Dayton cost of living improves

Stuart McDowell of Oakwood took this photo on a midsummer’s evening in downtown Dayton as the sun set. CONTRIBUTED

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Stuart McDowell of Oakwood took this photo on a midsummer’s evening in downtown Dayton as the sun set. CONTRIBUTED

Duel reports out Thursday paint somewhat conflicting pictures about Dayton’s status as an affordable place to live.

The latest Cost of Living report is out, and that report, which is produced by the Council for Community and Economic Research, shows the Dayton metro’s Composite Index score fell from 93.6 in the first quarter of the year to a more affordable 89.2 in the second quarter.

“The national average is rated at 100, which means people in the Dayton region pay more than 10 percent less for goods and services than the rest of the country,” the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce said

Last quarter’s report put the cost of living in Dayton above that of Cincinnati and Columbus, but these latest numbers show Dayton’s cost of living is now lower than those two Ohio cities, the chamber noted. Columbus’s index is 90.6, Cincinnati is 93.3, and Cleveland’s cost of living is higher than the national average at 101.2, the report said.

In another report released Thursday, however, financial web site "GO Banking Rates" said it compared living expenses in 270 U.S. cities to arrive at the listing of 31 cities where residents are said to be able get by on less than $50,000 a year.

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Of the 31 cities, Columbus is ranked 21st, Indy is 18 and Cincinnati comes in at No. 10, Ohio’s most affordable big city, according to that ranking.

Dayton did not make that list.

The “most affordable” city in the nation is El Paso, Texas, according to the site, which says just over $40,000 is needed there.

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Earlier this summer, an “Economic Indicators” report — also shared by the Chamber of Commerce — showed that the cost of living in Dayton was higher than either Columbus or Cincinnati.

In the first quarter this year, that report said. the cost of living in the Dayton area was 93.6 percent of the national average, compared to 92.5 percent in Cincinnati, and 88.7 percent in Columbus, based on cost of living index figures compiled by the Council for Community and Economic Research and released by the chamber in June.

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