Looking for a place where you’re money is going to go farther? We all need that these days! The price of everything is going up seemingly daily, and somehow my salary is not. And while yes the cost of living in Charlotte and Raleigh is lower than many other cities nationwide, it’s not at a point where it can be described as “affordable” anymore. But while the largest cities in the state aren’t cheap, it was a North Carolina city that topped the US News list of the cheapest place to live nationwide. Who would have guessed?

So how do you determine the cheapest place to live? According to US News and World Report, these rankings are based on the median gross rent and annual housing costs for mortgage-paying homeowners of each metro area, these are the cities with the lowest cost of living in the country.

Not only did a North Carolina city top the list for the cheapest place to live nationwide another one made the top 25 list as well. And if that wasn’t good enough, two South Carolina cities also were included, back to back no less. The North Carolina locations may surprise you, they both did me. But the South Carolina ones make sense and one is actually a very trendy place to live and visit. Sometimes though you just have to pay a premium for that location.

Are you looking for a place outside of North or South Carolina to live? Some other nationwide cities recognized included Youngstown, OH, Huntsville, AL, and Green Bay, WI. Keep reading to see the four Carolina cities that made the list. You can read the full top 25 cheapest cities to live list via US News and World Report and check out the methodology here.


  • 16. Winston-Salem, NC

    Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA Downtown Skyline.

    The first Carolina city to make the top 25 is Winston-Salem. This Triad city has a population of over 250,000.

    Overall Score: 6.4

    Quality Of Life: 6.7

    Value: 7.7

  • 12. Greenville, SC

    Drone Aerial of the Downtown Greenville, South Carolina SC Skyline

    Greenville is trending and growing as one of the premiere places to live in South Carolina. Even better than just being one of the trendiest it’s also one of the cheapest and most affordable spots in the country.

    Overall Score: 6.5

    Quality Of Life: 6.4

    Value: 7.8

  • 11. Spartanburg, SC

    Greenville South Carolina SC Skyline Aerial at Sunset.

    Greenville was beaten out by nearby Spartanburg. But just by one spot. You’re close enough to Greenville, halfway between Charlotte and Atlanta, and it’s affordable. What could be better?

    Overall Score: 6.4

    Quality Of Life: 6.3

    Value: 7.8

  • 1. Hickory, NC

    Union Square Hickory NC

    And the answer is? Hickory! This town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is about an hour from Charlotte and Asheville. Its low cost of living makes it a desirable place to live. This isn’t the first list we’ve seen giving some recognizing Hickory.

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