COOKEVILLE – Cookeville has been named one of the least expensive areas to live in the nation. According to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index (COLI), Cookeville is the eighth least expensive out of the 279 areas that participated in the first quarter 2014 report.
The Council for Community and Economic Development (C2ER) measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile. It is based on more than 90,000 prices covering 60 different items for which prices are collected quarterly by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and university applied economic centers in each participating area.
“Cookeville has been consistently ranked as one of the least expensive places to live in the nation for two decades,” said David Prowse, Cookeville-Putnam County Convention & Visitors Bureau chairman. “This area offers such a high quality of life at a low cost.”
In-depth cost of living surveys are administered by the Cookeville-Putnam County Convention & Visitors Bureau as part of their retiree recruitment efforts. In order to be considered for ranking and analysis by the C2ER, specific and detailed requirements must be met and submitted each quarter.
Cookeville-Putnam County is one of 16 Tennessee communities deemed a best place to retire and is part of the Retire Tennessee program, an effort of the Tennessee Economic and Community Development Department.
“Low cost of living is one of the top factors retirees are looking for when researching where to relocate,” Retire Tennessee Director Ramay Winchester said. “We are proud to have Cookeville as part of our statewide program. Having a community ranked in the top 10 least expensive communities in the nation truly brings added value to the Retire Tennessee program.”
Winchester also serves as immediate past chair of the American Association of Retirement Communities (AARC), a nationally recognized organization. Cookeville-Putnam County is one of five Tennessee communities earning a seal-of-approval by the AARC.
The national average for all 279 participating areas in the COLI is given a benchmark of 100. Based on that figure, Cookeville’s rating of 85.2 ranked just under the nation’s least expensive places to live. Harlingen, Texas, with 79.8, was rated the least expensive area. Cities two through seven were Norman, Oklahoma; Pueblo, Colorado; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Memphis; Temple, Texas; and McAllen, Texas. After Cookeville, the final two spots were filled by Tupelo, Mississippi, and Ashland, Ohio.
With a rating of 217, over double the national average, Manhattan, N.Y., was ranked the most expensive place to live, followed by Honolulu, Hawaii; and Brooklyn, N.Y.