10 Cheapest Places to Live in the US
10 Cheapest Places to Live in the US.
There are a wide range of options when it comes deciding where to live in the US.
Some people prefer to stay close to where they grew up.
Others may venture further away to find affordability.
There are other factors, such as climate, cost of living and job opportunities.
Other things which weigh into finding the cheapest places to live also include: the
local economy in general, property taxes and general living expenses, as well as the crime
Here’s what was found to be the cheapest places to live in the US based upon overall
desirability and cost of living.
1: Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The college town of Fayetteville has been listed as the fourth and fifth cheapest place
to live by the Council for Community and Economic Research in recent consecutive years.
Forbes rated it one of the “Best Places for Business and Careers.”
It’s the third-largest city in the state and home of the University of Arkansas.
WalMart’s headquarters is nearby and the superstore giant is a major player in the
The low property taxes, averaging around $3,000 per year, also contribute to the lower cost
The average home price is $228,200 and the average rent on a two-bedroom apartment is
The overall cost of living is 15.4 percent less than the rest of the country.
U.S. News & World Report ranked it the third “Best Place to Live” and one of the “Best
Places to Retire” in 2016.
2: Harlingen, Texas.
Harlingen is the cheapest place to live in the United States, according to the Council
for Community and Economic Research.
It’s located in the Rio Grande Valley about 30 miles from the coast.
The population is almost 75,000 and the cost of living is 18.4 percent less than the national
The average home cost is $229,558, and the median income is $34,096.
Unfortunately, the low costs come with another set of problems.
Harlingen has a higher poverty rate than the state or national average.
About a third of the population lives below the line.
One factor contributing positively to the local economy are the retirees who live in
the area for part of the year, taking advantage of the mild winter.
There is no state income tax.
Home property taxes average around $3,500 per year.
3: Memphis, Tennessee.
Memphis is the largest city in Tennessee.
It’s famous for the music scene and its impact on blues music.
Additionally, it is famous for being the city where many musicians got their start, including
Elvis, Aretha Franklin and Robert Johnson, whose music has influenced many aspiring blues
players for decades.
The Council for Community and Economic Research has ranked it on the list “Top Ten Most
Affordable Places to Live.”
The cost of living is 14.6 percent below the national average, and this is particularly
notable in such a large city.
The average cost of home is $180,375 and the median income is $36,817.
Since it is near the Mississippi River, Memphis is a hub for shipping and transportation.
Major companies, including FedEx and Autozone, are also based here.
Once the metro area with the highest poverty rate, that number is now declining.
4: McAllen, Texas.
McAllen, Texas has made the Council for Community and Economic Research’s list several times
as one of the cheapest places to live in the U.S.
It is located on the Rio Grande River across from Reynosa, Mexico.
Commerce across the border is a major industry.
It has a 16.2 percent cheaper cost of living than the national average with an average
home cost of $178,000.
A two-bedroom apartment rents for an average of just over $700.
The median income is $33,641 for a household.
Unfortunately, the metro area does have a high poverty rate.
Health is also a problem as McAllen was found to be the most obese metro area in the nation
The population of the metro area is 774,769.
McAllen’s property tax rates rank among the lowest in the Rio Grande, averaging $500
5: Pueblo, Colorado.
Pueblo, Colorado has been rated one of the “Ten Cheapest Places to Live” by the Council
for Community and Economic Research.
The AARP also named it as a great place to retire affordably.
About 100 miles from Denver, Pueblo is major steel producer, and the mill is the biggest
recycler of scrap steel in Colorado.
After the recession in the early 1980s, the city focused on redevelopment and bringing
additional business and manufacturing opportunities, including retail, tortilla manufacturing and
Pueblo is also the primary place in the state for solar energy development.
Vestas Wind Systems installed a wind turbine tower manufacturing plant.
The cost of living is about 16.6 percent below the average.
The median household income is $35,176.
The median home price is $116,700 with property taxes averaging around $1,000 per year.
6: Louisville, Kentucky.
U.S. News & World Report rated Louisville as one of the “Best Affordable Places to
The Council for Community and Economic Research listed it as one the “Most Affordable Big
Cities” in the U.S. Louisville has a metro population of 1,253,305, a median home price
of $131,750, and a median salary of $42,330.
Residents spend an average of 27.99 percent of their salaries on living expenses.
Cost of living is about 8.6 percent below the average.
While Louisville doesn’t necessarily come up as the cheapest on many lists, it is a
“more bang for the buck” option with city amenities at lower prices.
U.S. News also ranked it as the 45th best place to live in 2016.
The city is home to University of Louisville and three Fortune 500 companies.
In 2016, residents saw a reduction in property taxes.
7: Norman, Oklahoma.
Norman, Oklahoma is part of the Oklahoma City metro area.
While Oklahoma City has been noted as one of the “Best Affordable Cities in the Country,”
Norman is particularly inexpensive, and only 30 minutes away from the city proper.
The Council for Community and Economic Research found the cost of living is 16.2 percent cheaper
than the national average.
The population is 115,562.
The town has a median income of $48,248 ($2,500 more than Oklahoma City) and a median home
value of $149,900.
Several major employers operate in the area, including a local school and health system.
The National Weather Center is headquartered here since it is right in the middle of Tornado
Alley, as are a number of other meteorological and geological organizations.
Additionally, the University of Oklahoma employs over 10,000 residents.
8: Idaho Falls, Idaho.
The Council for Community and Economic Research listed Idaho Falls as one of the “Cheapest
Places to Live” with a cost of living 14.4 percent below the national average.
By Forbes’ calculation, it is 11 percent below the average.
The median household income is $52,596 and the median home price is $123,500.
The city is a regional hub for business, travel and healthcare, and it is the headquarters
for the United Potato Growers of Idaho.
The city has received accolades from several publications.
Business Week named it “One of the Best Places to Raise Kids” in 2010, and CNN’s
Money named it a “Top 100” city.
In 2016, Forbes included it on several lists, including “Best Places for Business and
Careers,” “Cost of Doing Business”, “Job Growth,” and “Education.”
9: Des Moines, Iowa.
Des Moines, Iowa is the most populated city in the state with almost 600,000 people living
in the metro area.
It plays an important role in politics as it is the site of the first caucuses in the
presidential primaries and is often the site of candidate headquarters.
The city is a hub for the financial, insurance, and publishing industries, and Facebook and
Microsoft have also established facilities in the area.
U.S. News & World Report listed it as the second best affordable place to live in 2016.
The median home prices is $169,550 and the median salary is $46,600.
About 26.5 percent of residents’ income goes toward cost of living.
Forbes listed it as a “Best Place for Business in 2010 and 2013,” and NBC ranked it as
the “Wealthiest City in America.”
10: Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Tulsa is located in northeast Oklahoma in the Ozarks foothills.
U.S. News & World Report ranked it as one of the “Best Affordable Places to Live in
the U.S.,” and the Council for Community and Economic Research ranked it as one of
the “Most Affordable Big Cities in the U.S.”
The median home price is $145,900 and the median salary is $42,710.
Residents spend about 28.41 percent of their income on cost of living.
Oil and gas companies play a major role in the economy.
Williams Companies, Laredo Petroleum, and SemGroup are just a few of the ones with local
It is also a hub for the aerospace, technology and finance industries.
For culture fans, Tulsa has two art museums, opera, ballet, and several buildings built
in the art deco style of architecture.