Not everyone is looking for the cheapest places to live, but if you are tired of the big city hustle and bustle and looking for a smaller place, living in a budget-friendly town is definitely an added bonus.
Small towns come with numerous benefits, from the lighter traffic to the friendlier and tighter community and more leisurely pace of life. But, perhaps the biggest perk of all, is the low cost of living.
To have a better picture of what small-town living is all about, we’ve made a list of the cheapest small towns to live in the United States, based on factors such as population, income, housing, utilities, healthcare, groceries, and other goods and services, as analyzed by the Council for Community and Economic Research’s (C2ER) in 269 urban areas.
Needless to say, you need to consider what’s best for you before you pack and head to one of these small towns, no matter how attractive the financial component might be. While a low cost of living might simplify your life in numerous ways, a small town might not provide the same job opportunities, paychecks or leisure activities as a big city. To make sure the town is what you need, consider visiting it first and then make a decision as to relocating there or not. Here are the 12 cheapest small towns you should consider.
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Benton Harbor, Mich.
Cost of living: 12.6% below national average
City population: 9,843
Median household income: $21,916 (U.S.: $65,712)
Median home value: $63,300 (U.S.: $240,500)
Unemployment rate: 6.0% (U.S.: 6.0%)
Located near Lake Michigan, around 50 miles west of Kalamazoo, Benton Harbor is one of the most affordable small towns in the United States. It is mainly known for being home to Whirlpool (WHR), the global home appliances manufacturer, but there’s more to it than that.
Benton Harbor is one of those small towns where the cost of living is well below the national average, 12 percent less to be more precise. If you’re looking for a cheap home, you should know that the average real estate price is 74% lower than the national median! In addition, housing costs, as well as rents and mortgages, are 32 percent lower in this small town, as reported by C2ER’s Cost of Living Index.