The Council For Community And Economic Research (C2ER) Ranks Memphis' Cost Of Living Index As Fourth Lowest In Nation

Release date: 8/19/2013

Memphis, TN – The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) ranked Memphis as the fourth lowest city in the nation in terms of cost of living index, behind Harlingen, TX (81.1%), Norman, OK (84.2%) and Pueblo, CO (84.4%). 

“Memphis’ Cost of Living Index was the lowest among all of the top 100 metropolitan areas in the United States, including cities like Jacksonville (FL), Louisville (KY) and Oklahoma City – all nearly the same size as the Memphis metro,“ said Adrienne Johnson, Director of Research, Greater Memphis Chamber.

The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services such as grocery bills, housing, utility, transportation and healthcare.  It is based on more than 90,000 prices covering 60 different items for which prices are collected quarterly by chambers of commerce (including the Greater Memphis Chamber), economic development organizations and university applied economic centers in each participating area.

The Greater Memphis Chamber’s research department has been pricing for the index since 1990 and has never missed a quarter.

“After income, living costs are an important factor for recent grads who are considering job offers and employers trying to attract new talent.  Lower basic living costs equal more money for dining out, shopping and vacations.  Consider Memphis a big city with small town appeal.”

Least Expensive:

1. Harlingen TX
2. Norman OK
3. Pueblo CO
4. Memphis TN
5. Youngstown-Warren OH
6. Temple TX
7. Omaha NE
8. Jonesboro AR
9. Sherman-Denison TX
10. Idaho Falls ID

Most Expensive:

1. New York (Manhattan )NY
2. Honolulu HI
3. New York (Brooklyn) NY
4. San Francisco CA
5. New York (Queens) NY
6. San Jose CA
7. Hilo HI
8. Stamford CT
9. Orange County


Celebrating its 175th year, 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.