind only Shreveport (Louisiana). Together with Lexington and Charleston (West Virginia), these cities all have business costs more than 6.0 percent below the US base.

Among the larger US cities in this region, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Cleveland are the cost leaders, ranking 10th through 12th among all cities in the region. At the bottom of the rankings, Trenton and New York City are the only cities in the region where business costs exceed the US base, with costs in New York City being 4.7 percent above the US baseline.

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