Tampa area’s cost of living remains below national average

January 26, 2021

The MSA’s cost of living index maintained an average of  96.6 for the fourth quarter of 2020

TAMPA, Fla. – (January 26, 2021) – The Tampa metro area scored a cost of living index of 96.6 during the fourth quarter of 2020. This average remained unchanged from the previous quarter. The cost of living in Tampa, according to the latest Cost of Living Index (COLI) report, is 3.6 percent lower than the national average index of 100.

Compared to Tampa’s competitive markets, Tampa has the third lowest cost of living index behind Jacksonville and Orlando. Tampa has the third lowest index in housing, following Charlotte and Jacksonville, respectively. Tampa also ranked third for miscellaneous goods and services, following Jacksonville and Orlando, respectively. Miscellaneous goods and services cover a wide range of categories of consumer spending on goods and services, including food away from home, personal care, apparel, household operations, and entertainment.

“COVID-19 did cause our cost of living to increase last quarter, but the good news is it seems to have leveled off. As we get through the other side of the pandemic, we’ll monitor our indices for any decreases or long-term impacts,” said Robin DiSalvo, market research analyst at the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council. “Florida does continue to dominate the Cost of Living Index with the top three most affordable metro areas, among our competitive markets. These low costs, coupled with our excellent quality of life, are attracting new residents by the droves as they flee the high costs from major markets like New York City, Chicago and San Francisco.”

Compared to other Florida markets, Tampa and Pensacola tied for fourth place behind Jacksonville, Orlando and Palm Coast-Flagler County. Tampa scored the second lowest index in utilities and the third lowest index in housing.

The COLI report measures relative price levels for consumer goods and services for participating areas. The average for all participating places, both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan, equals 100, and each participant’s index is read as a percentage of the average for all places. The composite index score is based upon individual scores for items including groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services, which are all weighted differently.

For more information about the area’s Cost of Living scores, and the latest market data, please visit the Tampa Bay EDC’s Market Intelligence section of its website: https://tampabayedc.com/market-intelligence/

About the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council
The Tampa Bay Economic Development Council is the lead designated economic development agency for Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace. Established in 2009 as a partnership between the public sector and private corporate investors, the EDC works to develop and sustain a thriving local economy through the attraction, retention and expansion of high-wage jobs and capital investment within targeted industry sectors, including Corporate Headquarters, Financial and Professional Services, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Defense and Security, Distribution and Logistics, and Manufacturing. The EDC exists because of the generous support of more than 100 corporations, Hillsborough County, and the cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace.