North Louisiana’s cost of living below national average

The Cost of Living in North Louisiana is more than 10 percentage points below the national average, meaning families living in the region get more value for their dollar.
The third quarter 2018 cost of living for the Shreveport-Bossier Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is 90 percent of the national average.  The Monroe MSA’s cost of living is 89.7 percent of the national average of 100 percent.

“Our region’s low cost of living attracts both businesses and families to North Louisiana,” said Scott Martinez, CEcD, President of North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP). “Families can afford a better standard of living here, and North Louisiana companies can hire the talent they need at competitive wages.”

The Cost of Living Index published quarterly by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) estimates the amount of money needed to sustain a certain level of living, including basic expenses. It is based on more than 90,000 prices covering 60 different items collected from hundreds of participating communities. The Cost of Living Index measures regional cost differences in consumer goods and services. It’s often used when comparing how expensive it is to live in one city versus another. The information is compiled into a composite index, which is based on six weighted categories – grocery items (13.47%), housing (28.15%), utilities (9.90%), transportation (8.99%), health care (4.57%) and miscellaneous goods and services (34.92%).

For the Shreveport-Bossier City MSA, the two lowest cost categories are utilities at 73% and housing at 81.3% of the national average. The next lowest cost categories are transportation and miscellaneous goods and services, both at 96.4%; grocery items (97.5%); and health care (97.8%).

NLEP, an Accredited Economic Development Organization for 14 parishes in North Louisiana, gathers the pricing information for the Shreveport-Bossier City MSA. The Shreveport-Bossier City MSA includes all of Caddo, Bossier, De Soto and Webster Parishes.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe Center for Business and Economic Research gathers the data for the Monroe MSA. The Monroe MSA includes all of Ouachita and Union Parishes. For Monroe, the two most affordable cost categories are health care at 82.5% and transportation at 82.7% of the national average. The next lowest cost categories are utilities at 84.9%; housing (88.9%); miscellaneous goods and services (91.9%); and grocery items (96.5%).