Orange City, Iowa — A new study finds that residents of Sioux County have the second-most purchasing power of all the counties in Iowa.
The study, by SmartAsset.com aims to find the places where average living expenses are most affordable to the people who live there. SmartAsset.com officials say that to find these counties they looked at the cost of living relative to income to determine the purchasing power.
They tell us that first, they calculated two different cost of living numbers for a household with one adult and no dependents. One reflected the baseline cost of living in each area and the other was based on expenditures typical to someone making the county’s median income.
SmartAsset says they combined the two cost-of-living numbers using a weighted average based on how close each county’s median income was to the minimal livable income in that area. They say they then subtracted income taxes paid in that area.
Finally, SmartAsset says they calculated purchasing power by determining the weighted cost of living as a percentage of median income.
Sioux County’s cost of living was calculated as $42,952, and the median income was reported as $66,022, for a purchasing power index of 67.73.
Only Dallas County in central Iowa beat Sioux County, with an index of 74.32, due mostly to their higher average income of over $82,000.
Lyon County was ranked 8th in the survey, with a purchasing power index of 65.23. Cost of living there was calculated to be $41,887, and the median income was $62,012.
Elsewhere in northwest Iowa, O’Brien County was ranked 19th. The cost of living was calculated to be $42,952, and the median income was $56,314.
Osceola County was ranked 45th, with a cost of living at $40,686 and a median income of $53,604.