Coffee County is ranked as the best area in south Alabama among most the favorable cost of living in the state.

According to SmartAsset.com, Coffee County ranked as the third-best area in Alabama below only No. 1 Shelby County and No. 2 Madison County.

The website gives counties’ cost of living and median income.

Smart Asset.com said its aim is the “find the places where average living expenses are most affordable to the people who live there. To find these places, we looked at the cost of living relative to income to determine the purchasing power in each county.

“First, we calculated two different 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 was based on expenditures typical to someone making the county’s median income. We combined these two numbers using a weighted average based on how close each county’s median income was to the minimum livable income in that area. We then subtracted income taxes paid in that area.

“Finally, we calculated purchasing power by determining the weighted cost of living as a percentage of median income. The top locations were those with the highest median income relative to the cost of living.”

Coffee County’s cost of living was tallied at $34,056 with a median income of $49,821, giving it a purchasing index of 49.42. Shelby County had a purchasing index of 60.47, while Madison was at 58.01. The state’s average cost of living was $33,479 with a median income of $46,472.

Coffee County ranked 1,016 nationally. Shelby was 312th.

After Coffee County’s No. 3 rating in Alabama were area counties — Dale County at 11th, Houston County 23rd, Covington County 29th, Geneva County 37th, and Pike County 49th.

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