The Finance Super Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Green Bay

It’s game time! The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers are going head to head in Super Bowl XLV this Sunday. While we’ll have to wait a few days to find out who the winner will be, it’s not too early to figure out which city comes out ahead financially. We looked at bank fee and cost of living studies to see which town comes out the winner.

When it comes to bank ATM fees, Pittsburgh is a champ. According to Bankrate’s 2010 Checking Study, the home of the Steelers boasts the fifth lowest ATM fees in the country. There’s no word on where Green Bay ranked, but if they’re anything like their fellow Wisconsinites in Milwaukee who edged out Pittsburgh for the number four spot on the lowest ATM fee list, we tip our hat to them as well.

The July 2010 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance featured a list of the 10 Best Cities for the Next Decade. While Green Bay and Pittsburgh didn’t make the cut (maybe next time, guys!) they were considered and analyzed closely. Green Bay came in at 95, a good five points below the national standard of 100 in the cost of living index, meaning your money will go that much further living there. But Pittsburgh managed to beat out Green Bay by three points with a 93. But both have more than respectable scores, especially when you think about San Jose’s rating of 158 or New York City’s incredible 400!

The land of the Packers looks like the easy winner when it comes to their median household income of $50,910, beating Pittsburgh’s $44,814 median. It’s worth noting, however, that Pittsburgh’s income growth made the biggest leap from 2005 to 2008. It rose a respectable 3.9 percent while Green Bay went up by only 1.9 percent.

But how do people there make their money? Do they have fun doing it? You may be surprised to see that 33.6 percent of Pittsburgh’s working citizens consider themselves part of the creative class, a surprising percentage for a locale often tied to manufacturing. With steel production just part of the city’s history now, that beats New York’s 29 percent. And Green Bay still makes a solid showing with 26.4% of their citizens employed in the creative field.

So what’s better: the Green Bay cost of living or the Pittsburgh cost of living? From our standpoint, it’s too close to call. I guess there’s nothing left to do but see who comes out on top on Sunday!

How does the financial climate in your city compare to either Pittsburgh or Green Bay?

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