2017 Cities with the Lowest Cost of Living in America

Explore the cheapest cities to live in America relative to income. Ranking of cost of living by city based on the consumer price index and access to affordable housing (housing-to-income rates) using data from the U.S. Census and BLS.

See how this ranking was calculated
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Fort Wayne

    • City in Indiana
    • 470 reviews
    Current Resident:There are quite a few things to do in Fort Wayne, a little bit of something for everyone. We have a wide array of restaurants available, anything from your typical chains to high class places like Eddie Merlot's or local dynasties like Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island which celebrated its 102nd birthday this year! In the past five years we have had a period of revitalization downtown. The state of the art TinCaps stadium draws in the sports fans and other business owners have capitalized on this several new boutiques and unique locally businesses have cropped in the downtown improvement district. The City of Fort Wayne plans to continue on with these improvements in its latest approved project the Riverfront Development Project. The real estate market is quite competitive in several high demand areas,SW and NW to be specific. However, cost of living remains relatively low compared to the national average.
    More about Fort Wayne
  2. 2

    Evansville

    • City in Indiana
    • 237 reviews
    Current Resident:Evansville Indiana is a perfect town for anyone who is looking for a big city with a suburban feel! It is one of the biggest cities in Indiana and offers short drives to other amazing cities such as Louisville, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Nashville, and much more! With access to the Ohio River, and the annual fall festival, Evansville always has something for anyone.
    More about Evansville
  3. 3

    South Bend

    • City in Indiana
    • 152 reviews
    Current Resident:Born and raised here, moved back a few years ago. Community is pretty friendly, lots of things to do downtown with the city. Renovations and new construction makes for new opportunities coming!
    More about South Bend
  4. 4

    Topeka

    • City in Kansas
    • 210 reviews
    Current Resident:Topeka is a very diverse city. Well known roads divide the city into "good areas", "bad areas", and "shopping areas". I live right in the shopping area and so far have had no problems with neighbors or disturbances. My only concern in Topeka would be the roads. There are potholes everywhere and deteriorating concrete panels they lay next to each other to create the road. Also, having all the destination restaurants and shopping in one area makes for horrible traffic and crowded parking lots.
    More about Topeka
  5. 5

    Toledo

    • City in Ohio
    • 351 reviews
    Current Resident:Toledo is a beautiful city. The Maumee River runs through downtown and is lined with restaurants and corporate buildings. There are several well-kept Metro parks throughout the city. Toledo takes pride in their family oriented activities such as the Toledo Mud Hens, the Toledo Walleye, The Toledo Zoo, Imagination Station and The Toledo Museum of Art, just to name a few! I would like to see removal of vacant houses and dilapidated areas of the city. I would also like to see academic success for the public school system and an increase in high school graduation rates. I believe this will then decrease the crime rate and have an overall better outcome for the community.
    More about Toledo
  6. 6

    Wichita

    • City in Kansas
    • 508 reviews
    Current Resident:At first, when I moved to Wichita, I was very skeptical because it was a new place I'd never been but, I was open to anything so I jumped head first! I stationed here and have been here for the past five years and I've grown to love the area. There's no other city like it. It's a big city with a small-town feel. The schooling here is really good (college-wise). I've only attended Butler Community College so far but I know Wichita State University is a highly rated school even though it is pretty expensive. If you're a "foodie", you would love it here. There are so many little restaurants from so many ethnic backgrounds, it's just amazing. Anything from small cafe's, to food trucks (my favorite), to expensive french restaurants and little Hawaiian places with the BEST Kahlua pork and cabbage you've ever tasted.
    More about Wichita
  7. 7

    Akron

    • City in Ohio
    • 337 reviews
    Current Resident:The Home of Lebron James "ALL IN". Akron, Ohio is such a wonderful and prideful place to visit and reside. Akron has "pocket villages" such as; Highland Square that have quant shops, historical theaters, night life, dining, and more. Akron, Ohio or as some like to call it "Little Cleveland" was once the Rubber Capital of The World! One of the most interesting sites to check out while visiting Akron is Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens where F.A. Seiberling once lived. Seiberling was one of the co-founders/visionaries of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Akron is a place where many young families are choosing to raise their children. The history, the metropolitan parks, the dining, and the art museums are stellar reasons to spend time in Akron, Ohio.
    More about Akron
  8. 8

    Cedar Rapids

    • City in Iowa
    • 242 reviews
    Current Resident:I have grown up in this community, I have met all of my wonderful friends and found many chances to launch my career interests. More specifically, Linn-Mar School District is a fantastic school district to grow up in; it holds many opportunities for involvement with a smaller town community feel. Organizations such as Workplace Learning allow students to look for a career path and get experience by working with local companies. Due to the city's real community feel these programs bring people together and allow for a diverse and ever-changing landscape. Cedar Rapids has been a great place to grow up, and I will never forget everything I have gained from my experiences here.
    More about Cedar Rapids
  9. 9

    Davenport

    • City in Iowa
    • 153 reviews
    Current Resident:Davenport is a town full of character that has everything you could ever need. My favorite part of Davenport is the downtown area with many family owned stores and restaurants with a beautiful view of the Mississippi River. There are also different festivals throughout the entire year, it is definitely worth checking out!
    More about Davenport
  10. 10

    Springfield

    • City in Illinois
    • 137 reviews
    Current Resident:Springfield is a pretty average city, with a bignore population. Springfield has a variety of public schools, even a few private schools. It's also very family friendly. Not to much crime goes on here. Springfield has a pretty decent night life if you like bars and clubs. Thinking about visiting springfield, I'd say it's worth it. Filled with tourist attractions. Come visit!
    More about Springfield
  11. 11

    Rochester

    • City in Minnesota
    • 117 reviews
    Current Resident:A medium-sized city with a small-town feel! Amenities meet Minnesota-nice (which indeed is a real thing!) Wonderful walking and biking paths, beautiful weather, and a deep focus on environmental health.
    More about Rochester
  12. 12

    Dayton

    • City in Ohio
    • 68 reviews
    Current Resident:My experience in the city of Dayton, Ohio has been great so far! Although my wife and I currently live in Dayton, we used to live in Indiana, and we would come to Dayton about twice per month to visit my in-laws. Through the years I have seen some positive growth in some areas. Although it is not perfect, there are lots of things to do and things that I enjoy. One of my favorite things is just going over to the mall area. It is huge! I can find anything I want from different restaurants to clothing stores to electronic stores and way more! Actually, my wife and I took our friend from the Congo, who is new to Dayton, over to the mall area a couple of weeks ago. He was so surprised to see how enormous that place looks that, while we were driving in the car, he said to us, "if you dropped me off anywhere around here and left, I would have to call the police to come and get me." We all laughed at his comment and had a good time, because we got what we came for and that is always good.
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  13. 13

    Springfield

    • City in Missouri
    • 274 reviews
    Current Resident:What I think Springfield needs to change is the train system. No these are not trains that transport people, they transport a variety of goods across the state every day, multiple times a day. I happen to live down the street from one of the many sets of train tracks and it is a total inconvenience. The loud blaring of the horn at random times of day and night don't bother me as much as you would think. What does bother me is how these trains bring traffic to a standstill. Here I am trying to get to school in the morning and I'm rushing out the door, unfortunately for me the train has decided to come at 7:33 and I'm stuck on an overpass for 20 minutes. "Leave earlier "is something I've been told by many people. What they don't understand is maybe the train came at 7:33 day but tomorrow it could come at 7:25 or 7:42, the unpredictability is maddening!
    More about Springfield
  14. 14

    Wichita Falls

    • City in Texas
    • 178 reviews
    Current Resident:Best of the small city with attractions, shopping of a larger city.
    Two hours from large cities: Dallas/Ft Worth, Abilene, Oklahoma City
    Great Airport,
    NO TRAFFIC, great highway infrastructure.
    Great College: MSU tuition below state average and schools has several outstanding degree plans
    Diverse population
    Giving, Caring community with strong non-profit network, deep pocketed philanthropic supported
    Challenges are Jobs - Getting Better
    Recession, Drought, Low Oil Prices in rear view mirror - Community moving forward with focus on leveraging Sheppard AFB, MSU, Downtown, Business Community to build a thriving community!
    More about Wichita Falls
  15. 15

    Kansas City

    • City in Kansas
    • 234 reviews
    Current Resident:Kansas City, Kansas is a city of wonderful people. There are few rough patches, but there is still light shining there. My brother attends the local public school and there seems to be a lack of effort from the students, which leads to the education standards being lowered. The nightlife and safety in our neighborhood seems to be getting better over the last year. Healthy living is possible, as our family has many gardens and spends a lot of time outside, even though we are in the city. It is definitely family friendly, as there are many places for a family with young children to go. There are also many fun restaurants for young children. Cost of living isn't too bad. The diversity is amazing as Kansas City is a popular place for immigrants and refugees to come. The job opportunities in my neighborhood are very scarce, but driving just a couple minutes more, there are many different opportunities to work.
    More about Kansas City
  16. 16

    Odessa

    • City in Texas
    • 167 reviews
    Current Resident:I like odessa because there is alot to do entertainment wise. There is bowling, ice skating, a verity of movie theaters, skating, bars, clubs, go carts, mini golf, and much more! Neighborhood is great no issues with neighbors clean neighborhood respected neighborhood privacy a plus.
    More about Odessa
  17. 17

    Cleveland

    • City in Ohio
    • 168 reviews
    Works Here:Cleveland is a historic city that has been rough around the edges since The Great Depression. However, the Cleveland is on the uprise with huge makeovers (I.e. Uptown, Cleveland Clinic Main Campus, Cleveland state University, and Playhouse Square etc). These makeovers give Cleveland a unique appeal. This appeal comes from the balance between newly renovated buildings and historic buildings. Cleveland inspires all generations to live near their amazing day and night events. Additionally, they have diverse ethnic groups that both visit and reside their. Making Cleveland a memorial city!
    More about Cleveland
  18. 18

    Indianapolis

    • City in Indiana
    • 1,644 reviews
    Niche User:The atmosphere in the areas around college campuses and downtown is perfect. There is a lot for students to do including free days at museums and other free or cheap events. There are parks, the cultural trail, the canal, and many other great outdoor experiences too. If you want shopping there are plenty of different districts that offer unique shopping experiences: boutiques, vintage shops, music and vinyl stores, etc. The restaurant options are endless! There is the typical chain restaurants as well as specialty food and smaller businesses. Plenty of vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, etc options to fit any person's diet.
    More about Indianapolis
  19. 19

    Abilene

    • City in Texas
    • 237 reviews
    Current Resident:Abilene is a very family-oriented and conservative town. It is very centered around art culture! There is a church on just about every corner in town, and there are a multitude of family-friendly events that anyone can enjoy!
    More about Abilene
  20. 20

    Sioux Falls

    • City in South Dakota
    • 309 reviews
    Current Resident:I have lived in Sioux Falls all my life and this city keeps getting better and better. My childhood is filled with fond memories of parks, pools, bike trails, and many fun things to do. The people here are always so kind and hospitable. Our downtown area has become a staple of our economy and culture, and has helped us establish a great community of art, music, shops, and entrepreneurship. We have great natural beauty to discover with Falls Park, the bike trail, our Outdoor Campus, and many other great parts of nature. The economy continues to grow making it an incredible place to live and raise a family. Schools are abundant in the area and are filled with great teachers who love their students. There isn't really a bad thing I can say about Sioux Falls, maybe other than the winter gets a little chilly. I truly do love it here!
    More about Sioux Falls
  21. 21

    Montgomery

    • City in Alabama
    • 275 reviews
    Current Resident:Montgomery is a diverse area, located in Central Alabama, convenient to Birmingham, Atlanta and the Florida coast. Montgomery has a little of everything for everyone! Foodies will find plenty of excellent dining choices, and those interested in the Arts will love the Shakespeare Festival. The Zoo rivals most of those in larger metropolitan areas, and it is convenient to music and entertainment provided by some of the larger cities in the South.
    More about Montgomery
  22. 22

    Lansing

    • City in Michigan
    • 139 reviews
    Current Resident:Lansing may be a small city, but it is wonderfully international and diverse. It sits next to the Michigan State University campus, and boasts a variety of restaurants, river trails, and historical sites. The Lansing Lugnuts, the local baseball team, rule the summer season at the stadium, and craft breweries abound nearby. I love being able to walk down-town and visit the capitol building which is always beautiful no matter how many times I see it.
    I do find it odd that parts of Lansing are not actually the city, but the township, and our mayor has plenty to say about why townships make little sense. Economically, Lansing has been through some hard time with the recession and General Motor closing many plants within the city. There are some not-nice neighborhoods and a serious marijuana issue that wafts through the streets. But, the charms of the city far outweigh these, and Lansing is constantly moving forward in a better direction. I am proud to call this city home!
    More about Lansing
  23. 23

    Des Moines

    • City in Iowa
    • 76 reviews
    Current Resident:I love Des Moines, Iowa. With the beautiful city scape and river passing on the downtown edge, there is always a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Many of the people you meet are welcoming and helpful, has that small town feel within a city atmosphere. Travel twenty minutes outside of Des Moines and you have beautiful landscapes of farms. I lived downtown for two years and loved every moment, always something to do, eat, or see!
    More about Des Moines
  24. 24

    Brownsville

    • City in Texas
    • 580 reviews
    Current Resident:This is a small town with so much culture. I have grown up here my whole life and it is truly amazing to see this place transform into a community who thrives to be better. If you are looking for somewhere with amazing mexican food, a growing health community or to build a new business, Brownsville is the place to be! I believe in this city so much and I can't wait to see what it will develop into in the next 10 years.
    More about Brownsville
  25. 25

    Warren

    • City in Michigan
    • 246 reviews
    Current Resident:Warren is a city in Macomb County in the state of Michigan. Warren is the largest city in Macomb County. It is also the third largest city in Michigan, and Metro Detroit's largest suburb.

    I find this area to be relatively safe. You have access to a variety of city services which include a very good door to door city transportation system, stores and businesses that service in numerous ways.

    Those businesses include General Motors Technical Center, the United States Army Detroit Arsenal, home of the United States Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command and the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, the headquarters of Big Boy Restaurants International, and Asset Acceptance.
    More about Warren