When it comes to cost of living, Roanoke offers the best value of any metro in Virginia.

Numbers released by the Council for Community and Economic Research rank the Roanoke metro area as 61st lowest cost metro in the nation with costs lower than 77 percent of participating metros. With an index of 88.6, costs in Roanoke are lower than the national average of 100. [Updated March 2021, to reflect average annual data from 2020.]

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.

A low cost of living is important to individuals and businesses. It means lower bills and less money spent on an operating budget. Compared to other areas competing for your business, you cannot beat the Roanoke Region when it comes to affordability. 

The numbers put Roanoke well below the national average for costs and ahead of similarly sized metro markets in the South such as Richmond (96.5) and Chattanooga (93.5). New York City (Manhattan) ranked highest in cost of living with an index more than twice the national average. [Updated March 2021.]

Cost of Living Index: Market

Region/MarketCost of Living Index
Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia150.1
Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Newport News96.2
Roanoke Region88.6
Source: ACCRA, 2020 Annual Data.

Cost of living isn’t the only place where you’ll find the Roanoke Region of Virginia is advantageous for your company. You’ll find competitive industrial electric costs, construction costs, and labor costs as well.

Learn more