Shreveport-Bossier one of the most affordable places to live in Louisiana in 2017

By Sean Green

BIZ Magazine

The 2017 Annual Average Cost of Living Index ranks the Shreveport- Bossier City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) among some of the most affordable places to live in Louisiana.

The Shreveport-Bossier City MSA — which includes all of Caddo, Bossier, De Soto and Webster Parishes — has a cost of living of 90.9 percent of the national average, primarily because of its low cost housing and utilities.
North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP), an accredited economic development organization serving 14 parishes in north Louisiana, gathers the pricing information for the Shreveport-Bossier City MSA.

The Cost of Living Index, published 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 50,000 prices 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.

The information is compiled into a composite index, which is based on six weighted categories – grocery items (13.61%), housing (27.59%), utilities (10.06%), transportation (9.59%), health care (4.00%) and miscellaneous goods and services (35.15%).

For the Shreveport-Bossier City MSA, the lowest cost category is utilities at 75.1 percent of the national average  ̶ the lowest in the State. Housing is only 83.8 percent of the national average. The next lowest cost categories are transportation (93.4%); heath care (94.8%); miscellaneous goods and services (96.8%); and grocery items (99.2%).

“Our low cost of living means families get more bang for the buck which in turns enhances our standard of living,” said Scott Martinez, CEcD, President of NLEP. “Our housing, healthcare and utility costs are so much more affordable than the rest of the State and the nation, which means families here have more disposal income.”