Cost of Living for North Louisiana Communities Trending Downward
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    October 28, 2015

    Cost of Living for North Louisiana Communities Trending Downward

    SHREVEPORT-MONROE, La. — The third quarter 2015 Cost of Living Index released today shows a positive trend for North Louisiana communities.  Since 2012, the cost of living for the Shreveport-Bossier and the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) declined to its lowest levels. 
    The Shreveport-Bossier MSA remains the most affordable place to live in the Louisiana with a cost of living of 86.8 percent of the national average.  Shreveport-Bossier’s cost of living has dropped continually each year, down 11 points from a high of 97.8 percent in the third quarter of 2012.  The cost of living for the Monroe MSA has also trended downward in the last four years, dropping 4.2 points from 95.5 percent during the third quarter of 2012 to 91.3 percent of the national average for the third quarter of 2015.
    “The lower cost of living attracts new businesses and new families to our region. Additionally, new retail developments in our communities have generated new competition in the marketplace, resulting lower costs.” said Scott Martinez, President of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP), an Accredited Economic Development Organization.
    * (100% represents the national average)
    The Cost of Living Index is compiled by the Council for Community and Economic Research and measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services. It is based on more than 90,000 prices collected during the same period of time by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and universities in 265 participating urban areas. 
    NLEP gathers the pricing information for the Shreveport-Bossier MSA, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s Center for Business and Economic Research gathers the data for the Monroe MSA.  The information is compiled into a composite index, which is based on six weighted categories – grocery items (13.96%), housing (27.8%), utilities (10.23%), transportation (12.12%), health care (4.41%) and miscellaneous goods and services (31.48%).
    For the Shreveport-Bossier MSA, transportation costs represent the lowest cost category at 78.6 percent. The Shreveport-Bossier MSA includes all of Caddo, Bossier, De Soto and Webster Parishes. Utility costs are the next most affordable category at 79.7 percent. Housing is 81.5 percent; health care costs are 85.6 percent; miscellaneous goods and services are at 93.0 percent; and grocery costs are 96.0 percent.
    In the Monroe MSA, transportation costs represent the least expensive category at 80.2 percent of the national average. The Monroe MSA includes all of Ouachita and Union Parishes.  The next lowest cost category is utility costs at 86.0 percent; followed by healthcare at 90.4 percent; and housing at 91.1 percent. Grocery costs come in at 91.4 percent, and miscellaneous goods and services total 97.6 percent of the national average. 
    NLEP offers a Cost of Living calculator on our website,  Go to the Regional Data Center, and click Cost of Living.  The calculator allows you to determine the level of income you would need to move to Shreveport or to Monroe and maintain your current standard of living.  For example, if you earned $50,000 in New York City, you would only need to earn $20,392 in Shreveport, LA and $21,115 in Monroe, LA to have a comparable standard of living.
    About North Louisiana Economic Partnership
    North Louisiana Economic Partnership, an Accredited Economic Development Organization, provides professional economic development services to the 14 parish region of North Louisiana, including lead generation and prospect management. The organization also represents the interests of North Louisiana with a unified voice and as a single point of contact. It acts as a catalyst, a convener, and a connector in the region to ensure that North Louisiana’s economic development potential is realized. Its vision is for North Louisiana to be a thriving region-a destination for high quality talent, innovative companies, and global investment.
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