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Top 10 Cities With the Lowest Cost of Living in 2021

If you’re getting ready to graduate or maybe you’re just looking for a change of scenery, moving to a new and unfamiliar location can be an exciting adventure. It’s important, however, to keep cost of living in mind. It’s no surprise that living in some parts of the country is more expensive than others. So to help you on your new home search, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 least expensive places to live in the United States. These cities have a lot to offer without breaking the bank!

1. El Paso, Texas

El Paso is one of the biggest cities in the United States. The average cost of living there is 21.6% below the national average, making El Paso the most inexpensive place in the United States in 2021. If you love the outdoors, El Paso could be a great place for you to live. The city is known as “Sun City” with an average of 302 sunny days each year, so you can enjoy the city’s outdoor recreational activities all year round. From whitewater rafting and canoeing to hiking and rock climbing in beautiful state parks, you will be spoiled for choice.

Cost of Living Index: 54.68

Cost of Living per Month (Family of 4, without rent): $2,597

Average Monthly Rent: $886

Average House Price: $173,839

Median Household Income: $44,950

2. Wichita, Kansas

Although Wichita’s economy has historically been based on traditional cattle and grain industries, the city has now grown and expanded its economy to include oil and aviation businesses. In fact, Wichita is nicknamed as the “Air Capital of the World” as it is home to many top-rated aviation companies including Boeing, Beech, Cessna, Lear and Stearman. Wichita’s population has steadily risen over the last decade (by nearly 5%), attracting many families and businesses. This is not surprising due to the city’s affordable cost of living, low housing prices and solid economy.

Cost of Living Index: 58.61

Cost of Living per Month (Family of 4, without rent): $2,759

Average Monthly Rent: $726

Average House Price: $164,491

Median Household Income: $55,200

3. Lexington, Kentucky

Famously known as the “Horse Capital of the World”, Lexington is the perfect place to live for bourbon enthusiasts and horse-lovers. The city is situated among verdant rolling hills in an area famously known for its Thoroughbred horses and whisky distilleries. Along with the wide range of cultural, historical and recreational activities, Lexington also offers residents with low cost of living and housing, and great education options.

Cost of Living Index: 59.00

Cost of Living per Month (Family of 4, without rent): $2,851

Average Monthly Rent: $1,028

Average House Price: $248,832

Median Household Income: $56,535

4. Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock has the highest ranked hospitals and medical care facilities in Arkansas. Along with low cost of living, rent and utilities, the city’s central location in the South makes it a convenient place to be, with close proximity to Dallas and Oklahoma City (only 5 hours drive west) and Memphis (2 hours drive east). Residents can also enjoy amazing hiking trails, climbs, and fun water sports in and around the city.

Cost of Living Index: 59.30

Cost of Living per Month (Family of 4, without rent): $2,759

Average Monthly Rent: $896

Average House Price: $175,496

Median Household Income: $53,677

5. Akron, Ohio

Situated at the very center of “Polymer Valley”, Akron is home to rubber and tire manufacturing giants such as Goodrich, General Tire and Firestone. Akron is also big in the education, healthcare and biomedical research industries. The city has some of the most affordable house prices in the United States, making it a great place for job seekers, young professionals and families alike.

Cost of Living Index: 61.19

Cost of Living per Month (Family of 4, without rent): $2,898

Average Monthly Rent: $888

Average House Price: $98,285

Median Household Income: $52,179

6. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis is famously known for being the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and home of the blues – it is the perfect place to live in if you are a music-lover. In addition to its incredible music, arts and cultural scenes, Memphis also has some of the best barbecues and lush landscapes in Tennessee. As a resident, you can enjoy a low cost of living and affordable home prices along with fantastic access to music, arts and outdoor amenities.

Cost of Living Index: 61.60

Cost of Living per Month (Family of 4, without rent): $2,925

Average Monthly Rent: $967

Average House Price: $129,392

Median Household Income: $51,704

7. Albuquerque, New Mexico

If you are seeking for a more relaxed and laid-back lifestyle, Albuquerque could be a good choice when looking for an affordable place to relocate. Albuquerque is the most populous city in New Mexico and offers reasonable cost of living, minimal traffic congestion and fantastic weather. The city also has a good mix of rich history with modern elements, as well as a diverse culture that translates to amazing food from a variety of ethnics.

Cost of Living Index: 61.67

Cost of Living per Month (Family of 4, without rent): $2,819

Average Monthly Rent: $1,117

Average House Price: $271,167

Median Household Income: $54,514

8. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is one of the most affordable places to live in when compared to other major metropolitan areas in Texas. The city offers a unique blend of urban energy and small-town charm. The city is also ideal for graduates and job seekers due to its growing job market, which offers professional opportunities in various industries including aerospace/aviation, healthcare, finance, information technology/cyber security, manufacturing, military/defense, government and more.

Cost of Living Index: 62.11

Cost of Living per Month (Family of 4, without rent): $2,877

Average Monthly Rent: $1,151

Average House Price: $235,564

Median Household Income: $58,038

9. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa is located along the Arkansas River, nestled among the rolling Osage Hills and at the foothills of the Ozark mountains. It is a great city to call home thanks to its diverse range of entertainment, recreational activities, green parks, and walking trails. Tulsa also has a healthy job market with great job opportunities across a wide range of industries such as technology, telecommunication, finance and aviation.

Cost of Living Index: 62.14

Cost of Living per Month (Family of 4, without rent): $2,882

Average Monthly Rent: $760

Average House Price: $159,080

Median Household Income: $55,695

10. Houston, Texas 

Houston is a lively and vibrant city with a diverse cultural vibe. The city is well-recognized across the world for NASA’s significance in space exploration. It also has a strong economy with great job opportunities and high quality of life at a reasonable cost of living.  In fact, twenty-four companies on the 2021 Fortune 500 list are headquartered in Houston’s metro area, ranking the city third in the United States. Families with school-age children will also find Houston an ideal place to relocate to as there are many excellent school districts, top-quality education options, and highly respected colleges and universities.

Cost of Living Index: 62.71

Cost of Living per Month (Family of 4, without rent): $2,894

Average Monthly Rent: $1,205

Average House Price: $235,559

Median Household Income: $65,723

Last updated: 24 October 2021

Top 10 Cities With the Lowest Cost of Living in 2021

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Sources:

  1. Numbeo. (n.d.). Cost of Living in United States. Retrieved October 24, 2021, from https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=United+States
  2. RENTCafé. (n.d.). Average Rent in the U.S. by State. Retrieved October 24, 2021, from https://www.rentcafe.com/sitemaps/average-rent-market-trends/
  3. United States Census Bureau. (n.d.). Income In The Past 12 Months (In 2019 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars). Retrieved October 24, 2021, from https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=Income%20%28Households,%20Families,%20Individuals%29&g=0100000US&y=2019&tid=ACSST5Y2019.S1901&moe=false&tp=false&hidePreview=true
  4. Zillow. (n.d.). United States Home Values. Retrieved October 24, 2021, from https://www.zillow.com/home-values/

 

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