Cost of Living

Living in Texas

June, 2011

Major metropolitan areas in the Lone Star State reign supreme on Kiplinger’s annual ranking of the least expensive places to live in the U.S. Indeed, all of our picks are cities located either in Texas or the heartland of middle America.

The cities on the Kiplinger website least-expensive list all have housing prices well under $250,000; homes in one city average less than $200,000. Overall cost of living in these metro areas falls 15% to 20% below the national average.

Kiplinger ranked the least expensive places to live using data from the U.S. Census (metropolitan statistical areas only) and the ACCRA Cost of Living Index, which is assembled by the Council for Community and Economic Research. The index measures relative prices in several categories, including consumer goods, housing, transportation, utilities and health care, to come up with a composite score for each city. The national average is 100. So a score below 100 indicates a lower cost of living. Population and median household income data are from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

10 U.S. Cities With the Cheapest Cost of Living

  1. Brownsville, Texas

    Cost of Living Index: 80
    Metropolitan Population: 383,171
    Median Household Income: $30,034
    Average Home Price: $209,177

  2. Pueblo, Colorado

    Cost of Living Index: 84.1
    Metropolitan Population: 153,814
    Median Household Income: $40,805
    Average Home Price: $194,302

  3. Fort Hood, Texas

    Cost of Living Index: 84.8
    Metropolitan Population: 368,682
    Median Household Income: $46,183
    Average Home Price: $210,383

  4. Fort Smith, Arkansas

    Cost of Living Index: 85
    Metropolitan Population: 288,468
    Median Household Income: $37,363
    Average Home Price: $235,168

  5. Sherman/ Denison,Texas

    Cost of Living Index: 86
    Metropolitan Population: 117,913
    Median Household Income: $45,171
    Average Home Price: $213,485

  6. Springfield, Illinois

    Cost of Living Index: 86
    Metropolitan Population: 206,509
    Median Household Income: $51,001
    Average Home Price: $207,599

  7. Waco, Texas

    Cost of Living Index: 86
    Metropolitan Population: 228,639
    Median Household Income: $40,038
    Average Home Price: $240,543

  8. Fayetteville, Arkansas

    Cost of Living Index: 87
    Metropolitan Population: 441,652
    Median Household Income: $45,757
    Average Home Price: $227,723

  9. Austin, Texas

    Cost of Living Index: 87
    Metropolitan Population: 1,589,393
    Median Household Income: $57,109
    Average Home Price: $229,145

  10. Springfield, Missouri

    Cost of Living Index: 87
    Metropolitan Population: 417,635
    Median Household Income: $41,632
    Average Home Price: $222,830

Kiplinger

*All Information taken from Kiplinger Webpage