Jobs, Salaries

Top 10 Cities With the Most Affordable Cost of Living

It’s easy to be drawn to cities like San Francisco and New York because of the high salaries they offer. The median base pay in San Francisco, for example, is $71,482 — an astounding 35 percent higher than the median U.S. base pay.

But remember, just because you’re offered more doesn’t always mean you’ll actually earn more. If most of your paycheck goes to high living expenses, there’s a very good chance you would be better off in a lower cost-of-living area.

To help you determine where you might want to focus your job search, we took a look at the top ten cities with the best balance between median home value and median base salary. If you’re tired of paying sky-high monthly bills, consider these options.

1. Memphis, TN

Median Home Value: $133,100

Median Base Salary: $43,900

Companies Hiring: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, FedEx, ServiceMaster, AutoZone, International Paper & more

See Open Jobs

2. Pittsburgh, PA

Median Home Value: $141,300

Median Base Salary: $46,500

Companies Hiring: PNC Financial Services Group, UPMC, Kraft Heinz Company, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Verizon & more

See Open Jobs

3. Cleveland, OH

Median Home Value: $141,100

Median Base Salary: $46,000

Companies Hiring: Progressive Insurance, KeyBank, Hyland, American Greetings, Rockwell Automation & more

See Open Jobs

4. Detroit, MI

Median Home Value: $154,900

Median Base Salary: $50,000

Companies Hiring: Ford Motor Company, Quicken Loans, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, DTE Energy, GTB & more

See Open Jobs

5. Birmingham, AL

Median Home Value: $139,100

Median Base Salary: $42,000

Companies Hiring: Regions Financial, University of Alabama at Birmingham, EBSCO Industries, Southern Company, Children’s of Alabama & more

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6. St. Louis, MO

Median Home Value: $161,400

Median Base Salary: $48,000

Companies Hiring: Express Scripts, Nestlé Purina, World Wide Technology, Edward Jones, Enterprise & more

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7. Indianapolis, IN

Median Home Value: $152,800

Median Base Salary: $45,000

Companies Hiring: Eli Lilly and Company, Salesforce, Rolls-Royce, State of Indiana, DEFENDERS & more

See Open Jobs

8. Cincinnati, OH

Median Home Value: $160,900

Median Base Salary: $45,000

Companies Hiring: Procter & Gamble, Total Quality Logistics, Kroger, Fifth Third, GE Aviation & more

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9. Louisville, KY

Median Home Value: $155,200

Median Base Salary: $42,000

Companies Hiring: Humana, UPS, Brown-Forman, Norton Healthcare, Yum! & more

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10. Oklahoma City, OK

Median Home Value: $142,400

Median Base Salary: $38,000

Companies Hiring: Paycom, Chesapeake Energy, Dell, Boeing, Cox Communications & more

See Open Jobs

Methodology: Cities With the Most Affordable Cost of Living identifies U.S. metros with the lowest cost of living based on a comparison of the 50 most populated U.S. metros. Cost of living is the ratio of median base salary to median home value.  Median annual base salary per metro based on at least 2,500 salary reports shared by local employees on Glassdoor over a one-year period (8/16/17-8/15/18), excluding student and intern-level salary reports. Median home value is according to the Zillow Home Value Index for All Homes, as of July 2018.

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