If you're like me, you despise moving! If you do have to move, it's nice to know that some cities still offer an affordable cost of living. There are a few hidden gems out there that don't saddle us with high taxes and ridiculous utility bills, but instead provide affordable living from goods and services to health care and housing.
There are a few things to consider when searching for the cheapest places to live, so after looking into some of the cities out there, we have come up with a list of the top ten cities with the lowest cost of living in the United States. Hopefully this information will allow you to make an informed decision, when and if you decide that relocating to a more affordable city is the way for you to go.
Our list factors in the major components of cost of living including: goods & services, groceries, health care, housing, transportation, utilities and wraps them all up into a handy score. Keep in mind that the national average is 100. So if a city comes in at 90/100 its actually a good thing. The lower the number the lower the prices. Here's a list of the top 10 cities with the lowest cost of living in America and the cheapest places to live with a population over 200,000.
- 1. Tulsa, OKScore: 9.3/10
There are many reasons to move to a new city and while I am sure you can think of a few, I personally look for the cost of living, which in Tulsa, Oklahoma is 87/100. With an overall cost of living being 13% less than the national average, Tulsa is a great place to hunker down if you're looking to save some loot. With several varieties of businesses located in Tulsa, like aerospace, telecommunications and high technology, (just to name a few) securing gainful employment in Tulsa, OK should by no means be a difficult task.
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- 2. Indianapolis, INScore: 9.2/10
If you happen to be a racing fanatic like some, the Indianapolis 500 takes place close to Indianapolis, making it a choice location. The Indianapolis cost of living index is 88/100 which is 12% less than the national average. Another interesting tidbit is that both men and women hold approximate shares of the cities jobs, while the unemployment rate is under the national average of 10.1%, at 9.3%.
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- 3. Houston, TXScore: 9.2/10
Something that no person connected with the space industry looks forward to hearing is, "Houston, we have a problem" and with a low cost of living index of 88/100, you shouldn't have any problems spending less cash. Houston has an almost balanced population of males (38.8%) and females (36.3%) between the ages of eighteen and thirty nine, while 52.4% of its population over fifteen happens to be married. Whether you are married with a family or you plan to retire, Houston, TX should be on your list of cheap cities.
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- 4. Omaha, NEScore: 9.1/10
Omaha, NE boats a cost of living index of 89/100, which is 11% less than the rest of the United States. Relocation depends on your ability to find work and in this area Omaha aims to please with an unemployment rate of only 5.5%, which is almost 50% less than the national average of 9.5%. To go along with you new job, you can also expect to earn more than most, as the Omaha median household income is 6.3% greater than the national average.
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- 5. Nashville, TNScore: 9.1/10
In Nashville, you'll find that prices are cheaper across the board, and especially in the real estate sector. Overall, the Nashville cost of living is 89/100 which is 11% less than the national average. However, the real savings will come when you purchase your new. The median value for owner occupied housing in Nashville is $178,000 which is almost 20% less than the national average!
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- 6. Greensboro, NCScore: 9.1/10
Those of us who may be seeking warmer temperatures along with a low cost of living may find Greensboro, NC as an ideal location. The cost of living in Greensboro comes in at 89/100, which is 11% less than the US average. Also worth noting is that some basic necessities will cost you much less in Greensboro. Items such as eggs, coffee, fried chicken, bread, utilities and a trip to the barber will all be priced lower than average.
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- 7. Memphis, TNScore: 9.1/10
Choosing to relocate to Tennessee, does not mean that you have to live in Nashville, in fact the city of Memphis is just as good, with several advantages. First of all, the cost of living in Memphis is identical to that of Nashville, 89/100. But, housing is generally less expensive, mostly between twenty five and eighty thousand dollars, while most services like health care, transportation and utilities are well below the national average, some notable exceptions are beer and wine. Then again, maybe you'd prefer to have lower energy, gasoline and phone bills instead, you might drink less and reap those benefits as well!
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- 8. Fort Worth, TXScore: 9.1/10
With a population of less than 750,000, and a location right next to Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas is another in the list of top 10 cities for you to consider. Fort Worth makes our list with a 90/100 in the cost of living index, 10% lower than the national average. Here is a city where your beer may cost you less than your cappuccino, with milk and energy prices being slightly higher than the national average. An excellent trade off from some of the other cities located close by, Fort Worth offers lower prices on items like gasoline and visits to the doctor's office.
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- 9. Oklahoma City, OKScore: 9.1/10
Energy is a vital cost to consider when looking into the best city to relocate to. Oklahoma City energy costs are almost 25% less than the national average, and should be high on the list for consideration. The overall cost of living index is also low at 90/100, 10% lower than the national average. With many of us we look to keep the main operating costs to a bare minimum when ever possible. Daily food items such as potatoes, eggs, milk and coffee all come in at some of the lowest in the country.
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- 10. St. Louis, MOScore: 9.1/10
Home of the gateway arch and the Cardinals, St. Lois, MO is the final in our top 10 countdown today, however, it should not be considered as last, especially since the cost of living here is 90/100, 10% less than the national average. While grocery shopping is always a pleasure with lower than average prices on items like eggs, potatoes and milk, fried chicken lovers can expect to pay a cut above the rest.
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You can refer to our Best Places to Live report for real-time, up-to-date and interactive top 100 best and worst list of cities. The report is sortable, and it allows you to discriminate by the population as well as your preferred state. If you wish to compare cost of living in your city to that of another city, you may use our cost of living calculator