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Nashville Region's Lower Cost of Living Means More Discretionary Income

by Garrett Harper | Nov 04, 2013
Nashville-area residents find a wide range of opportunities for enjoying our area's culture. In doing so, Nashvillians also spend their discretionary income in many ways.

Discretionary income is the personal income that remains after you pay basic expenses, such as taxes, food and shelter. Recently released data for the third quarter 2013 shows Nashville’s cost of living for leisure activity (aggregated as “miscellaneous goods and services”) to be 95.6, or slightly below the national average of 100 for all metropolitan areas in the Council for Community and Economic Research's Cost-of-Living Index.

This differential in lower-than-average costs means that residents of the Nashville region can put their discretionary income to good use. Our recent Nashville Region's Vital Signs report identified the top 10 leisure activities of area residents, which included going to movies, dining out and various sports and fitness hobbies.

The Nashville region's population spends more than $1.9 billion a year in entertainment and recreation, or $3,098 per household per year, which is nearly exactly the level of the average American household's spending in that category. In fact, that category is among the highest in comparison to the typical American household, giving good evidence of the added discretionary income boost Nashvillians enjoy and the many ways to enjoy leisure time in our region.

Category: Research