Major expenses generally cost less in the region when compared to the nation. Overall, the region’s cost of living index was 86%, below the national average (100%). The index has changed only slightly since 2005, when it was 88% for our region.
Since 2001, crimes against persons declined 23% across the region, reaching 16 crimes per 1,000 people in 2015. The region also experienced a 22% decrease in crimes against property, below the state decline (31%).
Since 2005, the number of drug-related crimes per 1,000 people increased 4% in the region, while the number across the state almost doubled over the same time period. Rates of increase varied among the regional counties, though some experienced increases similar to the state.
In 2014, over $3.5 billion was spent on travel and tourism in the region, up 18% from 2005. Most counties in the region experienced an increase, with Loudon’s travel spending growing the most (36%).