Cities Journal

These Are U.S.’s Best Affordable Cities


Finding an affordable city is not a difficult task. You take a look at a few statistics and find the place where the prices are the lowest. These are the cheapest cities but if we are being completely honest, these will most probably not be the places where you will want to live. The secret is to find cheap places that are also great for living and that is exactly what Livability did with their Top 10 best affordable places for families.

In order to come up with their list, they looked at the costs of living and how they compared to various national averages (transportation costs, housing costs, etc.). However, they also looked for cities and towns that boast high incomes and high livability scores (as determined by the Livability LivScore). Finally, they wanted to make sure that these places do not boast dramatic income inequality which can often send results askew.

Throw in some expert opinions and general knowledge of the cities and you get the Livability’s Best Affordable Places in the U.S. for 2016.

In spot #10, you will find Bloomington, Illinois, a city of around 75,000 residents and one of two municipalities of the Bloomington-Normal metro area. The cities have done a marvelous job of going at it together, but Normal simply did not make the cut. Bloomington did, thanks to its higher median household income which means that its residents spend a smaller portion of their salaries on housing.

Holland, Michigan made it to the ninth spot. The city has a fantastic location on Lake Michigan, one of the most gorgeous little downtowns and lower prices of everything from groceries to homes and utilities than the national average. And the best thing is that their median income does not reflect these lower prices. Money in Holland simply goes further.

Thanks to the investment of over $1 billion into revitalizing Cedar Rapids downtown area and renovating its cultural venues, this Iowa city easily made it to #8 on the list of best affordable cities in the country. There is never a shortage of jobs in Cedar Rapids and the living costs are still very low.

At spot No.7, you will find Greeley, Colorado, a city that has been growing rapidly over the last few years. The costs of living are lower than pretty much anywhere else in the state (or even West) while their median household income is still a very respectable $47,342. Did, we forget to mention new music venues and restaurants that have been popping up in Greeley? Yes, we have.


Provo, Utah made it to spot No.6 on the list mostly thanks to the fact that stuff costs less than in most major cities. The city also boasts incredible mountain views, fantastic recreation facilities and their power costs are among the lowest in this part of the country. The unemployment is well below the national average and the money simply lasts.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota is in the fifth spot both because of its incredible community spirit and neighborhoods that are all different and also because people spend less than 27 percent of their annual income on housing. The city also boasts a great health care and school system.

Round Rock, Texas is in spot #4, with its low housing costs, amazing parks and other recreational facilities. The city also features a laudable income equality and the proximity of Austin makes Round Rock one of the best affordable places in the United States.

Rochester, Minnesota has found its way to third place thanks to affordable housing, among other things. At the moment, houses in the city are among the best deals you can get in the United States, especially since Rochester is one of the best cities to live in regardless of affordability.

Bismarck, North Dakota does not boast particularly low living expenses. In fact, they are very near the national average. However, the housing prices are extremely low, especially for a city that boasts all the amenities and luxuries Bismarck does. The city is packed with content and everything else you need in a your hometown.

The best affordable city in the United States is Huntsville, Alabama, with its high-tech economy and median household income that reflects this. The residents spend a very small portion of their salaries on housing and they can use the rest to enjoy its many cultural and sports attractions. The restaurant scene in Huntsville is also very alive and rich while their parks make it one of the most outdoorsy cities in the country.

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