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The 10 Most Affordable Cities in America

Boise, Idaho

Many data points are used to calculate the most affordable cities in America. Housing costs, income levels, demographics, and infrastructure are just a few things that are considered. The cities on this list will allow you to stretch your dollar without forcing you to sacrifice your quality of life.

Boise, ID

Population: 214,196

Young families are flocking to Idaho’s capital because it’s one of the safest cities in the country. Start-up companies and a burgeoning tech scene draw talent from all over the U.S. 

Raleigh, NC

Population: 432,520

The only Southern city on the list, the capital of North Carolina is one of the fastest-growing cities in America: its metropolitan population increased by about 18% between 2010 and 2017. This beautiful city is also home to NFL and NHL teams: the Panthers and the Hurricanes, respectively.

Madison, WI

Population: 243,122

The home of the University of Wisconsin will always have a small-town feel because no building on the Madison Isthmus may be constructed at a taller height than the capitol building, which stands at about 284 feet tall. Affordable housing, low crime rates, and a vibrant nightlife keep the population rate trending upward.

Iowa City, IA

Population: 71,832

Go for the Hawkeyes football game - stay for the world’s largest wooden nickel. Iowa City is one of just 28 cities in the world designated as a UNESCO City of Literature. A median monthly rent of $924 and safe neighborhoods make this a nice place to live.

Rochester, MN

Population: 116,000

Increasing home prices - which mean a greater return on investment when it comes time to sell again - and steady population growth make the home of the renowned Mayo Clinic a desired destination. In Rochester, you can dedicate a smaller portion of your income to housing and taxes.

Columbia, MO

Population: 115,391

The home of the University of Missouri has a low average rent price of $950. The beautiful lakes and caves of Rock Bridge State Park surround the area, making it a nice mix of urban and rural.

Sioux Falls, SD

Population: 164,341

A cost of living 2% below the national average and the availability of jobs in health care and financial services are a few reasons why people are moving to Sioux Falls. The local government also offers tax abatement and other perks to attract new residents.

Pittsburgh, PA

Population: 305,928

Residents of the Steel City enjoy a lower cost of living than their neighbors in Philadelphia, spending only 20% of their income on housing and related expenses.

Lincoln, NE

Population: 269,726

A median home value of $160,000 and a median household income of $55,792 makes the capital of Nebraska an ideal place to stretch a dollar. Home to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln has plenty to do, day or night.

Greenville, SC

Population: 61,734

Greensville’s population saw an increase of over 4% from 2013 to 2017. Manufacturing giants like Michelin and General Electric are big draws for people looking for work and a good quality of life.

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