Niche.com released a 2019 report comparing cost of livings for cities throughout the country. The company pulls information from national census databases. It compares the costs for groceries, gas, services and housing. South Bend is behind only Fort Wayne when it comes to cities with a population of 100-thousand or more.
"It’s a good thing, a list we want to be on, a list we like being at the top of and a list that really helps bring attention to our area that we might not get otherwise," said South Bend Regional Chamber CEO Jeff Rea.
Rea says every month his staff releases information regarding city costs. He says he uses these results as selling points for incoming businesses or people.
"As companies are thinking about moving to one community to another they certainly want to know what costs are. A dollar in New York is worth how much in South Bend,” said Rea.
But does second in the country sound accurate to people?
“It’s hard to believe but I can believe it, said Trae Watson. "This is probably one of the best cheapest places to live. If you go to Chicago right now they are talking $1,500 for an apartment.”
Dakota Flynn is moving from Michigan City in part because of the cheaper cost of living.
“I live in an apartment, I pay only $400 but coming out here and buying a home is cheaper than renting," said Flynn.
Looking further into the numbers, South Bend may be second in large cities. But overall in Indiana... it ranks 131st.
"The reason for the discrepancies in those numbers is South Bend would be the number second place with 100,000 people or more for lowest cost of living," said Niche.com representative Jessica Hair. "In the places ranking it would be 131 out of all of those entities with at least 1,000 people."
Hair says smaller populations tend to see less taxes and rent which help reduce the cost of living. But she says second is still something to be proud of.
"When you are looking for a place to live you want to be able to enjoy it," said Hair. "You want to be able to live affordably and go out and enjoy the city. So it’s definitely something that South Bend residents can celebrate.”
To find where your city or town ranks, go to https://www.niche.com/places-to-live/search/cities-with-the-lowest-cost-of-living/