A study by a New York-based financial technology company says Lafayette is the metro area safest from inflation in Louisiana and the third-safest in the United States.
A.J. Smith, managing editor and vice president of content strategy at SmartAsset, said over a 10-year period from 2004-14, the average annual change in cost of living in Lafayette was 1.03 percent, well below the area’s 5.11 percent increase in personal income.
That gave Lafayette an inflation index of 87.43 — best in the state — SmartAsset said.
Smith said the study used data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Council for Community and Economic Research to determine local income and the cost of living based on a varied package of consumer items such as shampoo, beer, milk and rent. Two hundred twenty-two metro areas were included in the study.
In Louisiana, Lafayette finished ahead of the Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport-Bossier and Monroe metro areas, the study said. All of those areas experienced growth in personal income over the decade, Smith said.
Nationally, Lafayette trailed only the top-ranked Burlington, Iowa, and second-ranked Midland, Texas, areas in the inflation index.
Burlington’s average change in cost of living was 0.02 percent and average change in personal income was 4.75 percent, the study suggested. Midland’s average annual cost of living increase was 3.98 percent, but its average change in personal income was a robust 8.44 percent.
Other top-10 ranked metro areas nationally were Tulsa, Oklahoma; Galesburg, Illinois; San Jose, California; Chicago; Indiana, Pennsylvania; San Antonio; and Ardmore, Oklahoma.
Smith said the information can be useful for companies planning investments or seeking employees from outside the market and for individuals trying to make decisions about where to live.
She said this was the first year SmartAsset did the study; it will update the information next year.
Inflation beaters: Louisiana metro areas
No. 1: Lafayette, 87.43 index, No. 3 nationally
No. 2: Lake Charles, 68.50 index, No. 18 nationally
No. 3: Baton Rouge, 67.73 index, No. 19 nationally
No. 4: New Orleans, 61.88 index, No. 40 nationally
No. 5: Shreveport-Bossier City, 61.54 index, No. 43 nationally
No. 6: Monroe, 53.57 index, No. 64 nationally