Cost of Living graphic

Southwest Louisiana has the lowest overall cost of living index in the state — just more than 12 percent lower than the national average, according to a recent report.

The Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index states that the Lake Charles metro area has an 87.7 percent overall cost of living index. Looking at other metro areas, the cost of living index is 88.6 percent in Hammond, 93.8 percent in Shreveport, 94.5 percent in Alexandria, 98.5 percent in Baton Rouge, and 102.7 percent in New Orleans.

The index is compiled using prices of 57 different goods and services, including groceries, housing, rental prices and doctor visits. Portia Metoyer, business development and data analyst for the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, and other staff members, collected prices on these items to aid the council in its study.

“The good news is we have a more affordable area than other cities (in Louisiana),” George Swift, alliance president and CEO, said on Thursday.

Swift said the alliance gathers prices quarterly to submit to the council. He said having a broad view of living costs in Southwest Louisiana is a helpful resource that can attract businesses looking to build and bring in new residents.

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