Best Affordable Places to Live

Anyone can do cheap. We've uncovered the most affordable places that you'd actually want to live in.

Let’s get one thing clear from the outset: These are not the least expensive places to live in America. There are places where you can buy a home for pocket change, and whole towns that cost less than a home in Palo Alto, Calif. But if you ask the question “Would you want to live there?”, the answer is likely “No.” Instead, this is a list of affordable cities you’d actually want to live in.

The 100 Best Places to Live 2016

By affordable, we also don’t mean merely cheap. We take earning potential into account as well. So how do we choose the Top 10 Best Affordable Places to Live? We start with data. For this list we look at cost of living and how that compares to national averages for key components of the budget like housing, transportation, food and utilities. As you can imagine, we look for cheap places. But we also look for places with high incomes to make those cheap costs go even further. We look for places with high livability, as determined by our LivScore, and low income inequality.

The 10 Most Affordable Places to Live 2015

Finally, once we have a short list in place, our editors factor in their own knowledge of these cities and look for a good balance of sizes, geographies and types of cities. How’d we do?

Ranking Criteria

Median Household Income • Income Equality • Consumer Spending • Entertainment Options • Economic Conditions

13299. Bloomington, IL Population 78,206
13300. Holland, MI Population 33,526
13301. Cedar Rapids, IA Population 128,829
13302. Greeley, CO Population 97,074
13303. Provo, UT Population 115,345
13304. Sioux Falls, SD Population 164,341
13305. Round Rock, TX Population 109,690
13312. Rochester, MN Population 110,275
13313. Bismarck, ND Population 66,980
13318. Huntsville, AL Population 185,594