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Most Affordable Cities to Live in 2022

Looking to move to a new city in 2022? With budget-friendly housing, good job opportunities, low costs of living, and great amenities, these 13 affordable U.S. cities are worth considering!

Buffalo, NY

Buffalo, NY skyline. Photo by Instagram user @peterjcimino

Photo via @peterjcimino

  • 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 features a cost of living that is nearly 50% lower than nearby New York City, with significant savings on housing and healthcare in particular. It’s no wonder why Nickel City is one of the most affordable cities in America! Add to that a growing job market with top employers like M&T Bank, Kaleida Health, and venue management company Delaware North, it isn’t hard to see Buffalo’s potential. The city also boasts 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.

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: 2% below the national average

Want to live in an affordable big city? With the Dallas-Fort Worth metro recently ranked as the top labor market in the U.S., it makes sense that Dallas is one of the best places for business and careers. And while there’s no state income tax, Dallas still offers budget-friendly homes and rent prices below the national average, so your dollar can stretch even further. Dallas is home to so many fun things to do, including The Dallas World Aquarium and Dallas Zoo, Dallas Museum of Art, and the Dallas Cowboys (NFL)!

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 this state capital one of the best mid-size cities, but the whole state of Iowa is among the most affordable states to live in! Des Moines offers a low cost of living, especially in terms of housing, utilities, transportation, and grocery costs. The city also provides plenty of higher education opportunities at Drake University and Grand View University for those looking to grow their career opportunities. In addition, the city 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!

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Fort Wayne, IN

Fort Wayne, IN skyline. Photo by Instagram user @mollieshutt

Photo via @mollieshutt

  • Population: 260,954
  • Home Price: $103,100 median purchase price; $681 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $44,449
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
  • Cost of Living: 14% below the national average

One of the best places to live in the Midwest, Fort Wayne pairs strong wages with a low cost of living, making it a great place to get the most out of your salary. This city also features a strong economy and a job market that’s on the rise, with a 38.6% increase in jobs predicted over the next ten years. Along with healthcare and insurance, manufacturing is one of the biggest industries of Fort Wayne, as it’s home to companies like Fortune 500 steel producer Steel Dynamics, Inc. and big-name energy company Franklin Electric. This hidden gem of a city isn’t short on things to do, either, with great attractions like the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory and Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo just two activities that keep residents busy.

Huntsville, AL

Huntsville, AL skyline. Photo by Instagram user @huntsvillecity

Photo via @huntsvillecity

  • Population: 188,973
  • Home Price: $168,900 median purchase price; $750 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $51,441
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
  • Cost of Living: 4% below the national average

Not only is Huntsville one of the best places to live in the Southeast, but it’s also ranked as U.S. News & World Report’s most affordable city. While the cost of living in Huntsville is slightly above Alabama’s state average, it’s still significantly lower than most metros in the U.S. thanks to affordable housing and transportations costs. Job seekers can find opportunities with big-name companies like Huntsville Hospital, Sequel Youth & Family Services, and computer repair and maintenance company Millennium System Services, Inc. The Rocket City also offers plenty to see and do, including the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, which commemorates missions that were operated right out of Huntsville, and the Huntsville Botanical Garden, which features native wetlands, forests, and foliage.

Kansas City, MO

Kansas City, MO skyline. Photo by Instagram user @devonschreiner

Photo via @devonschreiner

  • 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: 8% below the national average

Kansas City is a fast-growing city in the Midwest and is a great location for anyone looking to move to the region thanks to safe, affordable neighborhoods and a booming job market. The city also boasts low costs for housing, healthcare, transportation, and groceries. Singles and young professionals looking to plant roots in an affordable city don’t have to sacrifice fun in KCMO. 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, there’s always fun to be had!

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: 19% 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 real estate price more than $50,000 below the state’s average, and more than $90,000 below the national average. Memphis also offers job opportunities with large employers like FedEx, AutoZone, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and soul music is an especially great home for music enthusiasts, with Elvis’ Graceland and Stax Museum of American Soul Music being major Memphis attractions.

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: 4% below the national average

Although the capital of 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. 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 and no state income tax, but it also has great employment opportunities with top companies like Nissan North America, HCA Healthcare, and Bridgestone.

Oklahoma City, OK

  • 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 one of the best places to live in 2022 thanks in part to its strong job market, budget-friendly housing nearly 23% below the national average, 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 Corporation are among the area’s top employers. 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: 443,072
  • Home Price: $139,800 median purchase price; $819 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $50,827
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
  • Cost of Living: 9% 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 educational opportunities with Creighton University, University of Nebraska-Omaha, and University of Nebraska Medical Center. Plus, Omaha has tons of activities for people of all ages, including the world-famous Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium and the annual College World Series!

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! Thanks to its low cost of living, particularly in the categories of healthcare, utilities, groceries, and housing, San Antonio is an ideal spot to settle down and buy a home. And while the city has a strong military sector with the presence of Joint Base San Antonio, River City also offers jobs in the aerospace, healthcare and bioscience technology, IT and cybersecurity, and new energy 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

  • 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: 1% 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 love the Tampa Riverwalk in Downtown Tampa, which is a hub of restaurants, bars, shops, public art, and more!

Tulsa, OK

Tulsa, OK skyline. Photo by Instagram user @bellerinia

Photo via @bellerinia

  • Population: 399,906
  • Home Price: $126,200 median purchase price; $757 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $43,045
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
  • Cost of Living: 13% below the national average

Sitting right in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains is the second-largest city in Oklahoma, Tulsa. In addition to being one of the most affordable places in the U.S., Tulsa is paying qualified workers up to $10,000 to move and work remotely in the city with the Tulsa Remote program. Long known as a hub for the oil industry, the city now offers job opportunities in a variety of industries, with Avis Budget Group, Helmerich & Payne, and Saint Francis Health Systems all among the biggest employers in Tulsa. Residents enjoy attractions like the beautiful Deco District, Blue Dome District, Oxley Nature Center, the Tulsa Mayfest, Tulsa Zoo, and more!

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

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