Cost of Living in the Roanoke Region Can’t Be Beat

When it comes to cost of living, Roanoke offers the best value of any metro in Virginia.
 
Annual numbers released by the Council for Community and Economic Research for 2016 rank the Roanoke metro area as 55th lowest cost metro in the nation with costs lower than 80 percent of participating metros. With an index of 89.1 costs in Roanoke are lower than the national average of 100. (And Roanoke ranks three spots higher than in 2015.)
 

cost of living roanoke

The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services. The composite index is based on six component categories – housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. This is where the overall ranking comes from.
 
But how do we know what things cost? Roanoke Regional Partnership staff members collect this data each quarter and submit it to the council so that you can see how our region fits into the larger picture. 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 universities in each participating urban area.

Cost of living information is an important tool for individuals and businesses. It provides a baseline comparison for how far a dollar will go. And in the Roanoke Region your dollar stretches further.
 
The numbers put Roanoke well below the national average for costs and ahead of similarly sized metro markets in the South such as Richmond (94.3), Asheville (95.6), and Chattanooga (95.7). New York City (Manhattan) ranked highest in cost of living with an index more than twice the national average (227.8), followed by San Jose, Calif. (222.9).

 
METROS IN VIRGINIA INDEX
Roanoke 89.1
Blacksburg 90.1
Lynchburg 91.0
Staunton-Waynesboro 93.4
Richmond 94.3
Harrisonburg 96.7
Winchester 97.7
Hampton Roads 97.7
Charlottesville 104.1
Northern Virginia (NOVA) 143.1

Compare your costs to see how much you’ll save in Roanoke.

Roanoke Offers Best Value in Virginia

roanoke best cost of living

The Roanoke Region remains the top value in Virginia with the lowest cost of living in the state.

Numbers from the Council for Community and Economic Research put the region well below the national average as well for the third quarter of 2015. The region boasts costs that are 10.2 percent below the national average and has lower costs than three-fourths of metros across the country.

The Roanoke Region is no stranger to value when it comes to high quality of life and low cost of living; it’s a combination that’s hard to beat.

The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services. The composite index is based on six component categories – housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. This is where the overall ranking comes from.

Here’s a look at the Virginia ranking:

Third Quarter 2015 Cost of Living Index
Virginia Metro Index
Charlottesville 106.9
Winchester 98.2
Virginia Beach 97.8
Richmond 95.6
Harrisonburg 94.6
Staunton-Waynesboro 94.3
Lynchburg 91.0
Roanoke 89.8

SOURCE: Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER)

Roanoke Regional Partnership staff members collect this data each quarter and submit it to the council so that you can see how our region fits into the larger picture. 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 universities in each participating urban area.

Cost of living information is an important tool for individuals and businesses. It provides a baseline comparison for how far a dollar will go. And in the Roanoke Region your dollar stretches further.

Compare your costs to see how much you’ll save in Roanoke.

Roanoke Region Tapping Into the Blue Economy

Will water become the defining factor in the future of economic development? That is the focus of a recent article in Area Development magazine by Dale Buss titled, “Water: The New Blue Economy?

In his writings, Buss points to studies that say over 80 percent of large consumer-goods companies cited water availability and quality as a fundamental concern for their business. He also notes that companies are becoming less concerned about energy resources, and more concerned about water resources. The reasons for this change are myriad, ranging from concerns about climate change and the threat of severe drought – like what is currently happening in California – to water-rich states becoming more aggressive in marketing their abundant water resources, to a broader recognition of water husbandry and sustainability as good business practice.

While the article focuses on the Midwest, with its Great Lakes and low pressure on water resources, being the biggest beneficiary, the Roanoke Region is in great position to take advantage of this shift. While much of the South and mid-Atlantic suffers from over development and population growth when it comes to water resources, Roanoke does not have such concerns.

Water in the region is both abundant and cheap; Roanoke currently only uses 43 percent of its available daily supply of treated water, and rates are 17 to 22 percent below the state average. On top of that, freshwater in the region is sourced from the headwaters of the Roanoke River and is of very high quality, making it an even more attractive asset.

Roanoke’s water story has already placed it in great position to land major economic development projects in the industry where water matters the most: brewing. The Roanoke region made it into the final round of two large brewery projects over the past two years: Sierra Nevada and Stone Brewing’s East Coast expansion searches both included Roanoke. Craft brewers take enormous pride in the quality of their product, and water is the most important factor regarding that quality.

Roanoke is already home to water-intense food processing entities including Coke and Pepsi bottling operations, a range of nano- and micro- breweries, and many baking, meats, and snack food businesses. But it is not just those industries that rely heavily on water that are concerned about resources drying up.

“It’s becoming more important not only to industrial companies that use significant water supplies in their operations, where it would be a key item anyway, but also for other operations such as offices and distribution centers and R&D facilities where water isn’t crucial to their operations,” Larry Gigerich, managing director of Ginovus, an Indianapolis-based site consulting firm, told Area Development. “In fact, companies’ biggest concern from a natural resource point of view these days isn’t energy, because they’re feeling more comfortable about supplies. The concern now is water, which will really have an impact in the future.”

The Roanoke Region’s abundance of cheap, quality freshwater puts it in prime position to capitalize on the changing priorities both now and in the future. When combined with low business costs, strategic location, and high quality of life, Roanoke’s water supply is a major part of Roanoke’s appeal to a wide range of industries.

As water resources become scarcer, and therefore more important, to companies seeking to locations for their business, the region’s water story will only become that much more attractive.