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2019 Article Highlighting Tampa's Affordability

Tampa Registers Lowest Cost of Living Among Comparable Metro Areas

Tampa posted a cost of living index of 89.7 during the first quarter of 2019, which was a slight decline from the first quarter of 2018 when its cost of living index registered at 90.1.

By John Jordan | June 11, 2019

[Source: Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp.] Source: Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp.

TAMPA, FL—The Tampa metro area and two other major Florida cities, continue to score well in terms of their respective cost of living indices, which may explain why the Sunshine State is attracting growing numbers of residents and businesses from higher cost states in the Northeast and Southwest.

Tampa posted a cost of living index of 89.7 during the first quarter of 2019, which was a slight decline from the first quarter of 2018 when its cost of living index registered at 90.1.

The cost of living in Tampa, according to the latest Cost of Living Index report issued by the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., was nearly 10% lower than the national average index of 100.

The composite index score is based upon individual scores for items including groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services, which are all weighted differently.

Robin DiSalvo, marketing research analyst for the Tampa Hillsborough EDC and author of the report, notes that the top three metro markets in terms of lowest overall cost of living among competing metros are located in Florida. Jacksonville saw its COI fall from 93.5 to 90.9 during the same period and Orlando’s COI decreased from 94.3 to 90.9.

She adds that the lower cost of living “could be contributing factors to Florida’s high migration numbers from other states where the cost of living is significantly higher, like New York, Illinois, and Texas.”

Other positive data for Tampa in the COLI report included the city’s housing index, which came in lower than both the major metro areas and the Florida metro areas at 78.7.

At 86.2, Tampa’s utilities index was the lowest among Florida metros and third lowest among competitive major metro areas.