Cost of Living Report for Florida’s Capital and New Economic Indicators


C2ER Cost of Living Index

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) recently published the first quarter, 2017 Cost of Living Index and the cost of living in Tallahassee-Leon County was found to be competitive within the region and lower than the average of the 265 urban areas that participated in the index. Covering sixty different items for which prices are collected quarterly by economic development organizations, university applied economic centers and chambers of commerce, the index is organized into six categories of consumer expenditures (grocery items, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services), the Cost of Living Index shows our community lower than the national average in several key areas. Specifically, Tallahassee-Leon County was:

  • 8.9% lower than the national average for housing,
  • 4.2% lower than the national average for transportation, and
  • 14.8% lower than the national average for utilities.

The overall Cost of Living in Tallahassee was found to be slightly (3.4%) below the national average. Of the six component categories of expenditures, only grocery items had a higher cost of living in comparison to the 265 urban areas participating in the index.

The Cost of Living Index is a valuable resource when evaluating how our community compares to others across the nation, but does not tell the entire story. For a broader look at our overall economic health, the Office of Economic Vitality (OEV) provides Tallahassee-Leon County’s most comprehensive database of economic indicators, routinely monitoring key economic metrics, and current trends and conditions. The data assembled by OEV is available on our website and in the OEV Quarterly Economic Dashboard. The wide-ranging data provided through these sources includes information as such as private sector job growth, which is up 4.3 percent in 2016 over 2015 levels!

Economic Indicators

OEV has recently added six new economic indicators to our data analytics. Our growing database the most comprehensive data set that shows economic growth in Tallahassee – Leon County. The OEV business and analytics team regularly adds to and updates current statistical data for the City-County and Tallahassee MSA in order to provide the most comprehensive picture of the economic status of our area.

The new six indicators added to our robust data reserve include:

  • Tallahassee MSA Labor Force shows monthly fluctuations in the metropolitan area’s labor force since 2005, with year-to-year comparisons by month. This visualization captures the rate of change in labor force among Tallahassee, Leon County, and surrounding counties in the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which generally reflects state labor trends, with slightly higher seasonal fluctuations.
  • State Government Employees in Tallahassee MSA tracks gradual decline in State government employment as a share of total employment since 1990. Coupled with job growth data, this visualization suggests that this percentage decrease is a result of an increase in jobs from the private sector.
  • MSA Agriculture illustrates the total agricultural sales and production for the Tallahassee Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), including Gadson, Jefferson, Leon, and Wakulla Counties. This visualization highlights the role Gadsden and Jefferson counties have in regional crop production and animal husbandry for the MSA.
  • Licensed Drivers in Leon County quantifies licensed drivers by age group and sex in Leon County since 2006. This indicator is instrumental in showing actual yearly demographic changes among people 15 years and older. The number of licensed drivers can help identify trends in permanent county residents.
  • Commercial Building Permits shows the number and value of permits issued since 2000. This indicates of economic activity, construction, and investment in the city-county.
  • The Florida Price Level Index, established by the Legislature, indicates the costs of hiring comparable personnel among the four countywide school districts of the Tallahassee metro area. The 2016 median index value was Orange County, with a value of 100.71. Leon County and the surrounding counties in the MSA are all below this average.

Contact the Office of Economic Vitality for specific data inquiries by calling Drew Dietrich at (850) 300-7562.

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