Detailed Findings and Methodology
To determine the cost of a date in each state, 24/7 Wall St. constructed an index based on measures related to the cost of dates in all 50 states. The index was applied to the national average cost of a basket of goods and services related to the typical date. The basket consists of the average U.S. price of a liter of wine in July 2017 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average U.S. price of two movie tickets in 2016 from the Movie Picture Association of America, and the national average cost of two restaurant dinners in 2016 from a Zagat survey.
Each state was given an index value based on nine measures related to the cost of goods, services, dining out, transportation and alcohol. The regional price parities for goods and services other than rents came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and are for 2015 and received a full weighting. Consumer price indices for the cost of food away from home and for recreation by region — Northeast, South, West and Midwest — are unadjusted figures for July 2017 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and were given a half-weight. Data on the mean travel time to work from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey and the average price of a regular gallon of gasoline from AAA as of August 22, 2017 were combined into a product and given double weight. Data on the combined state sales tax rate and average local sales tax rate for each state in 2017 came from the Tax Foundation and were given a one-tenth weighting. Data on state spirit tax, wine tax, and beer tax in dollars per gallon for 2016 also came from the Tax Foundation, and were each given a one-tenth weight. All data are for the most recent period available.