The Getaway
What Are the Cheapest Cities to Live In the US?

Some of the most affordable cities to live in the US are also some of the most beautiful. When it comes down to is the cost of living: How much does it cost to live in the city? Furthermore, how much is rent for a one-bedroom or two-bedroom home or apartment, and what's the median household income? If you think about the cost of living before you move to a new city, you might just be surprised by how cheap it'll wind up being. No need to give up on that dream of owning your home just yet.

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01 Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama, USA park and downtown cityscape.

Found in the north of Alabama, the City of Huntsville is the fourth-largest city in the state. It's also one of the cheapest cities in which to live, regardless of how near it is to the Marshall Space Center. It's even cited as one of American's Dozen Distinctive Destinations. The median income in Huntsville is $51,926 with rent prices for a one and two-bed home being $665 and $800. Furthermore, the total cost of living is -7.8%; far less than the national average with housing being -79.6% less.

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02 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA downtown city skyline on the rivers at dusk.

Known as the City of Bridges, you'll find Pittsburgh at the confluence of three rivers. These rivers - the Allegheny, Ohio, and Monongahela - were the reason settlers made it their home. Once a vital link between the East Coast and Midwest, Pittsburgh remains well-connected. With New York and DC a commute away, Pittsburgh is a cheaper, oft-chosen alternative. Living in Pittsburgh gives you a median salary of $45,851 and rent between $747 and $935. With the cost of living 8.5% less than the rest of Pennsylvania, there's no real reason not to look into this city. If you're still not sold, Pittsburgh also has the most bars, per capita, in the US. Low cost of living and plenty of spots to make friends? Pittsburgh has both.

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03 Omaha, Nebraska

An evening view of the Omaha, Nebraska skyline from the Gene Leahy Mal

You'll find Nebraska's largest city, Omaha, on the banks of the Missouri River. Omaha's downtown area covers a 50-mile radius. In 2009, Forbes named it the nation's number one "Bang-for-the-Buck" City. It's also not slowing down. Thanks to a variety of high-paying jobs and median rents between $761 an $952, Omaha is a great place to settle. On top of this, less than 57.9% of residents spend less than 30% of their salaries on housing. With a median income of $56,406, Omaha might be the city in which you can actually buy your own home.

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04 Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Skyline

The subject of many-a-song, Memphis is the largest city in the state and on the Mississippi. One of Tennessee's younger cities, it's also been attracting a younger group of people. Indeed, what started out as a planned city by Andrew Jackson is now one of the hippest cities in the country. It's also home to Elvis's Graceland and buzzing music and cultural scenes. Median household incomes might be $39,333, but rent prices are lower than the national average. What this all adds up to is its residents having a cost of living that's 15.7% less than the rest of the US. What would Elvis have to say about that?

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05 Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati downtown overview in the evening

Settled in 1788, Cincinnati is now the third-largest city in Ohio. Once the heart of the Midwestern boom, it rivaled the east and west coasts in size and wealth. Many call Cinci the "Paris of America." This, due to the stunning architectural projects that line the downtown skyline. It's a city that's bustling with the arts and has had theater operating from it since the 19th-century. People living in this cultural hub see a median income of $38,938 and the cost of living -10.4% less than the national average. You can get a one-bed rental for $653 or a two-bed for $858.'

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06 Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky, USA downtown skyline on the Ohio River at dusk.

Louisville is the 30th most populous city in the country. Named after France's then-ruling monarch, King Louis, XVI, Louisville is an old city. In fact, it's one of the oldest cities situated west of the Appalachian Mountains. One of Kentucky's two first-class cities, Louisville is home to three Fortune companies. The median income in Louisville is $57,279 with median rental prices between $666 for a one-bed and $842 for a two-bed. Housing costs are 13.7% less than the national average, including data for both renting and buying.

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07 Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina, USA downtown cityscape on the Reedy River at dusk.

Greenville, South Carolina, is the third-largest urban area in the state. Far different to its North Carolina cousin of the same name, Greenville SC is on the up-and-up. Bloomberg recently named it the city with the 3rd strongest job market in the country. One of America's fastest-growing cities, lots of young professionals are calling it home. Greenville residents see a median salary of $48,948 and low-cost housing at $741 for a one-bed apartment. Furthermore, the city excels in transportation. Costs of getting around the city are a whopping 12% less than the national average.

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08 Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines Iowa skyline in USA

Des Moines got its name from the river on which it's set. Dubbed such by French settlers, "Riviere des Moines" means "River of the Monks." Of course, there's more to downtown Des Moines than its monastic name. These days, Des Moines is a major hub for insurance and financial industries. Business Wire has even credited it as being the number one spot for insurance companies. Des Moines has a median income of $49,999, with 58.7% of people spending less than 30% of their income on housing. As well as this, the city has a total cost of living that's -14% less than the US average.

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09 Baton Rouge, Louisiana

French for "Red Stick," Baton Rouge is Louisiana's capital. Set on the banks of the Mississippi River, it's also the state's second-largest city. Baton Rouge is widely-known as the fast-growing technological center of the American South. It's also a political hub, filled with both modern-day heavyweight and historical importance. The median household income in Baton Rouge is $40,948. Yet, with rent prices between $780 and $904, housing costs are 13% less than the national average. That's a win for anyone who wants to live in a growing city.

aerial of baton Rouge with Missisippi river and oil refineries at the horizon Meinzahn / Getty Images

10 Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA skyline over Soliders' and Sailors' Monument at dusk.

Indiana's largest and the capital city, Indianapolis is the Midwest's second-most populous city. Due to the city being within a single-day drive to 70% of the US, it's known as the "Crossroads of America." It is, thus, an unsurprising business and transport hub for several niche markets. Home to the world's biggest single-day sporting event, the Indy 500, there's also tons to do here. Indianapolis is an affordable city to live in. Its residents see a median income of $47,225 and rents between $702 and $870. Additionally, Indianapolis's total cost of living is 12.1% less than the US average. As well as this, the cost of housing is a massive 31.7% less than the national average.

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11 Sioux City, Iowa

Known as a regional hub for business, medical care, and higher education, Sioux City, Iowa, offers a cost of living that's 13.3% below the U.S. average. With housing costs running 30% below the national average, Sioux City is a hidden gem for those seeking affordability without sacrificing quality of life.

Three men standing by a river, Veteran's Memorial Bridge, Sioux City, Iowa, USA Jake Stangel / Getty Images

12 South Bend, Indiana

Home to the renowned University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, boasts a cost of living that's 13.5% below the U.S. average. This city offers a blend of academic culture, historical charm, and affordable living, making it an attractive option for families and young professionals alike.

South Bend, Indiana Waterfront DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

13 St. Louis, Missouri

Known for its iconic Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri, offers a cost of living that's 13.7% below the U.S. average. With a rich cultural scene, including world-class museums and a vibrant music scene, St. Louis combines affordability with a high quality of life.

St. Louis, Missouri, USA Sean Pavone / Getty Images

14 Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Iowa

Nestled in the heartland of America, the twin cities of Waterloo and Cedar Falls, Iowa, offer a cost of living that's 13.9% below the U.S. average. Known for their friendly communities and picturesque landscapes, these cities provide an affordable and peaceful lifestyle.

Cedar Falls, Iowa DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

15 Jackson, Tennessee

With a cost of living that's 14.0% below the U.S. average, Jackson, Tennessee, offers Southern charm at an affordable price. Its vibrant music scene and rich history make it a culturally rich city that's easy on the wallet.

Main Street Crosswalk Jackson Tn larrybraunphotography.com / Getty Images

16 Decatur/Hartselle, Alabama

Offering a cost of living that's 14.5% below the U.S. average, the neighboring cities of Decatur and Hartselle, Alabama, are known for their Southern hospitality and affordable living. With a rich history and a strong sense of community, these cities offer a high quality of life at a low cost.

Aerial View of Decatur, Alabama during Spring Jacob Boomsma / Getty Images

17 Lake Charles, Louisiana

Known for its vibrant Creole culture and outdoor adventures, Lake Charles, Louisiana, offers a cost of living that's 14.6% below the U.S. average. This city combines Southern charm, cultural richness, and affordability, making it an attractive place to live.

Bord Du Lac Park Park and Downtown Buildings in Lake Charles - Aerial halbergman / Getty Images

18 Florence, Alabama

With a cost of living that's 15.5% below the U.S. average, Florence, Alabama, is a city that offers affordability without sacrificing charm. Known for its historical architecture and vibrant arts scene, Florence is a hidden gem in the South.

Aerial view of a lake in a gold course in Florence, Alabama Wirestock / Getty Images

19 Augusta-Aiken, Georgia/South Carolina

Straddling the Georgia-South Carolina border, the Augusta-Aiken area offers a cost of living that's 15.5% below the U.S. average. Known for hosting the Masters Golf Tournament, this region combines Southern charm, rich history, and affordability.

Savannah River and Augusta, Georgia, USA Aerial Kruck20 / Getty Images

20 Mobile, Alabama

Known as the birthplace of Mardi Gras, Mobile, Alabama, offers a cost of living that's 15.7% below the U.S. average. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and affordable living, Mobile is a city that offers a high quality of life at a low cost.

Downtown Mobile, Alabama skyline and cityscape George Dodd / Getty Images

21 Amarillo, Texas

Known for its cowboy culture and natural beauty, Amarillo, Texas, offers a cost of living that's 15.8% below the U.S. average. With its affordable housing and vibrant arts scene, Amarillo is a city that combines the charm of the Old West with modern amenities.

Amarillo, Texas DenisTangneyJr / Gety Images

22 Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Home to a thriving arts scene and historic architecture, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, offers a cost of living that's 15.9% below the U.S. average. This city combines Southern charm, cultural richness, and affordability, making it an attractive place to live.

Downtown Winston Salem at sunset kmason photography / Getty Images

23 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Known for its cowboy culture and oil wells, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, offers a cost of living that's 16.0% below the U.S. average. With its affordable housing and vibrant arts scene, Oklahoma City is a city that combines the charm of the Old West with modern amenities.

Scissortail Park Travis Lloyd / Getty Images

24 Knoxville, Tennessee

Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, Knoxville, Tennessee, offers a cost of living that's significantly below the U.S. average. Known for its vibrant arts scene and outdoor activities, Knoxville combines natural beauty with affordability, making it an attractive place to live.

Knoxville, Tennessee, Kruck20 / Getty Images

25 McAllen, Texas

Located in the Rio Grande Valley, McAllen, Texas, offers a cost of living that's well below the U.S. average. Known for its warm climate and vibrant culture, McAllen is a city that combines affordability with a high quality of life.

McAllen, Texas DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images
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