What City Has the Lowest Cost of Living?

Inflation has everyone’s pockets hurting right now. And although there might not be an easy solution, you could potentially cut costs by moving to a new location with a lower cost of living. Here’s some information to help you save money when choosing your next home:

The Most Affordable Places To Live Based on National Averages

A cost of living index is used to show how much it costs to live in one place compared to another. The index uses the number “100” to represent the national average cost of living — meaning that numbers below 100 indicate a below-average cost of living and numbers above 100 indicate an above-average cost of living. The overall cost of living is calculated by taking into account the prices of groceries, healthcare, housing, utilities, and transportation.

1. Augusta, Georgia

Augusta is a relatively small city of just under 200,000 that’s located in eastern Georgia, right next to the South Carolina border. The cost of living in Augusta is well below the national average, with an overall index of 80.7.

The cost of groceries (95.3) and transportation (84.2) are also below the national average. However, the cost of healthcare (102.7) and utilities (104.2) are slightly above the national average.

The largest contributing factor to Augusta’s low cost of living is housing, with an index of 50.1. The median home price in Augusta is $138,400, and the average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $741.

2. Dayton, Ohio

Dayton is another relatively small city of 140,000 that’s located in western Ohio between Columbus and Cincinnati. Dayton's living cost is below the national average, with an overall index of 71.4.

The cost of healthcare (84.9) and transportation (81.1) are also below the national average, the cost of groceries is right around the national average (93.2), and the cost of utilities is above the national average (106.9).

Housing in Dayton is some of the cheapest in the nation, with an index of 21.9. The median home price in Dayton is $61,200, and the average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $554.

3. Jackson, Mississippi

Despite being a capital city, Jackson still maintains a small-town feel with around 157,000 residents. Located in south-central Mississippi, Jackson’s overall cost of living is well below the national average at 82.3.

The cost of groceries (95.8), utilities (92.4), and transportation (83.6) are all below the national average. The only thing that’s above the national average in Jackson is healthcare at an index of 103.7.

Jackson also has low housing costs that are well below the national average, with an index of 58.1. The median home price in Jackson is $169,200, and the average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $645.

4. Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi is a mid-sized city of 327,000 that’s located on the Gulf Coast of Texas between Houston and the Mexican border. The cost of living in Corpus Christi is below the national average, with an overall index of 83.1.

The cost of groceries (92.8) and transportation (79.7) are below the national average, whereas the cost of healthcare (101.1) and utilities (101.1) are slightly above the national average.

The cost of housing in Corpus Christi is significantly below the national average at 63.2. The median home price in Corpus Christi is $188,500, and the average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $871.

5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City is another capital city with a low cost of living and is one of few affordable big cities. Located in central Oklahoma, Oklahoma City is considered to be a relatively large city with around 662,000 residents. Despite its size, living in Oklahoma City is affordable, thanks to an overall cost of living index of 85.4.

The cost of groceries (94.7), utilities (97.1), and transportation (95.5) are all slightly below the national average. However, the cost of healthcare is well above the national average at 117.2.

Despite being a large capital city, housing in Oklahoma City is extremely affordable, with an index of 56.2. The median home price in Oklahoma City is $165,200, and the average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $707.

6. Wichita Falls, Texas

Wichita Falls is a small city with just over 100,000 residents that’s located in north-central Texas between Dallas and Oklahoma City. The cost of living in Wichita Falls is below the national average, with an overall index of 74.5.

The cost of groceries (90) and transportation (65.8) are below the national average, whereas the cost of healthcare (116.8) and utilities (110.1) are above the national average.

The high cost of healthcare and utilities in Wichita Falls is offset by low housing prices, with an index of 41.4. The median home price in Wichita Falls is $123,400, and the average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $675.

7. Kalamazoo, Michigan

Kalamazoo is another small city with just over 75,000 residents that’s located in southwest Michigan, relatively close to Grand Rapids and Lansing. The cost of living in Kalamazoo is below the national average, with an overall index of 79.2.

The cost of groceries (92.6), healthcare (89.5), utilities (100.7), and transportation (91.5) are right at the national average, while the cost of housing is well below the national average with an index of 50.1

The median home price in Kalamazoo is $189,100, and the average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $653.

What’s the Cheapest State Overall? The Top Contenders

If you’re not quite ready to narrow your move down to an exact city, perhaps it would be easier to narrow it down to a specific state. And while the cost of living can vary significantly even within a state, some states are still more affordable than others.

Here are the top five most affordable states and why you should consider moving there:

1. Texas

Texas is the largest state in the contiguous United States and has the second-largest population with nearly 30 million residents. Despite that, the cost of living in Texas is actually below the national average, with an overall index of 93.9.

The cost of groceries (93.7), utilities (99.2), and healthcare (95.4) are also below the national average, whereas the cost of transportation (103.3) is slightly above the national average.

Housing is considerably more affordable in Texas, with an index of 84.3, a median home cost of $243,600, and an average rent price of $953 for a one-bedroom apartment.

The largest employment sectors in Texas are retail trade, professional services, leisure and hospitality, and healthcare. Since Texas is such a big state, some of the cheapest cities in Texas are Brownsville, El Paso, Galveston, McAllen, and Temple.

2. Mississippi

Located on the southern Gulf Coast, Mississippi is a relatively small state with a population of just under 3 million residents. Mississippi is considered to be one of the cheapest states in the country, with an overall cost of living index of 81.1 — nearly 20% below the national average.

The cost of groceries (94.9), utilities (97.1), and transportation (83.4) are all below the national average, whereas the cost of healthcare (101.4) is slightly above the national average.

Housing is extremely affordable in Mississippi, with an index of 55.6 — making it nearly 45% cheaper than the national average. As a result, the median home cost in Mississippi is $141,900, and the average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $672.

The largest employment sectors in Mississippi are healthcare, education, production, office and administrative support, and farming. Some of the cheapest cities in Mississippi are Aberdeen, Clarksdale, Saltillo, Moss Point, and Senatobia.

3. Tennessee

Tennessee, known as the “Volunteer State,” is a mountain state located in the southeastern United States. According to recent Census data, Tennessee has a population of nearly 7 million people and an overall cost of living index of 87.6

The cost of groceries (95.4), utilities (96.7), and transportation (90.2) are also below the national average, whereas the cost of healthcare (101.9) is slightly above the national average.

Where you can save a lot of money in Tennessee is with housing. The median home cost in Tennessee is $231,600, and the average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $786 — nearly 30% below the national average.

The largest employment sectors in Tennessee are healthcare, management, architecture and engineering, production and manufacturing, and education. Some of the cheapest cities in Tennessee are Chattanooga, Johnson City, Clarksville, Oak Ridge, and Murfreesboro.

4. Indiana

Indiana, known as the “Hoosier State,” is located in the midwestern United States. Indiana is the 17th-most populated state in the country, with around 6.7 million residents. The cost of living in Indiana is well below the national average, with an overall index of 82.1.

The cost of groceries (92.9), healthcare (82.2), utilities (97.2), and transportation (85.4) are all below the national average, whereas the cost of housing is significantly below the national average with an index of 61.7.

This translates into a median home cost of $186,000 and a median rent price of $710 for a one-bedroom apartment.

The largest employment sectors in Indiana are energy, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, and mining. Some of the cheapest cities in Indiana are New Whiteland, Wabash, Rushville, North Vernon, and Elwood.

5. Michigan

Just north of Indiana, we have Michigan, one of the cheapest states to live in, with an overall cost of living index of 89.6.

Expenses for groceries (93.4) and healthcare (86) are below the national average, whereas the cost of utilities (100.1) and transportation (115.1) are above the national average.

The cost of housing in Michigan is also below the national average with an index of 65.5, translating to a median home price of $207,800 and a rent price of $778 for a one-bedroom apartment.

The largest employment sectors in Michigan are manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, education, architecture, and engineering. Midland, Lansing, Wyoming, Holland, and Ann Arbor are some of the cheapest cities in Michigan.

Ready To Move?

No matter where you decide to move, Carvaygo can help by transporting your vehicle from your old home to your new home. Carvaygo understands how stressful moving can be, which is why we make the car shipping process as straightforward as possible.

Simply visit our website and enter some basic information for an instant quote. If you like your quote, you can book your move. As your move approaches, you will be contacted to choose a specific delivery time and location, after which you will be matched with a delivery driver.

On the day of your move, your driver will meet you at the time and place of your choosing to pick up your car. When it’s time for delivery, you will again be contacted approximately 24 hours in advance to schedule a delivery window. And that’s it — it really is that easy!

Sources:
Inflation Is Continuing to Rise — Here's How It Could Affect Your Money | CNBC
Cost of Living Definition | Investopedia
The 10 Most Affordable States in America | US News

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