MONROE, La. (News Release) — North Louisiana has one of the lowest costs of living in the state, giving families in our 14-parish region more bang for their buck.
According to the Cost of Living Index for the second quarter of 2019, the Shreveport-Bossier City MSA has a cost of living of 89.8 percent of the national average, primarily because of low cost housing and utilities.
The Monroe MSA has a cost of living of 88.4 percent of the national average ̶ also due in large part to the area’s affordable utilities and housing.
“Our low cost of living makes North Louisiana more appealing to families who can afford a better standard of living here,” said Scott Martinez, CEcD, President of North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP). “The low cost of living also allows employers to better recruit the skilled workforce they need.”
The Cost of Living Index, published quarterly by the Council for Community and Economic Research, 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 communities across the United States.
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.
NLEP, an Accredited Economic Development Organization serving 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 Caddo, Bossier, and De Soto Parishes.
For the Shreveport-Bossier City MSA, the lowest cost category is housing at 77.4 percent of the national average.
The next lowest cost categories are utilities (84.9%); transportation (91.5%); miscellaneous goods and services (96.8%); heath care (98.0%); and grocery items (98.6%).
The Monroe MSA includes Ouachita and Union Parishes. Monroe’s lowest cost category is utilities which is 79.3 percent of the national average.
The next lowest cost categories are housing (83.0%); miscellaneous goods and services (90.1%); health care (94.0); transportation (95.3%); and grocery items (95.5%).
To see how the cost of living in Shreveport and Monroe compares with other communities around the nation, NLEP offers a Cost of Living calculator on our website, nlep.org/COLIcalculator. 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 Monroe from competitor cities, while maintaining your current standard of living based on the Cost of Living Index.
For example, if you earned $50,000 in Dallas, TX you would only need to earn $42,965 in Shreveport. If you earned $50,000 in Denver, CO you only need to earn $39,725 in Monroe to enjoy a comparable standard of living.
See how Shreveport and Monroe compare to other major cities in the chart below.
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.