America's most inexpensive cities

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With costs rising, you may really feel tempted to move the place the price of dwelling is decrease. That is largely going to be south of the Mason-Dixon line, in states like Texas and Alabama. 

This is a take a look at the 12 least expensive locations to reside within the U.S., primarily based on knowledge from the Council for Group and Financial Analysis’s (C2ER) calculations of dwelling bills, and compiled by Kiplinger. The  record solely contains metro areas with at the least 50,000 residents, with the index accounting for costs for housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, well being care, and miscellaneous items and providers.

12. Augusta-Aiken, Georgia/South Carolina

This metro space spans two states — Georgia and South Carolina — and boasts a price of dwelling that is 16.4 p.c under the U.S. common. Housing prices, which common a couple of third lower than what’s typical in America, assist hold the price of dwelling low, as do transportation prices which are 22 p.c under common and utilities and health-care prices which are 12 p.c decrease. Additional, Georgia “occurs to be one of many extra tax-friendly states for retirees,” Kiplinger says.

Located only a 2.5-hour drive from Atlanta, Augusta-Aiken is maybe greatest recognized for internet hosting the Masters golf event. Nonetheless, it is also dwelling to cybersecurity corporations, with the close by U.S. Military Cyber Command, and it is a regional hub for drugs and biotechnology.

11. Jackson, Mississippi

Mississippi’s capital, Jackson, lands the No. 11 spot, thanks to a price of dwelling that’s 16.6 p.c under common within the U.S. Whereas housing, utilities, and transportation all run under common, health-care prices run excessive — 5 p.c increased than the U.S. common, to be precise.

Nonetheless, Jackson has been ranked among the many greatest massive cities for “profitable ageing as a consequence of its affordability and an abundance of nurses, nurse practitioners, and orthopedic surgeons, in addition to caregiving choices and geriatric services,” Kiplinger experiences. Retirees can also reap the state’s tax advantages, which embrace the exemption of Social Safety advantages from earnings tax.

10. Conway, Arkansas

On the entire, Arkansas “has one of many lowest value of dwelling metrics in America,” experiences Entrepreneur, and Conway, Arkansas, is a standout for affordability with a price of dwelling 16.7 p.c under the nationwide common. Located within the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway metro space, Conway is dwelling base for tech corporations together with data know-how agency Perception Enterprises, in addition to three schools which have earned it the nickname “The Metropolis of Faculties.”

Kiplinger notes that whereas “Conway’s median dwelling worth is among the many highest on the record of the 25 least expensive U.S. cities, it is nonetheless properly under the U.S. median,” and the prices of groceries, transportation, and well being care are affordable.

9. Oklahoma Metropolis, Oklahoma

Oklahoma Metropolis will not be solely the biggest metropolis within the Sooner State, with a inhabitants of 1.4 million and quite a few big-city sights, it is also fairly inexpensive. The price of dwelling in Oklahoma Metropolis is 16.8 p.c under U.S. common. 

Town stands out for its inexpensive housing and rental prices, although health-care prices are increased than common and taxes are a little bit of a combined bag. Entrepreneur notes that “Oklahoma has no state earnings tax, providing vital financial savings for residents,” however it’s not notably tax-friendly for middle-class households, per Kiplinger, although retirees may fare a bit higher.

8. Cellular, Alabama

Cellular is described as a “Gulf Coast gem” by Kiplinger. Alongside a price of dwelling that is 17.2 p.c under U.S. common, Cellular boasts a particular tradition because of its “colonial previous and combination of Creole, African, and Catholic heritage,” says Kiplinger. Town has artwork museums, dance, and music, and in addition provides job alternatives in industries like shipbuilding, well being care, excessive tech, and engineering.

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7. Joplin, Missouri

Joplin, Missouri, is not solely the spot the place notorious financial institution robbers Bonnie and Clyde hid out — it is also a metropolis with a low value of dwelling, at 17.5 p.c under U.S. common to be precise. Town has a notable variety of key employers, together with two main hospitals and Normal Mills, Schaeffler Group, and Leggett & Platt. Price-wise, town charges properly in housing, groceries, well being care, and utilities.

6. Anniston, Alabama

Anniston, Alabama, has a price of dwelling 17.6 p.c under the U.S. common, largely pushed by housing prices which are 42 p.c under the nationwide common. Taxes are additionally affordable in Alabama, although beware that utilities prices are much less so. 

5. Topeka, Kansas

In keeping with Entrepreneur, “Kansas is without doubt one of the most inexpensive states within the U.S.,” and Topeka, the state’s capital, boasts its lowest value of dwelling, in keeping with Kiplinger‘s rankings. The price of dwelling in Topeka is nineteen.4 p.c under the nationwide common, with housing prices, groceries, utilities, transportation, and well being care prices all under nationwide averages. 

Alongside state authorities jobs, driving industries on this metropolis with a suburban vibe embrace healthcare, retail, and manufacturing.

4. Kalamazoo, Michigan

In keeping with U.S. Information & World Report, “Kalamazoo is as enjoyable and quirky as its uncommon identify suggests” — and it is low-cost, besides. This city, which has a vibrant arts and tradition scene and is dwelling to Western Michigan College, has a price of dwelling that is 20.7 p.c under the U.S. common. 

Alongside the college, medical tools maker Stryker and drug firm Pfizer are two massive native financial drivers. Nonetheless, it is price noting that, per Kiplinger, Michigan is “among the many least tax-friendly states for middle-class households.”

3. McAllen, Texas

Subsequent up on the record is a Texas city situated alongside the border. In McAllen, the price of dwelling is 21.8 p.c under the U.S. common, although the poverty charge can be greater than double each the Texas charge and the U.S. charge. Nonetheless, Kiplinger notes some shiny spots: McAllen is “well-known for chook watching due to its location on a serious migration route” and it has an Worldwide Museum of Artwork & Science.

Housing prices listed below are 45 p.c decrease than the nationwide common, and health-care and grocery prices are additionally properly under common. With {the summertime} warmth, nevertheless, utilities prices are a bit above common.

2. Decatur, Illinois

Rating in second, Decatur, Illinois, boasts a price of dwelling 22 p.c under the U.S. common. Although this can be a smaller city, with a metro inhabitants simply over 100,000, it is located in an space that is an agricultural and manufacturing heart. Development and mining tools maker Caterpillar has services there, and there is additionally a large corn-processing plant owned by Tate & Lyle. 

Notably low prices in Decatur embrace housing, well being care, utilities, and transportation. Taxes, nevertheless, aren’t so low-cost in Illinois.

1. Harlingen, Texas

Harlingen, Texas, clinches the title as the most affordable place to reside in America, per Kiplinger. On this city located on Texas’ southernmost tip, the price of dwelling is 24.4 p.c under common within the U.S. 

Agriculture is central to the native economic system. Well being care and telecommunications are rising industries on this metropolis of round 423,000, although the poverty and unemployment charges stay excessive. Nonetheless, if it is low costs you are after, you will discover them practically throughout the board in Harlingen — the common dwelling worth is $182,500 lower than the U.S. common and condo lease is 45 p.c decrease than the nationwide common.

Becca Stanek has labored as an editor and author within the private finance house since 2017. She has beforehand served because the managing editor for investing and financial savings content material at LendingTree, an editor at SmartAsset and a employees author for The Week. This text is partially primarily based on data first printed on The Week’s sister website,

Up to date March 24, 2023: This text has been up to date all through.