Travis Eckert /

This is news to no one: life in the United States can be expensive. But if you’re willing to forego the fancier coastal towns, you can find a place to live that’s easier on your budget., a neighborhood data platform, publishes an annual report list of the most affordable american cities, based on the site’s own analysis of government data to determine the cost of living. The analysis considered factors such as housing, food and fuel costs, median tax rates, and other things that affect an area’s overall affordability.

Here’s a rundown of the cheapest places to live in America, according to Niche.

10. Akron, Ohio

Akron, Ohio
Sean Pavone /

Cost of living ranking: A-

Akron, home to 197,000 people, has been dubbed the “Rubber Capital of the World,” thanks to the 1898 founding of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. here. The town scored an A in both diversity and nightlife, and just look at local home prices: Niche Analysis lists the median home value here at just $83,500, with rent median of $795, both well below national averages.

9. Beaumont, TX

Beaumont, TX
Jacob Boomsma /

Cost of living ranking: A-

Beaumont, population 117,000, is located on the Neches River near the state border with Louisiana. The median home price is just $123,700 and the median rent is $868. And it has all the cultural conveniences of a college town thanks to Lamar University, whose 292-acre campus is part of the Texas State University System.

8. Buffalo, New York

Buffalo, New York
jiawangkun /

Cost of living ranking: A-

Buffalo, which has a population of 256,000, isn’t just famous for its chicken wings. New York State’s second largest city (you know who’s #1) is home to two professional sports teams: the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabers. And it landed 7th on a Smartest Dollar list of cities with the most innovative workers.

7. Evansville, Indiana

Evansville, Indiana
Jim Bethel /

Cost of living ranking: A-

Evansville, with a population of 118,000, is the third largest city in the Hoosier State, after Indianapolis and Fort Wayne (which you’ll also find on this list). It is home to the University of Evansville and the largest university in southern Indiana. But if you’re looking for cool weather, you might want to look elsewhere: A Filterbuy analysis using government data declared Evansville the hottest city in Indiana, with 66 days a year exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Toledo, Ohio

Toledo, Ohio
T.Slack /

Cost of living ranking: A-

Toledo, population 275,000, scored an A for nightlife and diversity in the niche analysis. And good news if you’re looking to buy: Toledo tops a recent list of markets with falling house prices.

5. Dayton, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio
Alex Balanov /

Cost of living ranking: A-

Americans find Dayton, with a population of 140,000, an affordable place to put down roots. Filterbuy researchers named Dayton to their list of the 10 cities where homeownership has jumped the most over the past decade. There’s plenty to do and see, as the city is home to the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Philharmonic, and Dayton Opera.

4. South Bend, Indiana

South Elbow, Indiana
Aaron Yoder /

Cost of living ranking: A-

If you’re a fan of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football, you’ve certainly heard of South Bend, which has a population of around 103,000. The University of Notre Dame was founded there in 1842, and it is consistently ranked among America’s top universities. If football isn’t your game, Notre Dame is also home to the Snite Museum of Art and hosts the annual Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival.

3. Brownsville, TX

Brownville, TX
Danita Delimont /

Cost of living ranking: A-

Brownsville, ranked third, sits on the US-Mexico border and has a population of approximately 182,000. In 2020, Brownsville made the list of best cities for working parents, according to analysis by SmartAsset. The website considered factors such as child care costs, housing costs, crime rate and average commute time.

2. Wichita Falls, Texas

Wichita Falls, Texas
Drew Williams /

Cost of living ranking: A-

In Wichita Falls, the median home value is $104,800, with a median rent of $828. There is a military presence in the city, as Sheppard Air Force Base is located just north of the central business district. The city’s namesake waterfall actually washed away in a flood in the 1800s, but the city built a new version in 1987 it is a favorite backdrop for wedding photos.

1.Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort WayneIndiana
Travis Eckert /

Cost of living ranking: A-

Fort Wayne is Indiana’s second largest city, after Indianapolis, the state capital, with over 268,000 residents. According to Niche’s analysis, the median home value is just $121,600, which is significantly lower than the national average of $229,800. The median rent is $777, which compares to the national average of $1,096. It may be cheap to live here, but you can still enjoy plenty of cultural attractions as the city is home to the Fort Wayne Ballet, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory.

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