North Louisiana’s cost of living remains below the national average

Families in North Louisiana get more bang for their buck, because the cost of living for remains below the national average.

The Cost of Living Index for the first quarter of 2019 shows that the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is 90.3 percent of the national average ̶  nearly ten points below the rest of the nation.  The Shreveport-Bossier City MSA is 93.8 percent of the national average. 

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 such as housing, food, health care, etc. 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.

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

NLEP, an Accredited Economic Development Organization for 14 parishes in North Louisiana, gathers the pricing information for the Shreveport-Bossier City MSA. 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 (13.40%), housing (29.34%), utilities (8.94%), transportation (9.22%), health care (4.26% ); and miscellaneous goods and services (34.84%).

The Shreveport-Bossier City MSA includes all of Caddo, Bossier, De Soto and Webster Parishes. For the Shreveport-Bossier City MSA, the two lowest cost categories are housing at 84.9% and utilities at 85.8% of the national average. The next lowest cost categories are transportation (93.6%); miscellaneous goods and services (99.2%); grocery items (102.0%); and health care (102.9%).

The Monroe MSA includes all of Ouachita and Union Parishes. For the Monroe MSA, the two most affordable cost categories are utilities at 82.1% and miscellaneous goods and services at 89.4% of the national average. The next lowest cost categories are housing (89.8%); transportation (90.7% ); health care (95.4%); and grocery items (97.1%).

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