Blue Ridge Parkway

Isn’t it true that we all want to save some money? There is no doubt that times have changed and that things are more expensive now than they used to be. Increasing living costs seem to be the norm with each passing year. North Carolina has a lot to offer people of all income levels. We even have a city that made the cheapest city list.

In terms of cheap living, the best places to settle down are mostly south of the Mason-Dixon line. Texas, Tennessee, and Alabama are just a few of the states that make multiple appearances on our list of the cheapest U.S. cities to live in. Kiplinger compiled rankings of America’s 25 cheapest cities based on the Council for Community and Economic Research’s (C2ER) calculations of living expenses in 267 urban areas. They then limited themselves to metro areas with at least 50,000 inhabitants.

So what is the cheapest area in North Carolina to live in? Below you can see a ranking from highest to lowest of the top 25 in the United States. I am pretty impressed we have a city in the top 20 ranking!

  • 25. Fort Wayne, Indiana

    • Cost of living: 13.7% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 409,419
    • Median household income: $57,693 (U.S.: $64,994)
    • Median home value: $138,200 (U.S.: $229,800)
    • Unemployment rate: 2.0% (U.S.: 3.6%)
  • 24. Tulsa, Oklahoma

    • Cost of living: 13.8% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 996,141
    • Median household income: $57,341
    • Median home value: $155,000
    • Unemployment rate: 2.8%
  • 23. Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Iowa

    • Cost of living: 13.8% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 169,107
    • Median household income: $58,996
    • Median home value: $152,300
    • Unemployment rate: 3.4%
  • 22. Mobile, Alabama

    • Cost of living: 14.5% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 430,313
    • Median household income: $49,370
    • Median home value: $137,200
    • Unemployment rate: 3.7%
  • 21. Lake Charles, Louisiana

    • Cost of living: 14.5% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 209,821
    • Median household income: $52,986
    • Median home value: $159,600
    • Unemployment rate: 4.0%
  • 20. Topeka, Kansas

    • Cost of living: 14.7% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 232,248
    • Median household income: $59,815
    • Median home value: $137,900
    • Unemployment rate: 2.5%
  • 19. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

    • Cost of living: 14.9% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 671,156
    • Median household income: $52,607
    • Median home value: $157,700
    • Unemployment rate: 3.6%
  • 18. Memphis, Tennessee

    • Cost of living: 15.1% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 1,343,150
    • Median household income: $53,896
    • Median home value: $161,300
    • Unemployment rate: 4.6%
  • 17. Hattiesburg, Mississippi

    • Cost of living: 15.2% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 168,646
    • Median household income: $48,231
    • Median home value: $135,600
    • Unemployment rate: 3.8%
  • 16. Florence, Alabama

    • Cost of living: 15.2% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 147,827
    • Median household income: $48,244
    • Median home value: $140,000
    • Unemployment rate: 2.9%
  • 15. Conway, Arkansas

    • Cost of living: 15.5% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 66,776
    • Median household income: $47,999
    • Median home value: $179,400
    • Unemployment rate: 3.2%
  • 14. Texarkana, Texas/Arkansas

    Texarkana, Texas, and Texarkana, Arkansas, are among the most affordable cities in the country, especially when you factor in some of life’s biggest expenses. Compared to the U.S. average, housing costs are about a third lower in Canada. The average rent for an apartment in this border city is $988 a month. The national average is $1,218. All other goods and services, such as groceries, utilities, healthcare, and transportation, are significantly cheaper as well.

  • 13. Decatur, Illinois

    • Cost of living: 16.0% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 104,688
    • Median household income: $53,725
    • Median home value: $103,100
    • Unemployment rate: 6.5%
  • 12. Decatur/Hartselle, Alabama

    • Cost of living: 16.1% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 152,321
    • Median household income: $51,842
    • Median home value: $137,600
    • Unemployment rate: 2.1%
  • 11. Jackson, Tennessee

    • Cost of living: 16.3% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 178,601
    • Median household income: $48,146
    • Median home value: $123,300
    • Unemployment rate: 3.2%
  • 10. Kokomo, Indiana

    • Cost of living: 16.4% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 82,486
    • Median household income: $56,387
    • Median home value: $113,900
    • Unemployment rate: 4.5%
  • 9. Augusta-Aiken, Georgia/South Carolina

    • Cost of living: 16.4% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 605,303
    • Median household income: $55,049
    • Median home value: $153,300
    • Unemployment rate: 3.5%
  • 8. Joplin, Missouri

    • Cost of living: 17.4% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 178,816
    • Median household income: $50,244
    • Median home value: $126,200
    • Unemployment rate: 3.1%
  • 7. Knoxville, Tennessee

    • Cost of living: 17.7% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 861,872
    • Median household income: $56,857
    • Median home value: $180,700
    • Unemployment rate: 2.7%
  • 6. Anniston, Alabama

    • Cost of living: 17.9% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 114,324
    • Median household income: $50,128
    • Median home value: $121,600
    • Unemployment rate: 3.4%
  • 5. Amarillo, Texas

    • Cost of living: 19.3% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 264,345
    • Median household income: $56,055
    • Median home value: $147,600
    • Unemployment rate: 3.1%
  • 4. Jackson, Mississippi

    • Cost of living: 20.4% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 596,287
    • Median household income: $53,639
    • Median home value: $148,300
    • Unemployment rate: 3.8%
  • 3. McAllen, Texas

    • Cost of living: 23.2% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 861,137
    • Median household income: $41,846
    • Median home value: $90,000
    • Unemployment rate: 7.9%
  • 2. Harlingen, Texas

    • Cost of living: 23.4% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 443,554
    • Median household income: $41,053
    • Median home value: $88,200
    • Unemployment rate: 6.8%
  • 1. Kalamazoo, Michigan

    • Cost of living: 24.3% below U.S. average
    • Metro population: 264,322
    • Median household income: $58,836
    • Median home value: $168,500
    • Unemployment rate: 4.1%