Cost of Living
One of the most appealing characteristics of living in the Greater New Orleans region is the very affordable cost of living, providing a cheaper alternative to other major metro areas across the country. Especially in the tech sector, living costs are up to 40% less than other markets that offer jobs in the same industries.
Based on a C2ER index, the New Orleans metro was calculated at a 106.1 composite score, with the nation’s average at 100 – an incredible feat for a region of our size. Compared with other large markets, housing prices in particular are below national averages. Furthermore, the housing market in the area is fairly strong, unlike many U.S. cities that are currently experiencing downturns from the recession.
There are other areas which provide a better cost analysis of life in the region, including a Zagat survey which named our region the most affordable dining area in the country. Earlier this year, USA Today chose New Orleans as the No. 1 city for gas savings, citing an average commute of 13.7 miles each day – the lowest of 51 metro areas.
Additionally, Greater New Orleans demonstrated the 3rd fastest wage growth in the nation, according to Careerbuilder.com, and Kiplinger cited an 11 percent income growth for the area in a 2011 report.
On top of the financial savings afforded by living in the New Orleans area, we are a valuable resource of a priceless commodity: joy. A 2009 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Louisiana as the No.1 Happiest State in the U.S.