If you're planning on moving somewhere more affordable in 2024, you're not alone.

After the shockwaves of COVID-19, millions of Americans are eagerly awaiting greener pastures. Consequently, overpriced cities are suddenly looking a lot less appealing.

Without entertainment, fine dining, or other social staples, the thrill of paying high rents to live in cultural meccas like New York or San Francisco lost much of its popularity in 2024. As a result many celebrities, including Joe Rogan and Elon Musk, have amplified the trend, moving to Texas from their pricier abodes in California.

Now, if you are also considering a long-distance move, researching all the options beforehand is well-sought. Doing so will ensure that you're moving to safe cities and know how to do the math when comparing living costs.

In short, you have to be sure that the choice you are making doesn't make you bankrupt.

So, are you looking for the city with the lowest cost of living in 2024? Read on and learn where you can move to save money and stretch your legs.

Our Methodology

Costs of living were calculated with the following expenses in mind:

  • Utilities
  • Average internet cost
  • Average gas prices
  • Average home value
  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment
  • Groceries and occasional restaurant trips for one person

Though this won't speak precisely to your own specific needs, these expenses should give us a decent estimate.

Top Five Cities With the Lowest Cost of Living

According to our research, the most affordable towns were spread throughout the Midwest and southwest. Unsurprisingly, cities on the coast were much more expensive.

Our top five inexpensive cities are:

  • Hickory, NC
  • Huntsville, AL
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • Youngstown, OH
  • Huntington, WV & Ashland, KY-OH

As you can see, the most affordable cities in America are spread evenly within its breadbasket. So are you ready for a cross-country road trip?

But wait! Before we go into each of our top choices in detail, let's check out some of the runners-up that is other affordable cities of the US.

Other Great, Inexpensive Choices

With vast landscapes, America has plenty of inexpensive cities with convenient amenities. If you don't prefer the above affordable US cities to live in, we have many other options for you. Below are some great choices if you'd prefer to live closer to watery bodies or preferably closer to nature.

  • Beaumont, Texas
  • Peoria, Illinois
  • Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Quad Cities
  • Knoxville, Tennessee

With these choices, we have a nice variety of cities to choose from. If you're ready to start cutting costs, learn more about these locations and take your pick.

A Breakdown Of The Best Choices

One major reason people might still live in expensive cities like New York City and San Francisco is the proximity to arts and culture. Many of you might be wondering whether these amenities would be available in the inexpensive cities or not.

You don't have to worry anymore because the cities we have covered here are full of life, and many of them even have a fabulous art scene.

Before we move on we want to brief you that some of our selected cities are better for potential homeowners, while some are better for those making minimum wage.

So, without further ado let's get into them!

Hickory, NC

Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton boasts affordability, with low rental rates and median home sale prices below the state average. With its temperate climate and expansive mountain vistas, this region is often referred to as the Catawba Valley. Due to its laid-back environment, the location has become a sought-after destination for retirees, families, and young professionals.

If you ever visit Hickory you will notice that it has seen a lot of growth in the past year especially in its Charlotte region due to its mountainous landscape. Moreover, the artistic and beer-centric culture of Asheville, located an hour west in the mountains, adds to its appeal.

Youngstown, OH

In comparison to other metropolitan areas of similar size, Youngstown boasts a significantly lower cost of living. In recent years, Youngstown has witnessed a surge in the establishment of wineries, craft breweries, and distilleries.

Additionally, residents delight in dining at numerous downtown and suburban restaurants all across the region. Moreover, a cherished local occasion is the Canfield Fair. As Ohio's largest county fair. Drawing in almost 400,000 attendees annually, the fair offers tractor pulls, livestock exhibits, live entertainment, and genuine fair cuisine.

Huntington, WV & Ashland, KY-OH

Living in the Tri-State area comes with the advantage of a low cost of living. This region encompasses five counties across three states, boasting a rich tapestry of counties and cities. What unites them is the strong sense of community evident in the vibrant gatherings at festivals, sporting events, and local fundraisers.

Beyond the natural beauty, the Tri-State area hosts unique attractions that draw visitors from far and wide. Wayne County, West Virginia, is home to the renowned Pumpkin House, a Halloween spectacle featuring around 3,000 intricately carved pumpkins.

Huntsville, AL

Another amazing and inexpensive US city to consider moving to is Huntsville, where housing costs are 8% lower than the national average. Once a tranquil farming community, Huntsville gained national prominence during the Space Race in the 1960s, making it a hub for space and defense enthusiasts.

For those not interested in space, Huntsville offers various recreational locations. Explore the Alabama Constitution Hall Park to learn about Huntsville's impactful history, or visit the North Alabama Railroad Museum and the Historic Huntsville Depot for more cultural experiences. The city provides a diverse range of attractions for residents and visitors alike

Fort Wayne, IN

Fort Wayne, IN has been ranked as the 5th most affordable place to live in the US. Fort Wayne, Indiana, stands out as an exceptional location for homebuyers, career starters, entrepreneurs, and families due to its affordable living costs and peaceful neighborhoods. Tripadvisor has a number of attractions you can visit in Fort Wayne.

Positioned as a midsize metropolitan area in the heart of the Midwest, Fort Wayne offers residents the expected amenities of a larger city, including outstanding entertainment options and a vibrant arts scene. The community also enjoys unique events like the annual BuskerFest, dedicated to street performers, and the yearly bed race as part of the Three Rivers Festival.

Our Runners-Up

If none of the above cities appealed to you then stay calm as we have other options too. We have covered smaller regions with a bigger city feeling having a competitive real estate market. Make sure to thoroughly look at them and do your research to eventually find your new home.

Beaumont, TX

Beaumont is a city located in southeast Texas, known for its rich history and vibrant community. With a smaller size compared to major cities, it offers a more relaxed pace of life while maintaining a competitive real estate market.

Despite its size, Beaumont offers a rich cultural scene with museums, galleries, and theaters. Immerse yourself in the local arts and history scene. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate Beaumont's proximity to outdoor wonders. Enjoy parks, nature reserves, and water-based activities in the surrounding areas.

Peoria, IL

Peoria boasts diverse cultural attractions, including museums, art galleries, and theaters. Explore the local history through museums or attend performances at the theaters to get a taste of the city's artistic side.

Nature lovers will find plenty to enjoy in Peoria, with numerous parks and outdoor spaces to explore. Take advantage of the riverfront location for various water-based activities, or venture into nearby nature reserves to experience the beauty of the surrounding landscapes.

Green Bay, WI

Nestled in the scenic state of Wisconsin, Green Bay offers a unique blend of urban amenities and natural beauty. Known for its friendly community, the city has a strong sense of local pride, with a special emphasis on its football team, the Green Bay Packers.

Living in Green Bay provides residents with a variety of recreational opportunities. Lambeau Field, the iconic home of the Packers, is not just a sports venue but a cultural hub where fans gather to celebrate their team.

Green Bay's real estate market is competitive but generally more affordable compared to larger cities. The city's cost of living is reasonable, making it an attractive option for those looking to settle down in a community-oriented environment.

Quad Cities

Comprising Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline in Illinois, the Quad Cities offer a diverse and thriving community with a metropolitan feel.

The Quad Cities boast a unique blend of urban and suburban living, providing residents with an array of amenities. Moreover, the region has a competitive real estate market, ensuring you have options that suit your preferences.

One of the best things about this city is that the cost of living is affordable, making it an attractive destination for those seeking affordability without compromising on quality of life.

Nature lovers can take advantage of the riverfront setting, offering picturesque views and recreational activities along the Mississippi River. Parks, trails, and green spaces are scattered throughout the Quad Cities, providing opportunities for outdoor adventures and family-friendly outings.

Knoxville, TN

The cost of living in Knoxville is generally lower than in many larger cities, allowing residents to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Knoxville boasts a range of attractions and activities that cater to diverse interests.

The city is home to the University of Tennessee, infusing a youthful energy into the community. Here, you can also explore the historic Market Square, where you can find a mix of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. The Knoxville Museum of Art and the East Tennessee History Center also offer cultural enrichment for those interested in history and the arts.

Are You Ready For a Long-Distance Move?

Ready to move to Hickory, NC, the U.S. city with the lowest cost of living? How about one of its many alternatives?

If you plan on leaving your pricey locale behind, consider how you'll move your stuff. Will you trust your possessions to a moving company? It could be pricey. Strain your lower back hauling furniture yourself? It could be painful! To help answer these questions, check out our moving cost estimator.

What about your vehicles? If you're a family with more than one car, what will you do?

Split your family into pieces for the road trip? Try to coordinate stops at gas stations?

If you want to trust your vehicle with professionals, consider Nexus Auto Transport. We service multiple industries and offer best-in-class service and safety.

Move to greener pastures today!

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