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Cost of Living in New Orleans

It’s easy to live well — and affordably — in Greater New Orleans.

A strong economy, access to convenient transportation routes and a variety of free year-round events across the region are just a handful of reasons why residents enjoy a lower cost of living in New Orleans compared to other places throughout the nation.

The Intuit Spending Index ranked New Orleans as one of the Top 5 Least Expensive Cities for Households in the nation, where monthly expenses were calculated as 35 percent less than Austin and 29 percent less than Portland. Intuit’s study, which takes into account everyday consumer expenditures such as groceries and various household expenses, echoes findings reported by leading cost of living tracking indices such as the Council for Community and Economic Research’s (C2ER) Cost of Living Index.

In its 2014 annual report, C2ER ranked grocery costs in the New Orleans area lower than cities such as Chicago, Boston and Charlotte, while the costs of everyday goods and services rank lower in New Orleans than Denver, Cleveland, Boston and New York City.

The region is also home to affordable options for housing — both in the city and the suburbs — due to homeowner-friendly tax policies like Louisiana’s homestead exemption. Through this exemption, homeowners in Louisiana do not pay property taxes on the first $75,000 of their primary residence. This valuable tax exemption helps enhance residents’ access to quality real estate and neighborhoods while driving down tax-related expenses for those who live in Southeast Louisiana. Housing costs in New Orleans are less than one-third of those in San Francisco, nearly half of what residents of Boston pay and far lower than a number of other cities ranging from Houston to Denver.

In addition, residents of Southeast Louisiana enjoy access to some of the lowest utility rates in the nation thanks to the region’s close geographic location to top producers of natural gas, driving prices lower than in cities such as Chicago, Miami and San Francisco.

 
 

Source – Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) Cost of Living Index, 2014 Annual Report