Most Affordable Places to Live in the U.S. in 2020-21

Settling down in one of the cities below could do wonders for your wallet. Based on the median gross rent and annual housing costs for mortgage-paying homeowners of each metro area, these are the cities with the lowest cost of living in the country. For more information on how we rank, read the Best Places to Live methodology.

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25 matches
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  1. Huntsville, AL
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    Huntsville, AL

    #1 in Cheapest Places to Live

    Once a sleepy farming town, Huntsville gained national recognition during the Space Race of the 1960s and is now the... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    7.1
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    6.3
    Value
    Value
    8.7
    Overall Score
    7.1
    Quality of Life
    6.3
    Value
    8.7
  2. Fort Wayne, IN
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    Fort Wayne, IN

    #2 in Cheapest Places to Live

    With its low cost of living and quiet neighborhoods, Fort Wayne, Indiana, is an excellent place to buy a house, start a... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    6.6
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    6.1
    Value
    Value
    8.6
    Overall Score
    6.6
    Quality of Life
    6.1
    Value
    8.6
  3. Des Moines, IA
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    Des Moines, IA

    #3 in Cheapest Places to Live

    The capital of this so-called flyover state may not top your to-visit list, but Des Moines is a great place to live and... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    7.3
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    7.3
    Value
    Value
    8.4
    Overall Score
    7.3
    Quality of Life
    7.3
    Value
    8.4
  4. Fayetteville, AR
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    Fayetteville, AR

    #4 in Cheapest Places to Live

    Located in a region that's experiencing drastic growth, Fayetteville – together with Bentonville, Rogers and Springdale... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    7.3
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    7.2
    Value
    Value
    8.3
    Overall Score
    7.3
    Quality of Life
    7.2
    Value
    8.3
  5. South Bend, IN
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    South Bend, IN

    #5 in Cheapest Places to Live

    Home to the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, boasts a low cost of living and an array of parks and other... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    6.6
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    6.4
    Value
    Value
    8.3
    Overall Score
    6.6
    Quality of Life
    6.4
    Value
    8.3
  6. Quad Cities, IA-IL (Davenport-Bettendorf, IA & Moline-Rock Island, IL)
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    Spanning two states over the Mississippi River, the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois can feel smaller than it is... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    6.5
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    6.7
    Value
    Value
    8.3
    Overall Score
    6.5
    Quality of Life
    6.7
    Value
    8.3
  7. Peoria, IL
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    Peoria, IL

    #7 in Cheapest Places to Live

    When people want to know whether something has wide appeal, they might ask “Will it play in Peoria?” But don’t let that... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    6.3
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    6.4
    Value
    Value
    8.3
    Overall Score
    6.3
    Quality of Life
    6.4
    Value
    8.3
  8. Hickory, NC
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    Hickory, NC

    #8 in Cheapest Places to Live

    With its moderate climate and sweeping mountain views, the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton area, sometimes known as the Catawba... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    6.7
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    6.5
    Value
    Value
    8.2
    Overall Score
    6.7
    Quality of Life
    6.5
    Value
    8.2
  9. Grand Rapids, MI
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    Grand Rapids, MI

    #9 in Cheapest Places to Live

    Grand Rapids has an affinity for public art, and its craft brewery scene is one of the best in the nation. A scenic spot... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    7.1
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    7.6
    Value
    Value
    8.1
    Overall Score
    7.1
    Quality of Life
    7.6
    Value
    8.1
  10. Pittsburgh, PA
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    Pittsburgh, PA

    #10 in Cheapest Places to Live

    Known by nicknames like Blitzburgh and Steel City, Pittsburgh is on the verge of greater heights. Emerging from a dying... Read More
    Overall Score
    Overall Score
    6.5
    Quality of Life
    Quality of Life
    6.3
    Value
    Value
    8.1
    Overall Score
    6.5
    Quality of Life
    6.3
    Value
    8.1