Special Report

Cities Where People Pay the Lowest Housing Costs

Methodology

To determine the metro areas where single people pay the least for housing, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on housing costs from the Economic Policy Institute’s 2022 Family Budget Calculator.

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. We used estimates for a single person with no children. For this family type, the EPI assumes the single person is employed and files federal income taxes as the head of household.

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.

Metros were ranked based on the EPI’s annual housing cost estimates. Ties were broken using five-year estimates of median gross rent from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. 

Additional information on median household income, homeownership rate, and median home value are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. Because the Census Bureau did not 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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