What Places in America Rank As Cheap Areas to Live?


Quick Answer

Some of the cheapest places to live in America include Norman, Oklahoma; Idaho Falls, Idaho; McAllen, Texas; and Ashland, Ohio. When determining affordability by comparing the average cost of living with the average income for an area, some of the most affordable areas include Plano, Texas; Edmond, Oklahoma; Round Rock, Texas; and Juneau, Alaska.

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Full Answer

When determining which areas are least expensive, several costs must be taken into account to determine the total cost of living in that area. Expenses that make up the total cost of living include the cost of groceries, utilities, housing, health care and transportation. By this measure, the cheapest town in the United States is Norman, Oklahoma, which offers low costs in all of these categories, particularly housing.

Affordability measures how the cost of living in a particular area compares to the average income for a resident in that area. When high wages accompany high costs, residents of a more expensive area may still be able to afford the cost of living more than residents of an area with lower costs who also earn lower wages. When cost of living measurements consider median income to determine affordability of an area, the most affordable place to live is Plano, Texas. The cost of living in Plano is just barely below the national average, but the median income is 57 percent higher than the average income nationwide.

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