To Move, or Not to Move?

March 11, 2010
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C. Alan Joyce
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Since Wolfram|Alpha‘s launch in May 2009, one of its most talked-about features has been its ability to compute specific answers to questions about math, chemistry, economics, demographics, and much more. But as its knowledge base continues to grow, it’s also able to highlight interesting and useful connections between data sets, and to reveal information that you might not think to ask for on your own.

One of the coolest examples of this is our recently enhanced relocation calculator. For several months, we’ve been able to answer simple questions about the relative cost of living in various United States cities and metropolitan areas. If you told Wolfram|Alpha that you were relocating from Seattle to Miami with a salary of $35000, you’d get a comparison of the relative cost of groceries, housing, and other expenses in each city, plus an estimate of the salary required to maintain a comparable standard of living in your destination city. On its own, this is a useful little calculator—but it’s also something that dozens of other websites could do.

But because Wolfram|Alpha knows tons of other details about any given city, our relocation calculator can now do things that no other site can. In addition to salary and cost-of-living comparisons, you now get comparisons of each city’s population, median home sale prices, unemployment rates, crime rates, sales taxes, traffic congestion, and climate—a useful sampling of current and historical comparative data for anyone contemplating a move.

Wolfram|Alpha's results comparing relocating from Seattle to Miami with a salary of $35,000

We’ll highlight similar enhancements as they are released. And as always, we welcome your suggestions for new data, or new ways of looking at existing data, in any domain covered by Wolfram|Alpha.

4 Comments

This feature doesn’t work for Canadian cities… :(

Posted by Jason March 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm Reply

Seems like there isn’t nearly as much information available for Canada. Typing in:

relocating from toronto to sudbury with a salary of $35000

for example, gives only a climate comparison.

Posted by AssDYar March 11, 2010 at 9:26 pm Reply

    At this time the cost-of-living information is only available for U.S. cities and metro areas. Thank you.

    Posted by The PR Team March 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm Reply

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