Wiregrass Newsroom: Dothan ranks eighth lowest in nation for living costs

Jared Ward and his wife Marie in their Dothan home.
Jared Ward and his wife Marie in their Dothan home.

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Jared Ward and his family moved to Dothan from Destin, Florida in 2005.

"I didn't really think I'd like moving to Dothan, Alabama.  But once we moved here, we love it," says Ward.

He says living in Destin took all the money they had.

"There it's a lot more costly as far as everything from gas to groceries to taxes."

But not anymore.  Now Jared and his wife live in a bigger house and can save money.

"It made it easier to make the money go further," he adds.

And it's all because Dothan is one of the top ten lowest cities in the country to live.

Researchers compile costs of everyday items from a gallon of milk to a utility bill and then compare that to other cities across the nation.

According to a report by the Council for Economic Research a pack of margarine in Dothan costs roughly $0.86 cents, while one in Manhattan--the most expensive place in the report--more than twice the price. That's a trend business leaders say only brings more recognition for the Circle City.

"I think it really helps areas like ours that have this advantage because it really, I think, makes our area a preferred area to live," says Dothan Chamber of Commerce President, Matt Parker.

Leaders say it's helping grow the area. The past ten years show 13% growth in Houston County alone, far surpassing the state's 3% growth rate.

And for Jared, moving to Dothan is paying off.

"It allows for more family time. It allows for a more stable home life."

Chamber of Commerce leaders say the Circle City's living costs also rank the lowest in comparison to other Alabama metro areas.

309 cities across the nation participated in the report.  Of the participating cities, the least expensive place to live is Pryor Creek, Oklahoma.

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