North Louisiana's Cost of Living for 2015 Annual Average: Lowest in the State
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    February 11, 2016

    North Louisiana's Cost of Living for 2015 Annual Average: Lowest in the State

    SHREVEPORT-MONROE, La. — The Cost of Living Index for the 2015 Annual Average shows that the Shreveport-Bossier City, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and the Monroe, LA MSA remain among the most affordable places to live in Louisiana. The Shreveport-Bossier City, LA MSA ranks as the no. 1 least expensive place to live in the state with a cost of living of 88.5 percent of the national average. The cost of living for the Monroe, LA MSA ranks third in the state with 92.0 percent of the national average. 
    “North Louisiana’s low cost of living makes our region more attractive to families and companies. Families can afford a higher standard of living overall, while regional employers will find it easier to recruit for job openings,” said Scott Martinez, President of North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP), an Accredited Economic Development Organization for 14 parishes in North Louisiana. 

    Cost of Living Index- 2015 Annual Average
    (100% represents the national average)
    Metro/Micro Urban Areas Cost of Living Index Ranking
    Shreveport-Bossier City, LA
    88.5 % 1
    Hammond, LA
    90.0 % 2
    Monroe, LA
    92.0% 3
    Lafayette, LA
    92.4% 4
    Baton Rouge, LA
    92.4% 4
    Thidodaux-Lafourche Parish, LA
    93.2% 5
    New Orleans, LA
    94.3% 6
    Lake Charles, LA
    94.5% 7
    Houma-Terrebonne Parish, LA
    95.0% 8
    Slidell-St Tammy Parish, LA
    96.2% 9
    Alexandria, LA
    98.8% 10

    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, LA MSA, and the ULM Center for Business and Economic Research gathers the data for the Monroe, LA 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, LA MSA includes all of Caddo, Bossier, De Soto and Webster Parishes. For Shreveport-Bossier City, utility costs represent the lowest cost category at 79.2 percent. Housing is the next most affordable category at 83.8 percent. Health care costs are 87.3 percent of the national average; transportation costs are 89.1 percent; miscellaneous goods and services are at 93.2 percent; and grocery costs are 94.1 percent of the national average.
    The Monroe, LA MSA includes all of Ouachita and Union Parishes. For Monroe, utilities represent the least expensive category at 82.6 percent of the national average. The next lowest cost category is transportation at 84.9 percent; followed by health care at 91.5 percent; and then housing at 92.2 percent. Grocery costs total 92.8 percent, and miscellaneous goods and services total 97.0 percent of the national average.  
    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 $40,850 in Shreveport, LA and $42,406 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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