Some inexpensive places to live in the United States are cities located in the Midwest and the South. Some examples are Cincinnati, Dayton, and Akron in Ohio, or Birmingham in Alabama, Knoxville in Tennessee and Oklahoma City in Oklahoma.
The Midwest cities are especially inexpensive places to live because the salaries are generally high, but home prices are low. According to a Forbes survey as of 2015, the city of Cincinnati has 83.9% of its housing affordable to families. The area's median family income is higher than the national average, while all living costs, including groceries, utilities and health care, are lower than the average in the country.
The Southern cities are affordable thanks to the low cost of living that is rooted in history. The industries that create jobs in the South have mostly been labor-intensive. Wages in those industries are much lower than they are in capital-intensive industries, which results in lower taxes, housing and daily expenses.
According to a Forbes survey as of 2015, the greater Birmingham area in Alabama state has a slightly lower median family income compared with the national average: approximately $3,000 less. However, everything is also cheaper: groceries, transportation and healthcare are 5.4%, 13.2% and 16.6% less expensive. Additionally, the Forbes survey found that 81.5% of homes were affordable to families.