Beautiful skyline photo on a sunny day.

Most Affordable Cities to Live in 2021

Looking to move to a new city in 2021? With budget-friendly housing, good job opportunities, low costs of living, and great amenities, these 11 affordable U.S. cities are worth considering!

  • Buffalo, NY
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Dallas, TX
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Memphis, TN
  • Nashville, TN
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Omaha, NE
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Tampa, FL

Buffalo, NY

Drone photography of Buffalo, NY skyline. Photo by Instagram User @desmond.k.johnson
Photo via @desmond.k.johnson
  • Population: 258,989
  • Home Price: $72,600 median purchase price; $710 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $33,119
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
  • Cost of living: 17% below the national average

Buffalo is one of the most affordable cities in America! The Nickel City has a low cost of living, affordable housing options, and a growing job market with top employers like M&T Bank, Kaleida Health, and Delaware North. Buffalo also has a diverse food scene, popular attractions like the Buffalo Zoo and Buffalo Museum of Science, and is only a 30-minute drive away from breathtaking views of Niagara Falls.

Charlotte, NC

Skyline of Charlotte, NC during the fall. Photo by Instagram User @codylhughes
Photo via @codylhughes
  • Population: 808,834
  • Home Price: $178,000 median purchase price; $966 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $55,599
  • Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
  • Cost of Living: 1% above the national average

If you’re looking for warm weather, affordability, and Southern hospitality, take a look at Charlotte! As one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, the Queen City has a booming job market and is a hot spot for the financial industry, with Fortune 500 companies like Bank of America headquartered in the area. Residents can also find tons of shopping, dining, and nightlife in Uptown Charlotte and check out incredible attractions like Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, The Charlotte Museum of History, and Taste of Charlotte.

Dallas, TX

Skyline photo of Dallas, TX on overcast day. Photo by Instagram User @kevinhannphoto
Photo via @kevinhannphoto
  • Population: 1,278,433
  • Home Price: $142,600 median purchase price; $888 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $45,215
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
  • Cost of Living: 1% below the national average

Want to live in an affordable big city? Dallas has everything you desire! Big D is one of the best places for business and careers, is home to major employers like AT&T and Southwest Airlines, and offers budget-friendly homes and rent prices below the national average. But that’s not all you’ll find in this enormous Texas metro! There are so many fun things to do, including visiting the Dallas World Aquarium and Dallas Zoo, exploring the Dallas Museum of Art, and catching a Dallas Cowboys (NFL) game!

Des Moines, IA

Skyline of Downtown Des Moines, IA. Photo by Instagram User @jim_hamann
Photo via @jim_hamann
  • Population: 212,859
  • Home Price: $119,800 median purchase price; $775 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $48,088
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
  • Cost of living: 13% below the national average

Looking for a great place to live in the Midwest? Consider Des Moines! Not only is the capital city of Iowa an affordable place to live, but the whole state of Iowa is among the most affordable states to live in! Here, you’ll find a low cost of living, reasonable home prices, and higher education opportunities at Drake University and Grand View University. In addition, Des Moines is home to the Iowa State Fair, one of the largest state fairs in the U.S., and the Downtown Farmers Market, one of the best farmers markets in America!

Kansas City, MO

Skyline of Kansas City, MO. Photo by Instagram User @sneadimus
Photo via @sneadimus
  • Population: 471,767
  • Home Price: $135,900 median purchase price; $826 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $47,489
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
  • Cost of living: 6% below the national average

Kansas City is a fast-growing city in the Midwest that’s been recognized as one of the best places to live in the U.S., thanks to its low cost of living, affordable housing, and booming job market. Plus, with pro sports events featuring the Kansas City Royals (MLB) and Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), a well-known craft beer scene, tons of nightlife within the Power & Light District, and some of the best barbecue in America, you’ll never run out of things to do in KCMO!

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Memphis, TN

Memphis, TN skyline from across the water. Photo by Instagram User @isaacsingleton
Photo via @isaacsingleton
  • Population: 655,857
  • Home Price: $93,700 median purchase price; $842 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $36,975
  • Unemployment Rate: 7.2%
  • Cost of living: 21% below the national average

Searching for an affordable place to live in the U.S. that also offers excellent culture? Memphis is a great option! The second largest city in Tennessee has a median housing price more than $50,000 below the state’s average and job opportunities with large employers like FedEx, AutoZone, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Memphis is also known as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, so music enthusiasts can tour Elvis’ Graceland or see where soul music started at Stax Museum of American Soul Music!

Nashville, TN

Nashville, TN skyline at sunset. Photo by Instagram User @stuartdeming
Photo via @stuartdeming
  • Population: 643,771
  • Home Price: $174,600 median purchase price; $902 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $49,891
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
  • Cost of Living: 5% below the national average

The largest city in Tennessee, Nashville is best known for its music roots, as it’s the home of the annual Country Music Awards and legendary Grand Ole Opry music venue. But what you may not know about Music City is that it’s actually one of the best places to live in America! Not only does Nashville offer a better value than similarly-sized cities because of its low unemployment rate, no state income tax, and low cost of living, but it also has great employment opportunities with top companies like Nissan North America, HCA Healthcare, and iHeartMedia.

Oklahoma City, OK

Skyline of Downtown Oklahoma City. Photo by Instagram User @aerial.perceptions
Photo via @aerial.perceptions
  • Population: 620,015
  • Home Price: $142,700 median purchase price; $793 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $50,070
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
  • Cost of living: 12% below the national average

Oklahoma City is a top place to move to in 2021! OKC is ranked as one of the best places to live, thanks to its strong job market, budget-friendly housing, and low cost of living. The city is a major destination for those working in the manufacturing and energy industries, as Chesapeake Energy Corporation and Devon Energy are among the area’s top employers. Additionally, OKC residents can check out attractions like Scissortail Park, Will Rogers Gardens, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma.

Omaha, NE

Skyline of Omaha, NE on a sunny day. Photo by Instagram User @nukeyhov
Photo via @nukeyhov
  • Population: 443,073
  • Home Price: $139,800 median purchase price; $819 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $50,827
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
  • Cost of living: 10% below the national average

Thinking about calling Omaha home? Nebraska’s largest city is one of the best places to live in the Midwest! Business is booming with Fortune 500 companies like Union Pacific, Kiewit, Mutual of Omaha, and Berkshire Hathaway headquartered in the area, and there are plenty of education opportunities with Creighton University, University of Nebraska Omaha, and University of Nebraska Medical Center. Not to mention, Omaha has tons of activities for people of all ages, including the world-famous Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium!

San Antonio, TX

Drone photography of Downtown San Antonio. Photo by Instagram User @skylinedronetx
Photo via @skylinedronetx
  • Population: 1,439,358
  • Home Price: $121,100 median purchase price; $882 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $48,183
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
  • Cost of living: 12% below the national average

A big population doesn’t have to mean a big price tag—at least not with this Texas city! San Antonio has a low cost of living and low property taxes, which make it an ideal spot to settle down and buy a home. Though it’s particularly known for its strong military sector, River City also offers jobs in the aerospace, manufacturing, technology, and financial sectors. If you’re looking for fun things to do in San Antonio, the San Antonio River Walk, The Alamo, Historic Market Square, and San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo are among local favorites!

Tampa, FL

Tampa skyline featuring water taxi. Photo by Instagram User @piratewatertaxi
Photo via @piratewatertaxi
  • Population: 361,477
  • Home Price: $172,100 median purchase price; $983 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $45,874
  • Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
  • Cost of Living: 3% below the national average

Situated on the Gulf Coast, Tampa has lots to offer with its beautiful tropical weather, easy access to beaches, and affordable cost of living. Home prices are relatively low, and there’s no state income tax, which makes this Florida city a budget-friendly option. Plus, Tampa is ranked as one of the best cities for veterans and retired military, as the city is close to MacDill Air Force Base in South Tampa. Residents will also love the Tampa Riverwalk in Downtown Tampa, which has a variety of restaurants, bars, shops, public art, and more!

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Moving to one of these affordable U.S. cities? Extra Space Storage has convenient self storage locations across the U.S., so we can help with your transition. Find a storage unit near you!

City statistics from AreaVibes

Most Affordable Cities to Live in 2021 via @extraspace

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