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Bossier has state’s most affordable cost of living

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The Shreveport-Bossier City metro area has the lowest cost of living in the state according to data released Monday.

The Cost of Living Index for the third quarter of 2016 shows the Shreveport-Bossier City metro area at 89.4 percent of the national average

The Cost of Living Index estimates the amount of money needed to sustain a certain level of living, including basic expenses such as housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services.

“Our region’s low cost of living means families can get more bang for their buck,” said Scott Martinez, CEcD, president of North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP). “Families in North Louisiana can afford a better lifestyle. One of the biggest expenses for any family is housing; and North Louisiana’s housing costs average nearly 13 points below the national average.”

The Cost of Living Index is compiled by the Council for Community and Economic Research and measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services. It is based on more than 90,000 prices collected during the same period by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and universities in participating urban areas.

NLEP, an Accredited Economic Development Organization for 14 parishes in North Louisiana, gathers the pricing information for the Shreveport-Bossier City MSA. The information is compiled into a composite index, which is based on six weighted categories – grocery items (13.24%), housing (28.04%), utilities (10.31%), transportation (11.16%), health care (4.36%) and miscellaneous goods and services (32.89%).

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 utilities at 73.5 percent of the national average and housing at 86.0 percent of the national average.

The Cost of Living Index is often used when comparing how expensive it is to live in one city versus another.