Cheapest places to live in the US as of 12/09:
It’s generally agreed that the cheapest places in the USA to live are in the Mid West. You may get low wages compared to the rest of the country but taxes are low and housing is comparatively very affordable. Even things like beer and food can be found significantly cheaper. However you may have to take into account crime and poverty, building quality and other aspects before making your final decision.
According to research conducted by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the 10 most affordable states in the US in 2009 are:
I wrote a more in depth article on this subject and it’s also getting a lot of opinions and comments. So come learn more and join the discussion by reading the article: Cheapest places to live in America.
Finding the cheapest place to live in America is not exactly cut and dry. There are many factors involved. Therefore, in this article we are going to look into some of these factors and the different relationships they create.
If you are looking to move and are serious about living in a frugal way, then it’s a great idea to look deeply into the cost of living as well as the price of real estate.
One way the US Department of Labor measures cost of living is by what’s called CPI. The USA CPI (The United States Consumer Price Index), isn’t a complete cost of living index; rather, it helps to gather many details such as job rates and wages averages. I couldn’t find out which state the US government deemed the cheapest. Thus I was forced to do some of my own research.
Which places in the US has the highest minimum wage? (source wikipedia)
San Francisco – $9.36
Washington – $8.07
California – $8.00
Massachusetts – $8.00
Some of these states have lower wages for service jobs. However, considering most states have lower wages starting at around $5, these are pretty good. Keep in mind, however, that other costs of living may be much higher in the four states mentioned above.
Cheapest housing in USA
Market Median home price*
Minot, N.D. $132,300
Killen, Texas $140,310
Arlington, Texas $140,975
Grayling, Mich. $144,250
Topeka, Kan. $148,050
Canton, Ohio $148,333
Tulsa, Okla. $148,575
Billings, Mont. $150,141
Fort Worth, Texas $151,250
Cadillac, Mich. $151,530
*All prices for 2,200 sq-ft., 4 br, 2 1/2 bath homes; Source: Coldwell Banker’s Home Price Comparison Index
North Dakota is the cheapest place to purchase a house right now. But they also have a minimum wage of $6.55 (from July 24th 2008). If you are in the market for a minimum wage job, it may not be the best place to buy, but if you are able to relocate with your current job (bloggers like me) then it could be a great place to investigate further.
If you are looking to rent…
1. Wichita, Kansas. – Here you can get a 600-square-ft, one-bedroom with a big kitchen and full-size washer and dryer for $470. Golf and country club fees are included. You can also join the fitness center and tanning parlor for a small cost.
2. Oklahoma City. – Here you’ll get a 900 square-ft home with a gym any fitness die-hard would kill for, all for $490 a month.
3. Tulsa, Oklahoma. – You can live in a brand-new, 600-square-ft, one-bedroom near a pond filled with ducks for $520 a month. The apartment is right next door to several golf and country clubs.
4. Knoxville, Tennessee. -Here you get a one bedroom hidden in the woods that comes with a balcony, a nearby pool, a tennis court and playground for $560 a month.
5. Dayton, Ohio. – You get a 500-square-ft, one-bedroom on the lake, with your own parking space, for $570 a month. Best of all, you can use a portion of your monthly rent toward a down payment if you decide to buy.
Of all these places, Ohio has the highest minimum wage at $7/hour. I am sure that you can get much cheaper houses to rent than the luxurious places priced here.
[url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10823343/]Groups survey 20 ‘meanest’ cities for homeless
Advocates say cities increasingly criminalize homeless people[/url]
America's harsh streets may be tougher for the homeless than they've ever been, according to two homeless-advocacy groups that on Wednesday released their survey of the nation's 20 “meanest” cities for the poor.
The list, compiled by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, places Sarasota, Fla., at the top. But “mean” municipalities span the nation — from New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles to smaller cities like Flagstaff, Ariz., and Little Rock, Ark.
Some of the report's findings:
Criminalization of the homeless increasingly occurs in ways like making it illegal to sit, sleep or place personal belongings in a public space. Some police departments make more aggressive sweeps of areas known to be populated by the homeless.
Twenty-seven percent of the cities surveyed prohibit sitting or lying in certain public places, a 14 percent increase over the number of cities surveyed in the groups’ last report, in 2002.
Forty-three percent of the cities surveyed bar begging in certain public places, a 12 percent increase over 2002.
1 Sarasota, Fla.
2 Lawrence, Kan.
3 Little Rock, Ark.
4 Atlanta, Ga.
5 Las Vegas, Nev.
6 Dallas, Texas
7 Houston, Texas
8 San Juan, P.R.
9 Santa Monica, Calif.
10 Flagstaff, Ariz.
11 San Francisco, Calif.
12 Chicago, Ill.
13 San Antonio, Texas
14 New York, N.Y.
15 Austin, Texas
16 Anchorage, Alaska
17 Phoenix, Ariz.
18 Los Angeles, Calif.
19 St. Louis, Mo.
20 Pittsburgh, Pa.
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