Memphis: Fourth-Most Affordable City

By Jennifer Johnson Backer

Memphis is the fourth-most affordable city to live in the nation, data from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) show.

(Daily News File/Lance Murphey)

According to the C2ER rankings of more than 300 metropolitan areas, only Harlington, Texas, Norman, Okla., and Pueblo, Colo., have lower average local costs. The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the average cost of consumer goods and services such as grocery bills, housing and rent, utility, transportation and health care.

It is based on more than 90,000 prices covering 60 different items for which prices are collected quarterly by chambers of commerce (including the Greater Memphis Chamber), economic development organizations and university applied economic centers in each participating area.

New York (Manhattan), Honolulu, New York (Brooklyn) and San Francisco rounded out the top four most-expensive cities.

“Memphis’ Cost of Living Index was the lowest among all of the top 100 metropolitan areas in the United States, including cities like Jacksonville, Fla., Louisville, Ky., and Oklahoma City, Okla., all nearly the same size as the Memphis metro,“ said Adrienne Johnson, director of research at the Greater Memphis Chamber.

Johnson said Memphis’ No. 4 ranking helps market the Bluff City to businesses that are considering relocating to the region.

“Even a CEO looks at how much money they are going to save when they are moving from one place to another,” she said, adding that the ranking also helps lure young talent to the area.

“Having a low cost of living is paramount to young professionals,” Johnson explained. “Lower basic living costs equals more money for dining out, shopping and vacations.”

Least Expensive:

1. Harlingen, Texas
2. Norman, Okla.
3. Pueblo, Colo.
4. Memphis, Tenn.
5. Youngstown-Warren, Ohio
6. Temple, Texas
7. Omaha, Neb.
8. Jonesboro, Ark.
9. Sherman-Denison, Texas
10. Idaho Falls, Idaho

Most Expensive:

1. New York (Manhattan), N.Y.
2. Honolulu, Hawaii
3. New York (Brooklyn), N.Y.
4. San Francisco, Calif.
5. New York (Queens), N.Y.
6. San Jose, Calif.
7. Hilo, Hawaii
8. Stamford, Conn.
9. Orange County, Calif.
10. Washington, D.C.