According to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index, the most affordable city in the entire U.S. is – drum roll please – Cedar Park, Texas. And for those of you not in the know, Cedar Park is a suburb on the northwestern side of Austin.
Red doesn’t pretend to necessarily understand the statistics, but here goes anyway. Cedar Park’s estimated income-to-expense ratio is 1.384. The cost-of-living in CP is estimated at $58,497. In turn, median household income is $80,954. That means that the average Cedar Parkian or Cedar Parker or Cedar Parkite (you choose) family earns about one and a third times the cost-of-living. In technical terms CP’s cost-of-living index is 92.8. Compare that to Manhattan which has an index of 248.6 which is tops in the land. It somehow escapes Red how people actually live in Manhattan but several million folks do just that.
Red remembers when Cedar Park was pretty much just a gas station on Hwy 183 – and not a very nice one at that. Now it has extensive parks, hike and bike trails, community gardens, a skate park, a sculpture garden, a large Austin Community College campus and about 75,000 souls living the good life on the edge of Austin. Oh, and still plenty of cedar.
Map of Cedar Park by Kevin Middleton