And you think things are expensive here!

A recent Regional Snapshot released by the Atlanta Regional Commission compares income and cost of living in metro Atlanta with the same factors in the nation’s 15 largest and fastest-growing metro areas. It turns out only two of the 10 most populated metro areas have lower costs of living than ours. If you look at the fastest growing metro areas with more than a million people, our cost of living is the fifth lowest.

According to the Cost of Living Index Average of 2007 (Q1) through 2008 (Q1), housing in Atlanta is 6.9 percent less than the average for the 15 communities. Groceries are 1.9% less, and utilities are 13.9 percent less. Healthcare and transportation are each about 3% higher than the average.

The report also shows how Atlanta fares on necessities like T-bone steak, beer, Lipitor and Kleenex tissues (which are $2.69 in New York!).

An upcoming post will report on the second part of the analysis– growth in per capita income. Tune in soon to a blog near you.

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