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By Shannon Martin
Updated on Aug 4, 2022
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff, Staff Editor.
The cost of living in Louisiana is slightly more affordable than other places in the country—depending on where in Louisiana you live. However, just like everywhere else, the cost of housing, food, healthcare, and utilities is rising fast. As a result, a single adult needs at least $33,592 to live comfortably in Louisiana, while a couple with two children needs a combined income of $94.390.
Louisiana has a little something for everyone, from the fast-paced life of New Orleans or a slower, more family-oriented setting like Natchitoches, one thing they have in common is that the cost of living in Louisiana is getting more and more expensive every day.
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How high is the cost of living in Louisiana?
The fastest way to see how the cost of living in Louisiana ranks compared to other states is by looking at the cost of living index, which measures how much it costs to live in different locations based on factors like average income, cost of housing, food, etc. 100 is the baseline, so anything above 100 is more than average, and anything below 100 is less. Louisiana is presently at 93.
This cost of living can be broken down even further by city and parish. For example, New Orleans has an index of 101.6 while Lafayette is at 88. For this article, we will be looking at the state as a whole, examining categories like food, healthcare, housing, and transportation.
Here is a breakdown of the cost of living in Louisiana compared to the national average.
Food: $280 to $821 per month
One expenditure we all have is food costs. For this article, we’ll be considering necessities like your monthly grocery bill.
According to MIT's Living Wage Calculator data, the annual cost of food in Louisiana ranges from $3,351 to $9,856, depending on location and family size. A single person without children spends about $280 per month on groceries while a family of four will spend around $821. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average monthly grocery bill for US households in 2020 was approximately $411.
Keep in mind that these numbers change constantly and do not include extras like trips to your local watering hole or your non-fat, half-caff, no foam white mocha latte—with whipped cream.
Healthcare: $227 to $1,167 per month
The national average cost of healthcare is $477 per month, and Louisiana is on par. The average Louisianian pays around $227 per month for a single-person plan, and a family plan is approximately $1,167 per month.
Depending on the situation, the cost of healthcare varies wildly. Some people choose a high-deductible plan to pay as little as possible. On the other hand, folks with conditions requiring routine doctor visits or several medications may opt for a plan with low co-pays, resulting in a much higher premium.
Housing: $721 to $1140 per month
The cost of housing in Louisiana tends to be much lower than in other parts of the country. The typical home value in the Pelican State as of July 2022 is $213,658, which is about 13% higher than last year.
Renter's and owner's costs will differ. Here is a breakdown of monthly housing payments for different sizes of apartments:
- Median monthly mortgage payment: $1,279
- Average studio rent: $630
- Average one-bedroom rent: $721
- Average two-bedroom rent: $841
- Average three-bedroom rent: $966
- Average four-bedroom rent: $1,152
Again, this cost will change depending on where you want to live. For example, the average price of a three-bedroom apartment in Lafayette is $1,335. However, you can rent a three-bedroom in Shreveport for only $625.
Currently, the average home value in the U.S. is $337,560, with rents at around $1,904 per month. So, Louisiana isn't doing too bad!
Transportation: $459 to $1,251 per month
Getting from point A to point B is another factor in the cost of living in Louisiana. On average, Louisianians pay between $459 to $1,251 per month for transportation. The national average is $818 per month for a two-person household.
Here are a few things to consider that impact how much you might pay for transportation in Louisiana:
- Jazzy pass in New Orleans: $45 per month
- Average commute time in Louisiana: 23.8 minutes
- Average cost of a gallon of gas, June 2022: $6.25
How much you need to live comfortably in Louisiana: $33,585 to $94,383 per year
With this information, a single adult must make at least $33,585 per year or $16.15 per hour to live comfortably in Louisiana. A family of four would need a household income of $94, 383 per year or $45.26 per hour.
Notice we said comfortably. Many, if not most, people do not enjoy a fiscally carefree life—Louisiana's minimum wage is $7.25. Some non-essential costs more than others. Check out this list with the cost of fun things to do in Louisiana compared to the national average:
- Average cost of a date: $98 (U.S. average: $116)
- Average cost of a night at the movies: $24.00 (U.S. average: $10.61)
- Average cost of a Big Mac: $4.15 (U.S. average: $3.99)
- Jazzfest tickets: $260 and up per person (U.S. average festival ticket price: $200-$600)
- Average sales tax: 9.55% (US average: 5.09%)
The closer to a bigger city, the harder it is to live comfortably at $33,585 per year. If you are lucky enough to find a place within a reasonable driving distance of the nightlife, a single person could live very well. It all depends on what you need from life.
The Louisiana cities with the lowest cost of living
You might be wondering how to stretch your dollar a little further. One option is to find a few areas with a lower cost of living, and Louisiana has plenty of them! Here are five cities with the lowest cost of living:
- Patterson (COLI: 44.88): This little town, deep in the swamps and cypress trees, has the lowest cost of living in the state!
- Larose (COLI: 45.90): This affordable town is small, but there is plenty to do with several parks and an active outdoor community.
- Meraux (COLI: 46.81): Meraux is a suburb of New Orleans, so it is perfect for people who want to live near a big city, but not in one.
- Schriever (COLI: 47.31): This is one of the smallest, but most affordable towns, with a population of only 6,500.
- Franklin (COLI: 49.9): A hidden gem with 400 historical properties and was named one of the top 100 small towns in America.
If you don't mind small town life, your hard-earned money will go far in any of the towns we listed.
How to easily find home and car insurance in Louisiana
While Louisiana's cost of living is lower than the national average, everyone could use a little more money back in their pocket. The average cost of car insurance in Louisiana is about $374 per month. Jerry can help make that even lower!
Jerry is America's best-rated insurance super app saving users on average $800+ per year on car insurance. Downloading the Jerry app will be the easiest thing you do today!
Once you download Jerry, answer a handful of questions that will take roughly 45 seconds to complete. You'll immediately get car insurance quotes for coverage similar to your current. And we are more than just car insurance! You can also save on homeowners insurance or renters insurance.
“All of the insurance quotes I saw were over $600 a month because of my age. Then I stumbled upon Jerry, and they sliced my price in half! They found me the lowest rate, thank goodness.” —Will V.
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How much does it cost to live in Louisiana per month?
A single person in Louisiana needs approximately $2,798.75 per month to live comfortably.