Best Affordable Places to Live


These budget-friendly cities offer lots of things to do and help families stretch their paychecks further.

Best Affordable Cities

Ranking Criteria

  • Cost of Living
  • Median Household Income
  • Median Home Value
  • LivScore

In our annual overall Best Places to Live list, many of the cities are a little on the pricey side. We get it. Not everyone can afford to live in a place like Palo Alto or Berkeley. They're great places but not for everyone. Therefore, we felt it was important to look at places that are more affordable. What follows isn’t merely a list of the cheapest places to live in America. We didn’t set out to find cities where you can live on the bare minimum. Instead, these 10 cities are less expensive than most but still great places to live by all of our usual metrics.

GOT KIDS IN THE MIX? Then check out our Best Cities for Families.

To find these cities, we looked at cost of living across a number of categories such health care, food, housing, and transportation using data from C2ER and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. We also examined the tax climate in the state. Then we factored in our own unique LivScore. We selected one city per state to give us some geographic balance because much of the cost-of-living data is calculated at the county level.

Sure, there are some cheaper places to live. But these are cities where most people can afford to live and would still want to live.

TAKE THE QUIZ! Find if you should move.



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