Pittsburg cost of living far below average, lowest among urban areas in Kansas

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PITTSBURG, Kans. — One of the most affordable cities in Kansas could be closer than you think.

It’s really close if you live in Pittsburg — because we’re talking about Pittsburg.

We are — in general, major urban areas in the state like Manhattan and Wichita have a lower cost of living — 10-percent below the national average.

Pittsburg takes it a step further. It sits at 18-percent below the national average.

And this has been a motivating factor for some people to move to the area.

“You go to the movies it’s like 12 to 13 dollars a person, you go out here it’s less than five dollars a person,” said Stephanie Watts, Pittsburg Resident.

When compared to 258 urban areas across the country, Pittsburg has the lowest cost of living in Kansas according to the Center for Economic Development and Business Research.

So when she was considering where to move, the option became clear for Stephanie Watts.

“We looked at possibly moving to Kansas City or here, and we literally wrote down the pros and cons, we looked at housing in Kansas City, we looked at housing here, to us it made a big difference in our decision to move here, we have twice the house we had at half the cost,” said Watts.

This continues with cheaper groceries or lower gas prices.

“Fuel’s been a little bit cheaper here as well, we don’t travel as much cause we’re not commuting 20 to 30 minutes, some of my jobs took me an hour away in Florida, I mean everything kind plays into the big pool of how much cheaper life is here,” said Watts.

Even within the region, Pittsburg continues to manage lower costs for things like utilities.

“We’ve compared water and sewer rates across the region, and we’re very low, we’re either midpoint or below. Those are the kind of things when people are looking, they’re looking at the costs every family is going to have every month, if you can stay at the lower end of that scale it really helps,” said Daron Hall, Pittsburg City Manager.

Pittsburg officials hope to use this low cost to their advantage and further their economic development.

“Quality of jobs, quality of life those are big, and when you’re getting the most bang for your buck that’s what you’re looking for,” said Hall.

According to the same study, out of the seven major cities surrounding Kansas, Oklahoma City is the cheapest cost of living at 13-percent below the national average.

Denver on the other hand is the most expensive, at 13-percent above the national average.

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