The 25 US cities with the lowest cost of living

1 month ago 12

Updated

2022-08-31T20:56:53Z

wichita falls

The city with the lowest cost of living was a city in Texas. DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images
  • It can be extremely expensive to live in big cities like New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles.
  • However, living in places, like Fort Wayne, Indiana, or Brownsville, Texas, can be more affordable. 
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana, was named the city with the lowest cost of living for 2022.

Big coastal cities, such as New York and San Francisco, are known for having notoriously high rent prices and an expensive cost of living. But in their smaller Midwestern counterparts, like Indianapolis, Indiana or Toledo, Ohio, life proves much, much cheaper.

And while a lower cost of living doesn't always equate to a higher quality of life, it can make a difference for those looking to stretch their paycheck.

Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on places to live, released its list of the US cities with the lowest cost of living in 2022.

The ranking focused primarily on the ratio of home values to income, median property taxes, median home values, median rent, and ratios of monthly housing cost to income for each place. It also took into account the price of gas, the price of groceries, and the ratio of the median rent to income into consideration. You can read a full breakdown of the methodology here.

Many of the top 25 cities fell within the Midwest and the South, with a city in Indiana earning the top spot.

Emmie Martin contributed to an earlier version of this article.

25. Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Population: 163,778

Median rent: $856

Median home value: $91,400

Percentage of people who rent their home: 51%

Percentage of people who own their home: 49%

24. Odessa, Texas

Odessa Texas

Odessa, Texas. DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

Population: 122,630 

Median rent: $1,104

Median home value: $159,700

Percentage of people who rent their home: 39%

Percentage of people who own their home: 61%

23. Lansing, Michigan

Lansing, Michigan downtown buildings.

Lansing, Michigan downtown buildings. Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Population: 117,488

Median rent: $847

Median home value: $87,700

Percentage of people who rent their home: 48%

Percentage of people who own their home: 52%

22. Kansas City, Kansas

Kansas City, Kansas

Kansas City, Kansas Getty Images

Population: 153,014

Median rent: $882

Median home value: $101,300

Percentage of people who rent their home: 43%

Percentage of people who own their home: 57%

21. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh skyline

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Andrea Evangelo-Giamou / EyeEm

Population: 301,286

Median rent: $984

Median home value: $134,800

Percentage of people who rent their home: 53%

Percentage of people who own their home: 47%

20. Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama. SeanPavonePhoto/Getty Images

Population: 210,928

Median rent: $870

Median home value: $97,500

Percentage of people who rent their home: 54%

Percentage of people who own their home: 46%

19. McAllen, Texas

mcallen texas

McAllen, Texas. Denis Tangney Jr/Getty Images

Population: 142,557

Median rent: $829

Median home value: $131,500

Percentage of people who rent their home: 41%

Percentage of people who own their home: 59%

18. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa. DenisTangneyJr/iStock/Getty Images

Population: 133,125

Median rent: $791

Median home value: $144,500

Percentage of people who rent their home: 30%

Percentage of people who own their home: 70%

17. Wichita, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas.

Wichita, Kansas. Getty Images

Population: 390,566

Median rent: $821

Median home value: $138,100

Percentage of people who rent their home: 42%

Percentage of people who own their home: 58%

16. Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Population: 199,054

Median rent: $905

Median home value: $121,100

Percentage of people who rent their home: 46%

Percentage of people who own their home: 54%

15. Abilene, Texas

the grace museum abilene texas

Abilene, Texas. Grace Museum

Population: 124,691

Median rent: $918

Median home value: $131,300

Percentage of people who rent their home: 46%

Percentage of people who own their home: 54%

14. Amarillo, Texas

Amarillo, Texas

Amarillo, Texas. Gimas/Shutterstock

Population: 199,225

Median rent: $876

Median home value: $138,900

Percentage of people who rent their home: 41%

Percentage of people who own their home: 59%

13. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio.

Cleveland, Ohio. Yuanshuai Si/Getty Images

Population: 383,331

Median rent: $735

Median home value: $73,400

Percentage of people who rent their home: 58%

Percentage of people who own their home: 42%

12. Topeka, Kansas

Topeka kansas

Topeka, Kansas. Henryk Sadura/shutterstock

Population: 125,819

Median rent: $815

Median home value: $105,700

Percentage of people who rent their home: 41%

Percentage of people who own their home: 59%

11. Erie, Pennsylvania

Erie, Pennsylvania.

Erie, Pennsylvania. Getty Images

Population: 96,616

Median rent: $725

Median home value: $90,500

Percentage of people who rent their home: 48%

Percentage of people who own their home: 52%

10. Akron, Ohio

Akron, Ohio

Akron, Ohio. Shutterstock

Population: 197,375

Median rent: $795

Median home value: $83,500

Percentage of people who rent their home: 50%

Percentage of people who own their home: 50%

9. Beaumont, Texas

Texas welcome sign

Texas road sign. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Population: 117,321

Median rent: $868

Median home value: $123,700

Percentage of people who rent their home: 45%

Percentage of people who own their home: 55%

8. Buffalo, New York

Buffalo, New York

Buffalo, New York Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

Population: 255,805

Median rent: $801

Median home value: $101,000

Percentage of people who rent their home: 58%

Percentage of people who own their home: 42%

7. Evansville, Indiana

indiana

Evansville, Indiana. Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Population: 118,414

Median rent: $797

Median home value: $98,600

Percentage of people who rent their home: 45%

Percentage of people who own their home: 55%

6. Toledo, Ohio

Toledo ohio

Toledo, Ohio. Michael Shake/Shutterstock

Population: 275,116

Median rent: $737

Median home value: $83,600

Percentage of people who rent their home: 49%

Percentage of people who own their home: 51%

5. Dayton, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio. David Harmantas/Shutterstock

Population: 140,444

Median rent: $724

Median home value: $69,400

Percentage of people who rent their home: 53%

Percentage of people who own their home: 47%

4. South Bend, Indiana

South Bend Indiana

South Bend, Indiana. Chuck W Walker/Shutterstock

Population: 102,686

Median rent: $814

Median home value: $88,600

Percentage of people who rent their home: 42%

Percentage of people who own their home: 58%

3. Brownsville, Texas

Brownsville, Texas

Brownsville, Texas. Shutterstock

Population: 182,230

Median rent: $754

Median home value: $92,400

Percentage of people who rent their home: 40%

Percentage of people who own their home: 60%

2. Wichita Falls, Texas

wichita falls

Wichita Falls, Texas. DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

Population: 104,657

Median rent: $828

Median home value: $104,800

Percentage of people who rent their home: 43%

Percentage of people who own their home: 57%

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Erin McDowell

Reporter, Editorial Partnerships

Erin McDowell is a reporter on the Insider Inc. distribution team. She covers food, lifestyle, entertainment, retail, careers, and more for Insider, Business Insider, and Insider Inc.'s partners, including MSN.com and Yahoo. She graduated from Elon University in January 2019, where she studied strategic communications and digital art. She has written for V Magazine, Milk.XYZ, OUT.com, Brides Magazine, and more. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and can be found on LinkedIn Please send all inquiries, comments, or tips to [email protected]

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Erin Snodgrass

Junior Reporter

Erin Snodgrass is a junior reporter for Insider. Before joining Insider, Erin was an intern with InvestigateTV and Česká televize. She graduated from Loyola University New Orleans in 2020. Her work has also been published in The Olympian and on Nola.com She can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter as @erinsnod. 

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