Cost of Living Continues to Drop for North Louisiana Communities
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    August 27, 2015

    Cost of Living Continues to Drop for North Louisiana Communities

    SHREVEPORT-MONROE, La. — The Shreveport-Bossier and the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) continue to see their cost of living decline during the second quarter of 2015, according to the just released Cost of Living Index Report, compiled by the Council for Community and Economic Research.  The Shreveport-Bossier MSA remains the most affordable place to live in the State with a cost of living of 88.9 percent of the national average.  Shreveport-Bossier’s cost of living is down 1.6 percentage points from the previous quarter.  The Monroe MSA moved up in the rankings, coming in as the third most affordable place to live in Louisiana with a cost of living of 91.3 percent of the national average. The cost of living in the Monroe area saw the biggest decrease in Louisiana, dropping 2.7 percentage points.    

    The Cost of Living Index 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 ULM 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%).
    “A low cost of living is very appealing not only to families considering moving into the area, but also for employers who need to recruit qualified employees into the region,” said Scott Martinez, CEcD, President of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership. “A low cost of living helps companies recruit a qualified workforce, because we can promote the affordability of living in North Louisiana.”
    For the Shreveport-Bossier MSA, the cost of utilities represents the lowest cost category at 79.1 percent. The Shreveport-Bossier MSA includes all of Caddo, Bossier, De Soto and Webster Parishes. Housing is the next most affordable category at 84.5 percent. Health care is 87.9 percent; transportation costs are 91.8 percent; miscellaneous goods and services at 92.7 percent; and grocery costs are 94.0 percent.
    In the Monroe MSA, utility 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 transportation at 86.4 percent; followed by grocery at 91.4 percent; and then health care at 91.8 percent. Housing cost is 93.4 percent, and miscellaneous goods and services total 94.9 percent of the national average.  
    Ranking Least Expensive Places to Live in Louisiana Q2 Composite Index* Q1 Composite Index* Percentage Change
    1 Shreveport-Bossier, LA 88.9% 90.5% -1.6%
    2 Hammond, LA 89.4% 90.5% -1.1%
    3 Monroe, LA 91.3% 94.0% -2.7%
    4 Baton Rouge, LA 92.6% 91.3% 1.3%
    5 Thiboudeaux-Lafourche, LA 93.0% 92.6% 0.4%
    6 Houma-Terrebonne, LA 94.1% 96.5% -2.4%
    7 Lake Charles, LA 94.3% 95.0% -0.7%
    8 Lafayette, LA 94.7% 92.7% 2.0%
    9 New Orleans, LA 94.8% 93.0% 1.8%
    10 Slidell-St. Tammany, LA 95.5% 95.3% 0.2%
    11 Alexandria, LA 97.5% 99.9% -2.4%
    * (100% represents 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 $20,491 in Shreveport, LA and $21, 460 in Monroe, LA to have a comparable lifestyle.

    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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