Report: The Most Affordable Places To Live in America

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I don’t need to tell you that affordable housing is elusive in many big and small cities across America. But the key, as always, is location, location, location! 

A report from U.S. News & World Report shows a list of the 25 most affordable places to live in the United States.

The publication came up with the locations from sourcing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. News’ own internal resources.

This data were categorized into four indexes.

  • Quality of Life Index – 36%
  • Value Index – 23%
  • Desirability Index – 22%
  • Job Market Index – 19%

“The percent weighting for each index follows the answers from a March 2023 public survey in which people from across the country voted for what they believed was the most important factor to consider when choosing where to live,” the report says.

10 Top Cities With Affordable Rent

Here’s a look at the larger cities with the most affordable average rental prices compared to income.

City/StateOverall ScoreQuality of LifeValue
Hickory, N.C.
Youngstown, Ohio6.36.78.4
Huntington, WV & Ashland, KY-OH6.36.68.2
Huntsville, Al.
Fort Wayne, IN6.56.58.1
Beaumont, Tx5.75.58.0
Peoria, IL6.36.78.0
Green Bay, WI6.97.38.0
Quad Cities, IA-IL (Davenport-Bettendorf, IA & Moline-Rock Island, IL)
Knoxille, TN6.56.37.9

Check out the full report from U.S. News & World Report.

Final Thoughts

You may be thinking that living in these cities is not in your future — and that’s OK. The key to affording a place where you want to live is to know your true expenses month in and month out.

“Ignore what you’re pre-approved for. Instead, base what you can really afford on what your current rent is. Remember with that mortgage, you’re going to also have taxes and insurance,” Clark says.

Want more money-saving tips about housing? Read what Clark says about how you can afford a nice house.