MINNEAPOLIS - A new report from The Economist suggests Minneapolis is the third most expensive city in North America.

According to the latest U.S. Census data, Minneapolis is the 46th most populated city in the U.S.

So, how can it be the third most expensive to live in?

RELATED: Report: Minneapolis is 3rd most expensive city in N. America

KARE 11 set out to verify if the cost of living in Minneapolis is truly that expensive.

Augsburg University economics professor Jeanne Boeh argues the study isn't exactly accurate when it comes to measuring the spending habits of your average person.

"It includes things like private school tuition and things like the cost of domestic help," Boeh explains.

"I don't know anyone in my life who has a full-time butler," Boeh laughs.

Boeh says the study was geared toward companies and higheend executives who travel around the world for their jobs.

"It doesn't really reflect the average experience of the people who are living here right now," Boeh explains.

The study looks at 150 items, from groceries and personal care products, to utilities and the cost of rent.

However, the study doesn't include the cost of owning a home.

"You know, if I go to San Francisco, which technically we're supposed to be more expensive than, the average cost of a house is well over half a million dollars. So, it doesn't really make sense that Minneapolis would cost more to live in," Boeh explains.

KARE 11 found several other lists of the most expensive cities and states to live in and none of them rank Minneapolis or Minnesota in the top 10.

Minneapolis also rarely places in the top 10 when looking at individual categories, like the cost of housing, groceries or utilities.

The latest National Rent Report from Apartment List puts Minneapolis at 39th for the cost of your average two-bedroom apartment.

St. Paul actually ranked 11 spots higher at 28th.

When it comes to buying a home, Minneapolis ranks 31st, with the average home going for $235,000, according to a study from the financial news company Kiplinger.

The consumer marketing company Valpak puts Minneapolis at second in the nation for high grocery costs, but Numbeo, a consumer price database, puts Minneapolis at 24th.

WalletHub puts Minneapolis at 31st in the nation when it comes to cities with the highest energy costs.

So, while this new study from The Economist may be helpful for high-end executives who move around a lot, professor Boeh says it's not accurate when it comes to the average Minnesotan.

"We are not New York, we are not San Francisco, we are not LA, in terms of average living cost," Boeh explains.

To read the full report from The Economist, click here.

SOURCES: Professor Jeanne Boeh, Augsburg University, The Economist, U.S. Census, National Rent Report: Apartment List, Kiplinger, Valpak, Numbeo, WalletHub.


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