Amarillo cost of living receives national ranking

Amarillo cost of living receives national ranking
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

Amarillo, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo's low cost of living has received national attention as one of the most affordable places to live in the US.

The Council for Community and Economic Research takes into account six factors when calculating cost of living: transportation, groceries, housing, utilities, health and miscellaneous purchases.

Cities or metro areas with 100,000 people or more are considered for this report.

"You've got sort of a magic population size number here ,right around 200,000," said Dr. Neil Meredith, Assistant Professor of Economics at WTAMU. "You're not going to have overwhelming demand and neither are you going to have underwhelming supply."

In the southwest region of the nation, data from 2015 ranks Amarillo as the city with the third lowest cost of living.

Any cost of living index that is lower than 100 is below the national average.

Amarillo rings in at 85.7.

Easy access to a variety of resources is a big factor in achieving this ranking.

"You've got the interstate running through Amarillo, so you've got the traffic coming through here," said Meredith. "You've also got railroads flowing in and out. So you've got a lot of commerce and activity flowing through the region. We're also not that far away from gasoline producing facilities, so gas is cheaper here."

Of the six categories considered, Amarillo's lowest cost compared to the national average is housing.

"We've got plenty of land and space for development," said Meredith. "You've got a state and local environment that is friendly to development and investment. So more people are moving here, and it's an area that's ripe for economic activity."

Housing costs could start rising as more people move to the area and housing demand increases.

"It's not taking people long to sell their homes because there's a lot of demand for housing," said Meredith. "So I expect that that may put a little bit of upward pressure on housing."

Meredith does not expect the area's total cost of living to noticeably change any time soon.

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