Tampa MSA, the 26th largest economy in the U.S., is also the most affordable market in Florida

September 23, 2016

The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA’s economic growth outpaced many other metro markets around the country last year, with GDP rising to $134 billion in 2015, a 2.7 percent increase from the prior year, according to the latest Bureau of Economic Analysis report. Professional and business services – one of the Tampa area’s strongest sectors – fueled that growth, with gains in trade, insurance, and real estate contributing as well.

With employers in industries across the board actively hiring in Tampa Bay, it’s a great time for talent in our market as well as those who are looking to move here to find their dream job. In addition to high job availability, our cost of living makes us a relative bargain compared to many other places around the country.

The Tampa market is the most affordable in the state of Florida, with a Cost of Living Index (COLI) of 89.4. The market’s score in the second quarter of 2016 dropped nearly 3 points from first quarter data and comes in at 10.6 points below the national average.

According to this second quarter report built off of data collected by the EDC’s research team, Tampa is a more affordable market than our major competitor metros as well. Orlando dropped nearly five points since second quarter last year to 93.5, Dallas jumped up to 98.5, and Denver dropped slightly to 108.7.

“The Cost of Living Index is great opportunity to benchmark how our grocery, housing, utilities, and related costs against other markets across the country,” said Robin DiSalvo, Market Research Analyst for the Tampa Hillsborough EDC.

The COLI index score is determined by the individual scores for the prices of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services, which are all weighted differently and in relation to trends in other markets.

The Tampa MSA’s housing prices, while going up, still earned a low score: 71.1.

When collecting prices for the index, the EDC’s research team examines everything from the price of a dozen eggs to apartment rent to bowling.

How does Tampa Bay stack up against the Charlotte metro area, for example?

Check out some comparisons below:

T-Bone Steak Home Price Gas Dentist Hair Cut Toothpaste Women’s Slacks Movie
Tampa $10.78 $217,854 $1.94 $88.18 $13.50 $2.21 $23.77 $9.77
Charlotte $11.18 $249,891 $1.98 $112.75 $17.50 $3.05 $33.79 $10.50

For more data on the Tampa market, please contact Robin DiSalvo at rdisalvo@tampabayedc.com.