Special Report

The City With the Lowest Housing Costs in Every State

Methodology

To determine the metro areas where families pay the least for housing in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the Economic Policy Institute’s 2022 Family Budget Calculator. Metros were ranked based on the EPI’s annual housing cost estimates. Ties were broken with five-year estimates of median gross rent from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. 

In the Family Budget Calculator, the EPI estimates the housing costs for families to maintain a modest yet adequate standard of living. The budgets are created for 10 family types for U.S. counties and metro areas. A family of four is defined by the EPI as a married couple living with their two children, and the two children are assumed to be a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old.

State-level housing cost estimates are aggregated from the county level using five-year estimates of total households from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.

We used the 384 metropolitan statistical areas as delineated by the United States Office of Management and Budget and used by the Census Bureau as our definition of metros.

Additional information on median family income, homeownership rate, and median home value are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. Because the Census Bureau didn’t release one-year estimates for 2020 due to data collection issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, all ACS data are five-year estimates.

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