- SmartAsset compared the 100 largest US cities to see which are the most affordable for solo renters.
- It used five metrics, including wages and the percentage of housing units with two bedrooms or fewer.
- These are the 10 most affordable cities, according to its research.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The financial-advice company analyzed the cities based on five metrics: the percentage of housing units with fewer than two bedrooms and the average price of these, median earnings for full-time workers, unemployment rate, and cost of living.
It then ranked 10 most affordable cities for solo renters.
1. Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati claimed the top spot for the fourth year in a row.
Average rent for a one-bed unit is $612 per month, the fifth-lowest of the 100 cities in the study, and it has a relatively low cost of living at $22,721 per year, putting it in the top ten, SmartAsset said. I
nsider’s Liz Knueven reported that her grocery bills were nearly cut in half when she moved from Seattle to Cincinnati, and dining out and transport suddenly became a lot cheaper, too.
Cincinnati also came in the top 20 for its April 2021 unemployment rate, at 4.6%, and the proportion of occupied housing units that have fewer than two bedrooms, at just over 28%, per SmartAsset’s report.
2. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis‘ average rent and living costs both ranked towards the middle of the 100 cities SmartAsset analyzed, but the city scored well on the other three metrics.
Its April unemployment rate was 4.2%, compared to a national average of 6.1%, nearly a third of occupied housing units in the city have one bedroom, and average earnings for full-time workers in 2019 were almost $56,500.
3. Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha’s April unemployment rate was less than half the national average, at just 3%, putting it joint second-lowest in the study. It also has a relatively low cost of living and average rent, SmartAsset found.
4. St. Louis, Missouri
Nearly a third of occupied housing units in St. Louis have one bedroom, SmartAsset said in its report. It also ranked in the top 20% of cities that SmartAsset analyzed for both average rent and cost of living.
5. Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington‘s unemployment rate in April was well below average, at just 3.2%. The city also has low living costs and average rents, SmartAsset found.
6. Lincoln, Nebraska
Lincoln had the lowest April unemployment rate of the 100 cities in the report, at 2.2%. It also has below-average rent and living costs, SmartAsset said.
7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh has the 17th-lowest estimated annual cost of living of the 100 cities SmartAsset analyzed, at $23,463 per year. It also ranked within the top 30 for its average earnings for full-time workers, at $51,328 per year.
8. Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky ties in eight place with Tulsa, Oklahoma. It ranks in the top 15 of the 100 cities SmartAsset analyzed for three metrics: cost of living, April unemployment rate, and average rent for units with fewer than two bedrooms, where it came in at just $676 per month.
8. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa ranks within the top 10% of the cities SmartAsset analyzed for two metrics: average rent for units with fewer than two bedrooms, at $658 per month, and annual cost of living, at $22,786 – the second-lowest in the study.
The city is offering $10,000 to out-of-state remote workers to relocate there as part of a program aiming to help fuel Tulsa’s growth.
10. Boise, Idaho
Boise had the joint second-lowest April unemployment rate of the 100 cities in the study, at 3%. It also came 10th for cost of living, at $23,123 per year.