Present work explores the quantitative and qualitative performance investigation of nine recently developed optimization algorithm along with state-of-the-art differential evolution and its variants for the economic optimization of cooling tower. Quantitative performance of the competitive algorithms evaluated based on the best solution, mean solution, success rate, and standard deviation results. Qualitative performance comparison of competitive algorithms obtained through statistical analysis of the obtained results. Statistical analysis is carried out with two different scenarios to identify the qualitative performance of recently developed algorithms alone and in the presence of stat-of-art differential evolution and its variants. The effect of different constraint handling methods on the performance of the competitive algorithms is identify and presented. The behaviour of all competitive algorithms is verified for sensitiveness of constraints. Finally, the convergence behaviour of the competitive algorithm in obtaining the minimum total cost solutions is also obtainable and discussed.