Tampa metro cost of living lowest in Florida, report says

January 25, 2016


A cost of living report released Monday indicates the Tampa metro area has a lower cost of living than cities like Denver, Phoenix, Dallas and Atlanta, and has the lowest in Florida.
For the second consecutive year, a Cost of Living Index report from the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. found that the Tampa area has the lowest cost of living in the state, scoring 91.6 on the 2015 index, compared to a national average of 100.
“What this score means is that Tampa metro’s housing, groceries, gas, clothing and health care costs are all lower than the national average,” said Randy Smith, director of research for the Tampa Hillsborough EDC, in a statement.
The Tampa metro has been occupying the first and second spot for affordability in Florida since 2011, the statement said. The EDC looks at consumer goods price variations on things like food, apartment rent, appliance repair and recreational activities like bowling.
However, exclusive data developed by American City Business Journals in 2015showed that Tampa Bay — and other Florida cities — are in the bottom 25 percent of metropolitan areas nationwide for purchasing power.
One of the reasons for that was that it costs more to live here.
“When considering income levels in a local area, it is important to consider more than just the raw numbers, but to take into account the cost of living. For instance, in order to have the same purchasing power as a person earning $50,000 in the Tampa Bay area, a resident of Honolulu would need to make $61,820, whereas someone in Akron, Ohio would only need to earn $44,470.”