Robin DiSalvo, the marketing research analyst for the nonprofit Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, which authored the report, says housing and utilities had a lot to do with it.
“Everyone always asks what contributes to Tampa’s low index. Well, this year it is our housing and utilities indices,” DiSalvo said in a statement. “Tampa scores lowest in housing and second lowest in utilities. With housing costs making up most of one’s living expenses, this favorable average puts Tampa at a great advantage compared to the other major metros across the country.”
The Cost of Living Index used pricing information on goods and services like utilities, housing, groceries, health care and transportation to compare the Tampa metro area to other Florida locales and competitive markets in the Sunshine State and beyond.
At 89.1, the overall cost of living in Tampa Bay in 2018 was lower than the national average, 100. But the region’s grocery score exceeded that average at 103.7.
Daytona Beach and Jacksonville had the second and third lowest costs of living in Florida, respectively, while Fort Lauderdale ranked as the most expensive place to reside.
Looking at the data from competitive markets around the country, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Jacksonville finished with the next-lowest costs of living after the Tampa metro area, while Denver had the highest.
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