Special Report

America's Cheapest Cities Where Everyone Wants to Live Right Now


To identify America’s cheapest cities where everyone wants to live, 24/7 Wall St. considered three factors: cost of living, housing affordability, and population growth from migration. Of the 383 U.S. metro areas, we considered only those with a regional price parity — or cost of living — below the national average. Metro areas also had to have a housing affordability ratio — median home value divided by median annual household income — below the average ratio across all metro areas of 4.46. Finally, we ranked the 50 metro areas by the largest population growth due to net migration between 2010 and 2018.

Median household income and median home values are from the 2018 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau. July 1, 2018 population estimates and population change between 2010 and 2018 are from the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program. Regional price parity, or cost of living, is from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Percentile ranks for median household income and median home value are provided for context and were calculated against all 383 U.S. metro areas.

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