To identify America’s cheapest cities where everyone wants to live, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed cost of living, housing search activity, and population growth for 112 U.S. metro areas. We ranked cities based on the net inflow of new residents from July 2020 to April 2021 based on data from Redfin.com, a national real estate brokerage. We also considered incoming searches relative to outgoing searches for homes in each metro area among prospective buyers on Redfin.
Population data came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population and Housing Unit Estimates program. Redfin’s net population inflow data is based on search activity among the site’s over 2 million users.
We only considered cities where the regional price parity — or cost of living — is below the national figure. Data on regional price parity is from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and is for 2019. Data on median household income and median home value came from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and are for 2019.