THE COUNCIL FOR COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (C2ER) RANKS MEMPHIS’ COST OF LIVING INDEX AS FIFTH LOWEST IN NATION

Release date: 2/6/2013

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) ranked Memphis as the fifth lowest in the nation in terms of cost of living (COL Index), behind Harlingen, TX (79.5%), Norman, OK (80.9%) Ardmore, OK (84.2%) and Pueblo, CO (85.1%), much smaller cities in terms of population and size.  Memphis Cost of Living Index was 85.6%.

“Memphis is the least expensive major metropolitan area to live in the continental United States,” said Adrienne Johnson, director of research, Greater Memphis Chamber. “A family of four can save on housing, groceries and receive the best healthcare in the country while building their savings accounts.”

The data is based on prices from grocery stores, housing, utility, healthcare and other miscellaneous goods and services simultaneously gathered by volunteer organizations around the country. The pricing period lasts 3 days during the first three quarters of each year.

The Greater Memphis Chamber’s research department has been pricing for the index since 1990 and has never missed a quarter.   The index is a vital economic tool used by site selectors, economic development organizations, companies and individuals to compare living costs across multiple communities.

“Since 2001, Memphis’ Cost of Living Index has been consistently 14% below the national average,” says Johnson. “Earned income can go a long way here…where else can you find a brand new 4-bedroom, 3 bath house priced around $180,400?”

The low cost of living ranking is an important selling point for retaining a quality workforce and attracting businesses along with their jobs and investment.

The Greater Memphis Chamber is the lead economic development agency for Memphis/Shelby County, and is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of 2,300 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals.