The Christmas shopping dollars of families in Denison and Sherman will go a little further this year compared to the national average — about 14 percent further, in fact. That figure was released Wednesday in the Third Quarter 2013 Cost of Living Index, which once again ranked the abutting cities among the ten least expensive urban areas in the United States.
“As a city, we are really proud of the high value our region provides to residents and businesses. The affordability just provides opportunities,” said Sherman Mayor Cary Wacker. “We’re delighted to be on that list again because our city works very hard to provide great services at a low cost.”
The index, which ranks 306 urban areas on categories such as housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation and health care, listed Norman, Okla. as the country’s cheapest city, 18 percent below the national average, and Manhattan, N.Y. as the nation’s most expensive, 121 percent above the average.
The Council for Community and Economic Research assigns the percentages based on more than 60 different product prices that are voluntarily submitted by local chambers of commerce and economic development organizations. The Sherman-Denison area came in at 86.2 percent of the national average.
For Denison Mayor Jared Johnson, the ranking was just a small part of what he sees as a long-term vision of growth for the area.
“Low cost of living is always a recognition that is useful when we are recruiting both businesses and families to the region,” said Johnson.
The other areas on the top-10 least expensive list, beginning with No. 2, are: Pueblo, Colo, 82.5; Harlingen, 83.4; Memphis, Tenn., 84.9; Youngstown-Warren, Ohio, 85.5; Covington, Ky., 85.7; Tupelo, Miss., 85.8; Augusta-Aiken, Ga.-S.C., 85.9; and Birmingham, Ala., 85.9.
The other areas on the top-10 most expensive list, beginning with No. 2, are: New York (Brooklyn), 175.6; Honolulu, 167.5; San Francisco, 159.9; New York (Queens), 151.4; Hilo, Hawaii, 149.1; San Jose, Calif., 148.8; Stamford, Conn., 143.3; Washington, 141.6; and Orange County, Calif., 140.7.