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20 Cities with the Cheapest Rent in the U.S.


Did you know that more than one-third of America's households are renters? While this is the case, the quality, size, and price of apartments for rent always vary. With the rising inflation, 2022 could be the best time to relocate to areas where the cost of living is relatively low. Contrary to common belief, there are numerous cities in the U.S. where you can enjoy very cheap rent rates. These cities are ideal for people who cannot afford the high rent rates. Additionally, retirees looking for some of the cheapest places to buy homes will find a fortune in these locations. Today, we take you through some of the 20 cities with the most affordable rent in the U.S.

Des Moines

20. Des Moines, Iowa- Average Apartment Rent: $1,157

Des Moines makes its way on our list of the cities with the cheapest rent in the U.S. The typical rent in Des Moines is $1,157 with a 5-year increase below $121, which makes it a great city for renters. This city has a median household income of $55,660 with the cost of living being lower than the average at 92.3%. Unemployment in Des Moines stands at 2.8%, which is below average. Generally, anyone looking for a cheap city to live in the U.S. should consider Iowa's Des Moines.


19. Houston, Texas- Average Apartment Rent: $1,119

The metropolitan area of Houston pays homage to at least 7 million people. Even with its vast size, the city prides itself in some of the most affordable apartment rents among urban areas that host more than 1 million people. According to, Houston's average monthly apartment rent is 4.4% lower than the national average. Considering its surroundings, you would want to live in this place. The reason for Houston's cheap apartment rates is its low median household income of $52,450 and poverty rate of 19.7%.


18. Indianapolis, Indiana- Average Apartment Rent: $1,039

This is a big city with relatively low prices for renters. Indianapolis is located at the center of the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metropolitan area. The apartment rents in Indianapolis are 11.2% lower than the national average. You should, however, note that the reason for the cheap apartment rents in Indianapolis is partly due to its weak economic conditions. The median household income in this city is $49,661 compared to the nation's $65,712.


17. Louisville, Kentucky- Average Apartment Rent: $1,038

The larger Louisville area acts as home to almost 1.3 million people. It is a metro zone that stretches to the North into Indiana. Renter in this city will only have to part with $1 038 every month, which is 11.3% lower compared to the national average. Economic-wise, the main employers in Louisville include UPS Airlines and Ford Motor. The median income in the city is $54,853, with a poverty rate of 15.4%. These two factors are accountable for the low apartment rents in Louisville.


16. Tampa, Florida- Average Apartment Rent: $983

Located on the Gulf Coast, Tampa has so much to offer with its easy access to beaches, affordable living, and beautiful weather. The home prices in Tampa are relatively low, which makes the city very budget-friendly. Tampa has a population of 361,477, with apartment rent being $983 per month. Therefore, people looking for a cheap city to live in in the United States should consider Tampa. There is much to explore in Tampa, including restaurants, shops, bars, and public art.

Mohave County, Arizona

15. Tucson, Arizona- Average Apartment Rent: $955

Tucson is a fast-growing city hosting both young folks and retirees alike. Arizona's second-largest city is home to the University of Arizona, which brings the college-town vibe to the city. The good thing about Tucson is that renters will enjoy relatively cheaper apartment rent prices of $955 every month. This is 18% lower compared to the national average. It is, however, important to note that the median household income here is $44,365, and the poverty rate is 19.1%. These are the factors that contribute to the cheap apartment rates in the city.


14. Cincinnati, Ohio- Average Apartment Rent: $944

Renters in Cincinnati will love Queen City as they will only be needed to part with $944 every month as rent. Compared to the national average, this is a 19.3% discount. The cheap rent prices here are partly due to the low housing costs in the area. The larger part of Cincinnati brags about general housing expenses that are more than 20% lower than the national average. That is a good thing considering that this city is home to many corporate headquarters.


13. Texarkana, Arkansas- Average Apartment Rent: $940

Undoubtedly, housing costs are cheaper in Texarkana city, which is why it has made a spot on this list. According to Fox7 Austin, the unique thing about Texarkana is that it is located in two different states- Arkansas and Texas. Life here is cheap since the average apartment rent is about $940, which is lower than the nation's average of $1 215. Other things that are cheap in this city include utility bills, groceries, transportation services, and healthcare expenses.


12. Lynchburg, Virginia- Average Apartment Rate: $938

Lynchburg is a city in Virginia State at the foothill of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This diverse city hosts Liberty University, the second largest employer in the region. You will love to live in this city because it has a relatively lower housing cost. According to Fox13news, the average rent for an apartment in Lynchburg is $938, which is 25% less compared to the national average. While this is good news, it is important to understand that the median household income is relatively low at $57,730. At the same time, the poverty rate is 22.3% which accounts for the low rent rates.

Birmingham, Alabama

11. Birmingham, Alabama- Average Apartment Rent: $930

People in Birmingham are happy as they enjoy affordable costs for all services and goods. From groceries to healthcare, the prices here are relatively lower. Savings are high on housing costs which run 21.2% lower than the national average. Renters only pay $930 as apartment rent. The flipside to the cheap apartment rent is Birmingham's median household income which is 11.2% lower than the national level. The Poverty rate in Birmingham also spikes at 25.2%, which is higher than Alabama's 15.5%.

Fort Wayne

10. Fort Wayne, Indiana- Average Apartment Rent: $915

This is another cheap city in the U.S. where the rent charges are pretty low. Fort Wayne is the second largest city in Indiana in terms of population. The city is home to 413,265 people who only enjoy paying apartment rent at $915. Prominent employers in this city include the Lincoln Financial Group, Parkview Health, and General Motors, among others. Even with the cheap rent rates in Fort Wayne, the poverty rate bites in the city. The median household income is $57, 290 with the poverty rate at 15.46%.

Memphis, Southwest Tennessee

9. Memphis, Tennessee- Average Apartment Rate: $903

Saying that real estate is cheap in Memphis will be an understatement. Typical apartments in this part of Tennessee rent is $267 lower than the national average. With $903 a month, you will have paid your monthly apartment rent in Memphis. This city enjoys proximity to the famous Mississippi River, which makes it a hub for transportation and shipping industries. Memphis also hosts several colleges and universities and is a good place to live. However, it is important to note that the median household income in Memphis is $43,794, below the national average of $65,712. The poverty rate in Memphis is also high at 21.2%, compared to Tennessee's 13.9%.


8. Buffalo, New York- Average Apartment Rent: $890

Among the cities in the U.S. with more than 1 million residents, none of them has cheaper rent for apartments than Buffalo. With the population being slightly above 1 million people, apartment rent in Buffalo is $860 every month, which is 26.5% lower than the national average. Even though the low rent rates are something to be happy about, you should note that this city has a very high poverty rate. With a median household income of $40,843, the poverty rate is 28.8% which is twice New York's poverty rate.

St. Louis

7. St Louis, Missouri- Average Apartment Rent: $887

St. Louis is a metropolitan area home to nearly 3 million people. The good thing about the city is the fact that it has big city amenities at an affordable price. Major league sports have put the city on the national radar. Renters in St. Louis will only part with $887 as monthly rent, which is something to be happy about. Even with the apartment rent rates being 24.2% lower than the national average, this area suffers low incomes. Additionally, the poverty rate is higher in St. Louis compared to other parts of Missouri. All these factors account for the lower rent rates here.

OK City

6. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma- Average Apartment Rate: $873

Oklahoma City is the largest city in Oklahoma State, and the good thing about it is its affordable rental prices. A typical apartment in Oklahoma City costs $873 every month, which is 25% lower than the national average. Even with the cheap rent prices in Oklahoma City, the median household income in the city is $55,492. On top of that, the poverty rate in the city stands at 15.8%, which is relatively higher than other areas within the state.

Winston Salem

5. Winston Salem, North Carolina- Average Apartment Rent: $766

Winton Salem is among the biggest metropolitan areas found in North Carolina. This is home to 33 wineries, 75 recreational parks, and six colleges. According to Extra Space, the city is dubbed 'the city of arts' for its concentration of visual arts and theater venues. Winston Salem is a good location for people looking for the city with the cheapest rent in the U.S. Here, the average apartment rent is $766 only. Additionally, residents will pay 31% less for houses than the national average. The cost of living in Winston-Salem is generally lower than in other cities in the United States.


4. Harlingen, Texas- Average Apartment Rent: $700

Harlingen is another cheap city where you can live in the United States. Located a few miles from the Mexico Gulf Coast, this city offers residents a low cost of living. It has a population of 422,023 and a median household income of $40,999. Renters in Harlingen can expect to part with $700 as apartment rent which is 42% below the national average of $1,210. However, with a poverty rate of 26.1%, you can tell why the rent here is so cheap.

Flint, Michigan

3. Flint, Michigan- Average Apartment Rent: $684

In recent years, Flint hit the headlines for the water crisis experienced in the area. Despite all that, Flint has been an affordable industrial city. According to Joy Wallet, the city is home to several universities and enjoys so much diversity. With a population of 96,559, Flint is among the safest cities in Michigan. Other than safety, residents enjoy a low cost of living, with the average apartment rent being $684. This is so cheap, considering the city's proximity to Lansing and Detroit.


2. Toledo, Ohio- Average Apartment Rent: $679

Toledo is another cheap United States city with low rent rates. Located along Lake Erie, Toledo is a city with so many cultural activities and several museums for you to enjoy. The population of Toledo is 276,614, and the unemployment rate is 5.5%. It is cheap to rent in Toledo, given that apartment rent is $679 only. Ideally, the city feels like a small town as far as safety and friendliness are concerned.


1. Florence, Alabama- Average Apartment Rent: $626

Florence is a city in Alabama that is 120 minutes away from Birmingham and one mile away from the Tennessee River. Famously known as The Shoal, Florence is an iconic place where Rolling Stones recorded their songs, Brown Sugar and Wild Horses. According to Good Hire, the good thing about this city is that housing is affordable and lower than the national average. Renters pay $626 monthly as apartment rent. Average Americans pay twice the amount. However, the poverty rate in Florence is high at 19.63%, and the average household income is low. This accounts for the cheap apartment rentals in the region.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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