Discover the Most Affordable Cities to Live in the United States

Written by Niccoy Walker
Published: November 30, 2023
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With rising prices across America, finding a city with a low cost of living is getting more difficult. However, it’s not impossible. In this list, we consider not just the overall cost of living, but also median household incomes, home values, and quality of life. Check out this list of the 20 most affordable cities to live in the United States and discover the benefits of living in one of these low-cost areas.

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Aerial skyline of downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana featuring train tracks

Fort Wayne residents make a median household income of around $54,000.

©Nicholas J Klein/Shutterstock.com

Voted as one of the best cities to buy a house in America, Fort Wayne is one of America’s most affordable cities. This dense suburban area is home to many families and young professionals. Residents make a median household income of around $54,000 and can purchase homes at an average of $130,700. Fort Wayne also has great public schools, family amenities, a decent job market, and a diverse community.

Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown, Ohio, USA downtown skyline at twilight.

Median home values are only $48,600 and median rent prices are $640.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Youngstown is an excellent place to retire and features a sparse suburban feel. Median home values are only $48,600 and median rent prices are $640. However, median household incomes in Youngstown are $31,000, much lower than the national average. Along with a very low cost of living, Youngstown has abundant outdoor activities, easy commute times, and a diverse community.

Harlingen, Texas

Birds eye view of a cross over in south texas

Median home values in Harlingen are $95,000 and household incomes average over $46,000.

©Davy Lane Photography/Shutterstock.com

This residential suburban area is one of the best places to live in Cameron County, Texas, where many families live. Median home values in Harlingen are around $95,000 and household incomes average just over $46,000. This small city features above-average public schools, a decent job market, and great weather.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Summer Aerial View of Sioux Falls, The largest City in the State of South Dakota

Sioux Falls is growing more popular for families and professionals each year.

©Jacob Boomsma/iStock via Getty Images

As one of the best places to live in South Dakota and one of the most affordable cities in America, Sioux Falls is growing more popular for families and professionals each year. Median home values hover around $220,000 and average annual incomes are more than $66,000. Sioux Falls has excellent public schools, plenty of amenities, a great job market, and abundant outdoor activities.

Hickory, North Carolina

Hickory, NC | Viewmont | Aerial | HDR

Hickory has great public schools and a decent job market.

©Brandon Pope/Shutterstock.com

The small city of Hickory is one of the best places to live in North Carolina, where it’s popular among people of all ages and family types. The area features home values of around $200,000 and median household incomes of $53,000. Hickory has great public schools, a decent job market, many outdoor activities, a diverse community, and abundant amenities.

Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville Alabama

This dense suburban area is popular among young people and families.

©Jeffrey Schreier/iStock via Getty Images

Huntsville is another top city in America to buy a house and one of the best places to live in Alabama. This dense suburban area is popular among young people and families due to its excellent public schools, abundant amenities, and low cost of living. Median home values in Huntsville are $194,000 and average annual incomes are more than $60,000.

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA downtown cityscape and park at dusk.

Kalamazoo has a median home value of $125,000.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

This small city is a great mix of urban and suburban popular among young professionals in Michigan. Kalamazoo has a median home value of $125,000 and a median household income of $44,000. Residents enjoy outdoor activities, a decent nightlife, great commute times, and a diverse community.

Dayton, Ohio

Skyline of Dayton, Ohio and Surrounding Neighborhoods

Dayton has abundant outdoor activities, plenty of amenities, and ideal commute times.

©Ami Parikh/Shutterstock.com

The medium-sized city of Dayton, Ohio is an excellent place for young professionals and families. There are abundant outdoor activities, plenty of amenities, and ideal commute times. The median home value in Dayton is only $73,000 and the median household income is nearly $38,000. The job market is also decent, with several large employers in the area.

Beaumont, Texas

Beaumont is a Town in South East Texas

Beaumont is a dense suburban area with a decent job market and a low cost of living.

©Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock.com

The quaint city of Beaumont is great for people of all ages and family types due to its decent job market, low cost of living, and nearby amenities. This dense suburban area features a median home value of $130,000 and an average household income of $50,000.

Erie, Pennsylvania

View of the city downtown from top of a tower

The quaint city of Erie has a median household income of $40,000.

©Keith Mecklem/Shutterstock.com

Erie is a dense suburban area in Pennsylvania popular among young professionals in America. This quaint city has an excellent cost of living, lots of outdoor activities, a decent nightlife, and a diverse community. Erie has a median household income of $40,000 and an average home value of $91,000. It’s not hard to see why Erie is one of the most affordable cities in the nation.

Peoria, Illinois

Church in Peoria, IL. Peoria, Illinois, USA.

Peoria is popular among families for it great schools and low cost of living.

©Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock.com

The city of Peoria is a dense suburban area popular among families and young people due to its above-average public schools, family amenities, low cost of living, great commute times, and outdoor activities. The median home value is around $130,000, and average annual incomes are $54,000.

Joplin, Missouri

Beautiful view of train tracks leading into Joplin Missouri

The city of Joplin features a small-town feel and is a great place to raise a family.

©Dolos/Shutterstock.com

Joplin is a sparse suburban area in Jasper County, perfect for those who want a small-town feel with plenty of amenities. This city offers great schools, decent nightlife, and excellent commute times. Residents spend around $129,000 on homes and make nearly $47,000 per year.

Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA Downtown Skyline Aerial

This city has a dense suburban feel and features a diverse community.

©Kruck20/iStock via Getty Images

Knoxville is one of the best places to live in Tennessee and is popular among young professionals. This city has a dense suburban feel and features a diverse community, great nightlife, abundant outdoor activities, and an excellent commute. Knoxville has a median household income of $44,000 and an average home value of $154,000.

Green Bay, Wisconsin

Green Bay is a Large Town in Northern Wisconsin on Lake Michigan

The city of Green Bay has a decent entry-level job market.

©Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock.com

Green Bay is one of the best places to buy a house in America right now due to its excellent cost of living, great outdoor activities, bustling nightlife, and diversity. Green Bay has a median home value of $151,000 and its residents make an average of $55,000 annually. Also, the city has a decent job market with many entry-level positions.

Topeka, Kansas

Exterior of the Kansas State Capital Building in Topeka, Kansas at Night

This suburban city has median home values of $107,000.

©Paul Brady Photography/Shutterstock.com

Topeka is another excellent city to buy real estate for cheap. This suburban city is popular among families and professionals for its above-average schools, excellent cost of living, welcoming community, and amenities. Topeka has median home values of $107,000 and an average household income of $51,000.

Anniston, Alabama

Historic Calhoun County Courthouse in Anniston, Alabama

The wonderful city of Anniston has a median home value of $118,000.

©JMcQ/Shutterstock.com

Anniston is one of the best places to retire in America and features a sparse suburban feel. This small city has an excellent cost of living, a decent job market, and abundant outdoor activities. Anniston has a median home value of $118,000 and an average household income of $40,000.

Greenville, South Carolina

Drone Aerial of the Downtown Greenville, South Carolina SC Skyline

This small city is a great mix of urban and suburban living.

©Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock.com

Greenville is one of the best places to live in South Carolina. This small city is a great mix of urban and suburban living and is popular among young professionals. The area features excellent schools, great amenities, outdoor activities, plenty of nightlife, and a diverse community. Greenville has a median home value of $349,000 and a median rent price of $1,078. Its residents have a median household income of $60,000.

Conway, Arkansas

Toad Suck State Park. Conway, Arkansas.

This dense suburban area is great for families and young professionals.

©David7/Shutterstock.com

Conway is one of the best suburbs to live in the Little Rock area. This dense suburban area is great for families and young professionals due to its excellent public schools, amenities, and activities. Conway has a median home value of $195,000 and a median household income of $48,000.

Meridian, Mississippi

Side view of Merrehope Mansion

This small town has a median home value of $92,000.

©Pmgrteagle12, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons - License

Meridian is a rural to sparse suburban area popular among families. It has a great cost of living, a diverse community, excellent weather, and outdoor activities. This small town has a median home value of $92,000 and a median household income of $31,000.

Albany, Georgia

Flint River

This city has a low cost of living and abundant outdoor activities.

©airwayphoto/Shutterstock.com

Albany, Georgia is another sparse suburban area popular among families. This city has a low cost of living, abundant outdoor activities, decent nightlife, and excellent commute times. Residents have a median home value of $101,000 and a median household income of $40,000.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Jacob Boomsma/iStock via Getty Images


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About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer for A-Z Animals, and her primary focus is on birds, travel, and interesting facts of all kinds. Niccoy has been writing and researching about travel, nature, wildlife, and business for several years and holds a business degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver. A resident of Florida, Niccoy enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time at the beach.

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