US Cities That Are Still Affordable To Live In

Lindsey - February 3, 2024
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Photo: CityofWS.org

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Piedmont Triad’s Winston-Salem, North Carolina combines a rich history with a lower cost of living. The city, known for its tobacco and textile heritage, has diversified its economy in recent years, with a focus on healthcare, education, and technology.

Winston-Salem boasts a range of cultural attractions, including the Reynolda House Museum of American Art and the historic Old Salem Museums & Gardens. The cost of living is below the national average, and housing options are diverse, catering to different preferences. With a commitment to preserving its historical roots while embracing innovation, Winston-Salem is an affordable and culturally rich city in the Southeast.

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Photo: Bozeman.net

Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman, Montana is a city known for its outdoor recreation opportunities, thriving arts scene, and a lower cost of living compared to many other desirable destinations. Surrounded by mountains and close to Yellowstone National Park, Bozeman attracts those who appreciate nature and an active lifestyle.

The city has seen significant growth, fueled in part by a burgeoning technology sector. Bozeman’s downtown area offers a mix of local shops, galleries, and restaurants. With a strong sense of community, excellent schools, and a commitment to sustainability, Bozeman is an attractive option for those seeking an affordable and scenic lifestyle in the Rocky Mountains.

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Photo: Springfieldmo.gov

Springfield, Missouri

Looking for a city that combines affordability with a vibrant cultural scene and outdoor attractions? Look no further than Springfield, Missouri. The cost of living in Springfield is below the national average, making it an appealing option for individuals and families.

Springfield is known for its live music venues, festivals, and a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking and water sports in nearby lakes. The city’s diverse economy includes healthcare, education, and manufacturing. With a friendly community, a lower cost of living, and a range of recreational opportunities, Springfield offers a comfortable and affordable lifestyle in the heart of the Midwest.

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Photo: Texas Economic Development Corporation

Lubbock, Texas

Everything is bigger in Texas, but that’s not necessarily true when it comes to cost of living. Lubbock is a city that combines a lower cost of living with a rich cultural scene and a strong emphasis on education. Home to Texas Tech University, Lubbock has a youthful energy and diverse population.

The cost of living in Lubbock is below the national average, and the city provides various housing options. Lubbock’s cultural attractions include museums, theaters, and a vibrant music scene influenced by its West Texas roots. With a stable economy, friendly atmosphere, and a commitment to education, Lubbock stands out as an affordable and welcoming city in the Lone Star State.

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Photo: Travel Noire

Pensacola, Florida

The Gulf Coast’s Pensacola, Florida, offers a combination of white sandy beaches, historic charm, and a lower cost of living. The city’s economy is anchored by military presence, healthcare, and tourism.

Pensacola’s historic downtown area features preserved architecture, a vibrant arts scene, and a variety of dining options. The cost of living is below the national average, and residents can enjoy outdoor activities, including water sports and beach relaxation. With a mix of cultural offerings and natural beauty, Pensacola is an attractive destination for those seeking an affordable coastal lifestyle in the Sunshine State.

Promenade Park, Toledo Ohio
Photo: MKSK

Toledo, Ohio

The western shores of Lake Erie bring us to Toledo, Ohio – a city with a rich industrial history that has transformed into an affordable and welcoming community. The cost of living in Toledo is below the national average, and the city provides diverse housing options.

Toledo is known for its cultural attractions, including the Toledo Museum of Art and the Toledo Zoo. The city’s waterfront along the Maumee River offers parks and recreational spaces. With a focus on revitalization and community engagement, Toledo provides a comfortable lifestyle for residents in the heart of the Midwest.

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Photo: Southern Living

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham is a city that blends affordability with a vibrant cultural scene. The cost of living in Birmingham is below the national average, and the city offers a mix of housing options from historic neighborhoods to modern developments.

Birmingham’s history as an industrial hub is reflected in its museums and historic sites, such as the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The city has a diverse culinary scene and hosts various events and festivals throughout the year. With a lower cost of living and a commitment to community growth, Birmingham is an appealing destination in the Southeast.

Fargo North Dakota
Photo: Britannica

Fargo, North Dakota

Offering a combination of affordability and a strong sense of community, Fargo, North Dakota, brings its charm to the northern plains. The cost of living in Fargo is below the national average, and the city provides various housing options, including a mix of historic and modern residences.

Fargo’s economy has diversified, with strengths in healthcare, technology, and education. The city is known for its friendly atmosphere, cultural events, and outdoor recreational opportunities. With a lower cost of living and a welcoming community, Fargo stands out as a hidden gem in the Upper Midwest.

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Photo: ExperienceColumbiaSC

Columbia, South Carolina

The capital of South Carolina, Columbia is a city that combines southern charm with affordability. The cost of living in Columbia is below the national average, and the city offers a range of housing options, including historic neighborhoods and modern developments.

Columbia’s vibrant arts scene, historic sites, and outdoor parks contribute to its appeal. The city is home to the University of South Carolina, adding a youthful energy to the community. With a commitment to urban development and a lower cost of living, Columbia provides an attractive option for those seeking a comfortable lifestyle in the Palmetto State.

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Photo: Kayak

Eugene, Oregon

Eugene is a city known for its natural beauty, outdoor activities, and a lower cost of living compared to other cities in the Pacific Northwest. The cost of living in Eugene is below the national average, and the city provides a mix of housing options, from urban apartments to suburban homes.

Eugene’s proximity to mountains, forests, and the Willamette River offers residents ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. The city is also known for its focus on sustainability, with a strong emphasis on local and organic products. With a laid-back atmosphere, cultural events, and affordability, Eugene is an appealing destination in the scenic Pacific Northwest.

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Photo: Trip Savvy

Waco, Texas

Another Texas gem, Waco has gained attention in recent years for its affordability and vibrant community. The cost of living in Waco is below the national average, and the city offers a range of housing options, including historic homes and modern developments.

Waco is perhaps best known for being the home of Magnolia Market, a popular destination created by HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines. The city’s downtown area has undergone revitalization, featuring shops, cafes, and cultural events. With a lower cost of living, a warm climate, and a sense of community, Waco is an attractive option in the heart of Texas.

Manchester
Photo: Better Buildings Initiative – Department of Energy

Manchester, New Hampshire

New England’s Manchester is the largest city in New Hampshire and is known for its affordability and quality of life. The cost of living in Manchester is relatively lower than the national average, and the city provides diverse housing options.

Manchester’s economy is diverse, with strengths in healthcare, education, and technology. The city’s historic charm is evident in its architecture, museums, and parks. With proximity to the White Mountains and the New Hampshire seacoast, residents of Manchester can enjoy outdoor activities year-round. With a lower cost of living and a strong sense of community, Manchester is an appealing destination in the Northeast.

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Photo: Expedia.com

Biloxi, Mississippi

Biloxi is a Gulf coastal city known for its affordability, warm climate, and vibrant entertainment options. The cost of living in Biloxi is below the national average, and the city offers various housing options, including waterfront properties.

Biloxi’s economy is driven by tourism, with casinos, seafood restaurants, and cultural attractions drawing visitors. The city’s sandy beaches, fishing opportunities, and annual events contribute to its relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. With a lower cost of living, a coastal lifestyle, and a strong sense of community, Biloxi is a hidden gem in the South.

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Photo: Wikipedia

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

In the heart of the Great Plains, Sioux Falls is a city known for its affordability, strong job market, and outdoor amenities. The cost of living in Sioux Falls is below the national average, and the city offers a variety of housing options.

Sioux Falls has a diverse economy with strengths in healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. The city’s parks, trails, and the Big Sioux River provide ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. With a lower cost of living, a growing cultural scene, and a welcoming community, Sioux Falls is an attractive destination in the Midwest.

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Tucson, Arizona

The Sonoran Desert’s Tucson offers a unique blend of affordability, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty. The cost of living in Tucson is below the national average, and the city provides diverse housing options, including adobe-style homes and modern developments.

Tucson’s rich cultural heritage is reflected in its historic districts, museums, and vibrant arts scene. The city is surrounded by mountains and desert landscapes, offering outdoor enthusiasts hiking, biking, and stargazing opportunities. With a lower cost of living, a warm climate, and a diverse population, Tucson is an appealing destination in the Southwest.

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Photo: Expedia.com

Columbia, Missouri

Columbia as a city blends affordability with a vibrant cultural scene and a strong emphasis on education. The cost of living in Columbia is below the national average, and the city offers a range of housing options, from historic neighborhoods to modern developments.

Columbia is home to the University of Missouri, contributing to a dynamic and diverse community. The city’s downtown area features local shops, restaurants, and cultural events. With numerous parks, trails, and a friendly atmosphere, Columbia provides a comfortable and affordable lifestyle in the heart of the Midwest.

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Photo: Trip Savvy

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

As the capital of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City offers a mix of affordability, a strong job market, and a rich cultural scene. The cost of living in Oklahoma City is below the national average, and the city provides various housing options, including historic districts and new developments.

Oklahoma City has undergone significant revitalization in recent years, with attractions such as the Bricktown entertainment district and the Oklahoma City National Memorial. The city’s economy is diverse, with strengths in energy, aerospace, and healthcare. With a lower cost of living, a welcoming community, and a blend of urban and outdoor amenities, Oklahoma City is an appealing destination in the Southern Plains.

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Photo: WCBU

Peoria, Illinois

Peoria, located along the Illinois River, is a city known for its affordability, strong sense of community, and diverse economy. The cost of living in Peoria is below the national average, and the city offers a mix of housing options, including historic neighborhoods and suburban developments.

Peoria’s economy has roots in manufacturing, healthcare, and agriculture. The city hosts cultural events, festivals, and has a growing arts scene. With a lower cost of living, a variety of recreational opportunities, and a friendly community, Peoria provides a comfortable and affordable lifestyle in the Midwest.

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Photo: Flagstaff.az.gov

Flagstaff, Arizona

The beautiful Flagstaff offers a unique combination of affordability, outdoor recreation, and a mountain town atmosphere. The cost of living in Flagstaff is below the national average, and the city provides diverse housing options, including mountain cabins and modern homes.

Flagstaff’s proximity to the Grand Canyon, national forests, and Arizona Snowbowl ski resort makes it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The city has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with galleries, music festivals, and a historic downtown area. With a lower cost of living, stunning natural surroundings, and a diverse community, Flagstaff is a hidden gem in the Southwest.

Weybosset Street View, Providence, Rhode Island
Photo: Wikipedia

Providence, Rhode Island


Our final city is another capitol: Providence, Rhode Island. Providence is a city that combines affordability with historic charm and a thriving arts scene. The cost of living in Providence is below the national average, and the city offers a mix of housing options, from colonial-era homes to modern apartments.

Providence’s waterfront, historic districts, and renowned universities contribute to its unique character. The city hosts cultural events, festivals, and has a diverse culinary scene. With a lower cost of living, a walkable downtown area, and a rich history, Providence is an attractive destination in the Northeast.

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