Proof Positive, Dothan’s Low Cost of Living
September 10, 2014
Dothan Eagle Newspaper
“Dothan Among Country’s Lowest on Cost of Living”
Posted: Tuesday, September 9, 2014
by Jennifer Calhoun
Dothan residents tend to have a lower cost of living than many areas of the country, especially when it comes to doctor visit costs and total energy costs, according to a recent report that found the city’s cost of living to be among the lowest in the country.
The report, which was published by the Council for Community and Economic Research, ranked Dothan 42nd out of the 279 metropolitan areas that participated. Dothan also was only a few index points below those that ranked in the top 10.
Dothan’s overall index number in the report was 89.5, which was based on relative prices for consumer goods and services, including housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, healthcare and other miscellaneous items.
The report showed that Dothan ranked just below South Bend, Indiana; Athens-Henderson County, Texas; and Morristown, Tennessee.
Matt Parker, president of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, said the city’s relatively low cost of living is helpful in recruiting businesses to the region.
“The cost index is important for relocation for businesses and persons,” Parker said. “The index gives them an apple to apples look at (about 280) metro areas and what living costs are. The Dothan, and really the Wiregrass area, come out great with the index.”
Low apartment rents, low total energy costs and low doctor costs helped drop Dothan’s overall cost-of-living costs, according to the report.
The city ranked second in the nation for low doctor visit costs, averaging $68.33 per visit, just 33 cents behind Jacksonville, Florida, which took the lead.
Dothan’s total average energy costs also were among the lowest in the state at $141.54 per month. Average apartment rents of $599 put the city second in the state after Decatur.
But some categories showed Dothan residents paid some of the top prices in the country for staples such as a dozen eggs and half-a-gallon of milk.
The report showed Dothan prices for a dozen eggs were $2.15 and milk was $2.71, ranking the city near the top of the country. In fact, Dothan’s milk prices were much higher than the ones in much larger cities such as Fort Worth, Phoenix and Portland, Oregon.
The top three least expensive places to live were: Harlingen, Texas; Norman, Oklahoma; and Pueblo, Colorado.
The top three most expensive places to live were Manhattan in New York City; Honolulu; and Brooklyn in New York City.