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Study: Biggest bang for S.C. buck in Lexington County

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A recent study shows Lexington is tops in South Carolina when it comes to residents getting the most for their dollar.

SmartAsset’s fourth annual study analyzing average living expenses in the state found that Lexington County residents have the most purchasing power, a figure derived by calculating the weighted cost of living as a percentage of median income.

Lexington County had a median income of $55,412 and a cost of living of $38,263, giving it a purchasing power rating of 68.3. Richland County finished 10th on the list with a median income of $50,899 and a cost of living $37,279, making its purchasing power rating 64.4.

Charleston ranked sixth in the state with a purchasing power rating of 66.3. Greenville ranked seventh at 65.86 and Spartanburg ninth at 64.65.

The study found South Carolina’s average median income was $46,898, with a cost of living of $33,884.

The methodology calculated two different cost of living numbers for a single adult household with no dependents. One reflected the baseline cost of living in each area, while the other was based on expenditures typical for someone making the county’s median income.

Expenditures include:

  • Living expenses
  • Housing
  • Food
  • Taxes
  • Education and child care
  • Transportation
  • Health care
  • Extras

The study combined the two costs of living using a weighted average based on the median income compared to minimal livable income in the area. Income taxes paid in the area were then subtracted.

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