The Cost of Living in New Orleans, Louisiana

Phenomenal food, a relaxed pace of life, and much more await you if you’re moving to New Orleans. (Hello, Mardi Gras!) One of the best things about New Orleans, though, is the cost of living. It’s not extremely cheap but, compared to the rest of the United States, The Big Easy is definitely affordable. If thoughts of beignets, boozy days, and brass bands are filling your head, read on! Everything you need to know about the cost of living in New Orleans is coming up next! 

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Overall Cost of Living in New Orleans: Affordable

The good news about New Orleans is that, while not super cheap, it’s still an affordable city. With a score of 96/100, you’ll pay 4% less than the national average. Compared to Carlsbad, California’s score of 191/100, New Orleans is a dream, cost-wise. Indeed, only one cost, transportation, is above the national average of the major cost indices. (More on that coming right up.) One reason it’s cheaper to live here because, after Hurricane Katrina, many people left the city. That caused a housing glut, which in turn caused the housing and rental prices to drop. 

By the way, many people rent storage units in NOLA. Some, for example, use them to store antiques and collections. Others use New Orleans storage units for their work, storing equipment, supplies, and overstock there. It’s a safe, easy and affordable way to get extra storage space. There are also temperature-controlled storage units, which protect fragile things from heat and humidity. 

Transportation Costs in New Orleans: Expensive

Even though there are fewer vehicles on the road, transportation costs in new Orleans are comparatively costly. Surprisingly, they’re higher than many other cities of the same size, an unfortunate pain for many NOLA drivers. Costly public transportation is one of the reasons, as well as higher auto insurance rates. (Hurricanes tend to push rates higher, regrettably.) Nearly 8% of NOLA residents use public transportation, though, which is higher than in many cities. Also, almost 10% carpool, another factor that’s higher than most. That makes commuting times a bright spot at 23 minutes one way compared to the national average of 27 minutes. This is really the highest gap in the cost of living in New Orleans on our list!

The Cost of Living in New Orleans, Louisana

Grocery Costs Living in New Orleans: Average

Now that we’ve gotten transportation costs out of the way, we can focus on affordable costs in New Orleans. The first is groceries which, while they won’t set any records for affordability, aren’t high either. In fact, they’re almost the same as the national average at 99/100. That’s good news for folks with big families or anyone on a fixed budget. Plus, the food here is, in a word, exquisite! It’s a definite highlight of New Orleans, where the food scene is one of the best in the country! 

Miscellaneous Costs in New Orleans: Affordable

Going out to get your hair cut, buy some clothes, or see a show? If yes, you’ll be glad to know that, in New Orleans, they’re all more affordable than the national average. Now, to be sure, the costs of things like clothing, seeing a show, and beauty care aren’t dirt cheap. Still, they aren’t out-of-this-world expensive like many other major American cities. That makes getting your nails done, joining a gym, and other activities a bit more palatable, budget-wise.

Cost of Utilities in New Orleans: Affordable

As we go further, the cost of living in New Orleans gets cheaper. (Yay!) This next one, utilities, is 13% less than the national average at 87/100. When you consider how hot and humid it gets here, that’s excellent news indeed! New Orleans has a reputation for long, sweltering summers and humidity you can cut with a knife! You will need air conditioning but, luckily, you won’t pay through the nose to get it. 

Healthcare Costs in New Orleans: Affordable

When it comes to the cost of living in New Orleans, healthcare is a definite bright spot. With a score of 85/100, it’s 15% lower than the national average! For young families or retirees, that’s terrific news. It means you’ll spend 15% less on doctor visits, emergency room visits, and other medical care. Even better, New Orleans boasts 335 physicians per 100,000 people. Compared to the US average of 210 physicians per 100,000 people, that’s excellent! 

The Cost of Living in New Orleans, Louisiana

Cost of Housing in New Orleans: Affordable

Our final cost index today is also the most important and, thank goodness, the most affordable! It’s housing, which gets a score of 77/100. That’s an excellent score, no matter how you slice it! You’ll pay nearly 25% less for a new home here, and renting a home or apartment is much cheaper also. The median cost for a home here is $178,500. That’s slightly higher than the Louisiana average of $143,600 but far lower than the national average of $231,000. (Just for fun, compare that to the average in Carlsbad, California. The average median home price there is over $850,000!)


Doesn’t This Make You Want to Move to New Orleans?

Us too! Read more about how to move to New Orleans and the pros and cons of living in New Orleans! After that, check out the best storage units around New Orleans:


New Orleans is an Affordable American City!

After reading the indices above, we think you’ll agree that the cost of living in New Orleans is affordable. Here at Southern Self Storage, we love The Big Easy, and so do our customers! (They tell us all the time!) If you need a New Orleans storage unit, ours are safe, clean, and affordable. 

Questions? You can chat with a manager online anytime you like. Even better, come to one of our New Orleans storage facilities and say hello to our on-site manager! They can answer all of your questions and show you the different storage unit sizes we offer. (It makes choosing the correct size much easier!) Until then, we wish you the very best in your new NOLA home!


Leave a Comment