North Louisiana's Cost of Living Remains Affordable
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    September 6, 2016

    North Louisiana's Cost of Living Remains Affordable

    SHREVEPORT-MONROE, La. —  North Louisiana continues to be one of the most affordable places to live in Louisiana.  The Shreveport-Bossier City Metro tops the list with the lowest cost of living in the state.  According to the Cost of Living Index recently released for the second quarter of 2016, Shreveport-Bossier City has a cost of living of 89 percent of the national average.  The Monroe cost of living is 94.9 percent of the national average.  The Cost of Living Index estimates the amount of money needed to sustain a certain level of living, including basic expenses such as housing, food, taxes, and health care. It is often used when comparing how expensive it is to live in one city versus another.
    “Our low cost of living is a one reason why companies locate in North Louisiana.  A low cost of living coupled with a low cost of doing business allows companies to be very competitive here,” said Scott Martinez, President of North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP), an Accredited Economic Development Organization for 14 parishes in North Louisiana.
    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 City MSA, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe 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 (13.24%), housing (28.04%), utilities (10.31%), transportation (11.16%), health care (4.36%) and miscellaneous goods and services (32.89%).
    The Shreveport-Bossier City MSA includes all of Caddo, Bossier, De Soto and Webster Parishes. For the Shreveport-Bossier City MSA, utility costs represent the lowest cost category at 81.0 percent. Housing is the next most affordable category at 82.2 percent. Transportation costs are 89.9 percent; health care costs are 92.9 percent of the national average; miscellaneous goods and services are at 94.2 percent; and grocery costs are 94.6 percent of the national average.
    The Monroe MSA includes all of Ouachita and Union Parishes. For the Monroe MSA, transportation represents the most affordable category at 80.8 percent of the national average. The next lowest cost category is utilities at 86.1 percent; followed by housing at 88.1 percent; and then health care at 90.7 percent. Grocery items come in at 91.1 percent of the national average, and miscellaneous goods and services total 110.4 percent. 
    Rank Louisiana Metros Composite Index
    1   Shreveport-Bossier City 89.0
    2   Hammond 89.2
    3   Lafayette 89.3
    4   Lake Charles 94.6
    5   Monroe 94.9
    6   Slidell-St. Tammany Parish 95.0
    7   Baton Rouge, LA 95.2
    8   New Orleans 95.5
    9   Alexandria 99.1

    To see how North Louisiana’s cost of living compares with other communities around the nation, 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, based on the Cost of Living Index.  For example, if you earned $50,000 in Denver, Colorado, you would only need to earn $40,410 in Shreveport and $42,420 in Monroe to have a comparable standard of living. The following chart shows how North Louisiana compares with competing southern communities.
    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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