Affordable and attainable housing and cost of living in Sarasota County for the workforce that keeps the local economy humming is a constant topic of conversation among the public and private sectors.
Still, according to financial technology company Smart Asset, the county ranks in the top 10 of most affordable counties in Florida. Its eighth annual study on places with the most purchasing power measured the cost of living in each county relative to income.
That criteria ranked Sarasota County as No. 8 in the state, with an annual cost of living of $42,119 and a per capital income of $70,844, resulting in a purchasing power index of 41.31%. This compares to the county with the most purchasing power in the state, Indian River, with a $39,399 annual cost of living and a per capita income of $84,607, a purchasing power index of 60.6%
Sarasota County also ranked No. 8 in 2021, though it did experience a significant drop in purchasing power from 59.96% with a cost of living of $36,873 against a per capita income of $62,236, evidence of what government and business leaders are describing as a significant threat to the workforce population here.
Living expenses factors included the essentials of housing, food, taxes, education and child care, transportation, and health care. Smart Asset calculated two cost of living metrics for a household with one adult and no dependents. One reflected the baseline cost of living in each location and the other expenditures typical to someone making the county’s median income. Those two numbers were combined, using a weighted average based on how close each county’s per capita income is to the minimum livable income in that area. Local taxes were them subtracted front hat figure.
Purchasing power in each county by was determined by the weighted cost of living as a percentage of per capita income, then ranked based on per capita income relative to the cost of living.
The county was not ranked in the top 10 in the six previous years, dating to the inaugural study in 2015.
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