The Getaway
These Are the Most Affordable Cities To Live in the US

Moving to a city with a lower cost of living will help your nest egg last longer. Or perhaps you're young and just starting your career path. You anticipate living on an entry-level salary and don't want to scrimp too much. You can also raise a family without breaking the bank if you move to a part of the country where you're not living beyond your means. Whatever the reason, it's time to check out the most affordable cities for relocating where your dollars can stretch further.


01 Cincinnati, Ohio

Spend much less on rent, buying a home, and most of life's necessities if you live in Cincinnati. If you're seeking a job in a cheap place to live, Cincinnati is home to 23 major corporations and businesses, plus it has over 30 colleges and universities to choose from.

Sports fans will love cheering on football's Cincinnati Bengals and baseball's Reds teams. Cultural attractions include the Taft Museum of Art, the Cincinnati Operate Company and great Shakespearean theatre.


02 Moscow, Idaho

Rents in Moscow are quite low in this small city of fewer than 25,000 residents. Yet the job market is strong, possibly due to the presence of the University of Idaho in town. People living in Moscow have access to 17 different parks, the Latah Trail for long nature walks, an arboretum and botanical garden, plus a fun aquatic center featuring a lazy river.


03 Knoxville, Tennessee

With the Smoky Mountains as its backdrop, Knoxville is a scenic delight, but it's also a very affordable place to live. Housing costs are lower by about $70,000 than the national median. There's also very little income tax to whittle away at your spending power. The University of Tennessee is a big draw for attracting youthful and well-educated residents to Knoxville. For the kids, there are top-notch public schools in Knoxville to help further their education.


04 Ellensburg, Washington

Renters spend less than $800 a month in this city that sits in the middle of Washington State. They also spend 35% less than the national average on things like entertainment, gas and medical care. Many residents move to Ellensburg but commute via I-90 to their jobs in the nearby Puget Sound region.

Ellensburg gets a lot less rain than the rest of the state and boasts 204 sunny days per year on average. There's also a lot of history here. The many festivals, art walks, and parades keep residents entertained.


05 Savannah, Georgia

Yes, there are some pricey old mansions in Savannah, but those are not the norm for real estate buyers. On average, you'll lay out $50,000 less for a home in Savannah than you would in most other US cities. It's also a great place to live.

You'll love the city's National Historic District, the largest of its type in the country. Savannah exudes Southern charm with its cobblestone streets and the lovely Forsyth Park. The moderate winter temperatures let you enjoy outdoor activities throughout the year.


06 La Crosse, Wisconsin

Imagine living adjacent to the Mississippi River, close to major medical facilities and three schools of higher education. Now consider being able to purchase a home that costs $70,000 less than the national average for home values. This is why La Crosse is one of the cheapest cities to live in the US. It also helps that you'll spend 30% less on entertainment with the city's many outdoor events, golf courses, hiking trails, and ski trails.


07 Morgantown, West Virginia

Median home values sit well beneath the national average at $171,723 in Morgantown. If you decide to rent, you're in luck. An apartment rental's median cost is a mere $700 a month. While this is not the cheapest city of all for housing prices, it's still comparatively inexpensive. You'll end up spending a lot less in general living here, because medical care, transportation, and entertainment costs are some of the lowest anywhere.

Residents in Morgantown are proud of residing in the same city as West Virginia University, which houses an art museum and two galleries.


08 Lansing, Michigan

In Michigan's capital city, you'll spend 40% less on living essentials, like housing, for one. The average cost for a rental in Lansing is just $734 per month. You can also purchase a home for less than $90,000. The unemployment rate in this city is lower than the national average.

Colleges and universities in Lansing attract a younger group of residents, while the golf courses, cycling trails, and multiple cultural attractions bring people of all ages to Lansing.


09 Roanoke, Virginia

With views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a temperate climate that lets you enjoy all four seasons, Roanoke is a beautiful place to live. Even better is the fact that this city is also very affordable. The median home price is a little over $135,000. Get your exercise outdoors on one of the many walking trails, including the well-known Appalachian Trail. Take advantage of the museums and live music venues available in Roanoke. Healthcare, transportation, and food prices are less expensive here, too.


10 Buffalo, New York

The winters in Buffalo can get cold and snowy, but don't let that deter you from moving to this city in upstate New York. The median price for a home in Buffalo starts at just $80,000. Living here will also mean spending about 35% less on some of life's essentials, like medical care and transportation costs.

Buffalo boasts nine schools of higher education, one of which is the University at Buffalo, a top research university. There is no need to miss out on cultural amenities here, either. Buffalo is home to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House Complex. Drive a short way to nearby Niagara Falls, take in a Buffalo Bills football game, or hop on over to the Buffalo Zoo when guests come to visit.


11 Joplin, Missouri

In Joplin at the edge of the Ozarks in southwestern Missouri, the cost of living is 12% below the national average. This mid-sized city of 50,925 has low unemployment and a median income of $42,782. Homes run an average of $123,000 in Joplin, well under the national median price of $320,000.

This Four States Area hub on legendary Route 66 features above-average public schools and four colleges. Lush trails meander through unspoiled Ozark landscapes towards Missouri's largest waterfall in this mild weather locale. Downtown Joplin immerses locals and visitors in the town's rich mining history and a diversity of art, dining, and nightlife experiences.

12 Conway, Arkansas

Thirty-three minutes from Little Rock, Conway has ranked as the second cheapest city in the US. Its 67,000+ residents enjoy a cost of living that's 13.8% under the national average. They're paying 19% less for utilities and 15% less for groceries and health care, too. The average home here costs $154,400.

Conway's three colleges support a young, educated population. The city's also recognized as one of America's "Most Giving Cities" for strong community activism.

13 Anniston, Alabama

All-American Anniston in east-central Alabama is a model city of affordability. The cost of living in this town of 21,287 is 18% below the US median. Home prices and utilities run 46-48% under national averages. Anniston is close to several colleges and popular for its biking trails winding through Coldwater Mountain. Its historic downtown area offers a variety of cultural and culinary delights including Piper's Playhouse, the 11-story High Point Restaurant, and several microbreweries.

14 Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Hattiesburg in southeastern Mississippi boasts ideal mean temperatures and an overall cost of living that's 17% below the national average. Its median home value is $124,013 and the average rent is only $576. Residents are paying 13% less than the US median costs for goods and services. This hub city of 45,900 celebrates its intriguing history and natural beauty with Freedom Summer Trail, 41-mile-long Longleaf Trace, and plentiful gardens and museums.

Hattiesburg is a city in Mississippi, bisected by the county line between Forrest and Lamar counties DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

15 Danville, Illinois

Danville's cost of living is 16% less than the national average. In this town of 30,479, the median cost of homes is $76,113 while rent averages around $500. Danville doesn't slack on its cultural life which includes symphony orchestra, musical theatre, and bands. The Danville Stadium is the spot for summer baseball and concerts, and the Sleepy Creek Vineyards hosts murder mysteries and local wine sampling.


Scroll Down

for the Next Article

The Getaway Badge
Sign up to receive insider info and deals that will help you travel smarter.