Some of the most desirable places to live in the United States are among the most expensive. New York City, San Francisco, and other bustling cultural hubs have sky-high rent and costs of living. These places are typically out of reach for young professionals and young families looking to relocate to somewhere new.
The ability to be financially comfortable is a major factor in choosing a location to live. The affordability of a city can be determined by looking at the median annual income in that city versus what percentage of that income is spent on average monthly expenses, such as rent, taxes, and utilities.
Living in an affordable city is ideal for those looking to rack up a savings account or are newly out of college and have a smaller budget. Many of the most affordable cities in the United States have median salaries comparable or above the national median annual salary of $50,520, with the lowest median salary (outlier) being $39,940. The percentage of income spent on living expenses in the twenty most affordable cities is between only 19.3-21.49%. The most affordable cities are still considerably large, with populations ranging from 429,060 to over 3,500,000.
The 20 most affordable cities in the United States are:
Huntsville, Alabama is the most affordable city in the United States. The median annual income in Huntsville $53,600 and only 19.3% of the median household income is spent on living expenses. Huntsville’s economy is built on space exploration, missile defense, and biotechnology, providing an array of well-paying jobs.
With a few exceptions, a majority of the most affordable cities in the United States are in the southeastern or mid-western regions. A majority of the least affordable cities are along the east and west coasts.