10 Most Affordable Cities for Millennials in 2022

Where to find millennial-friendly cities with affordable housing, cost of living, and good quality of life

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UPDATED: Jun 22, 2022

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Written By: Sara RouthierReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 22, 2022Fact Checked

Here's What You Need to Know

  • If you’re looking for affordability, head to Texas or the Midwest
  • San Antonio has the best balance of affordability and quality of life for millennials
  • You’ll find higher costs of living on the coasts than in the middle of the country

As remote work rises — and rent costs — millennials all over the United States are wondering where they can live more affordably while still enjoying the things they love. 

We’ve rounded up the top cities for millennials with a low cost of living and high quality of life.

10 Most Affordable Cities for Millennials

To find the most affordable cities for millennials, we looked at cost of living data from across the United States. The cost of living index used here includes rent, utilities, groceries, and other monthly expenses like car insurance.

Below are the most affordable cities for millennials based on their cost of living compared to New York City and the median rent according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

City% Lower Compared to New York City Cost of LivingMedian Rent
El Paso, Texas59.44%$724
Wichita, Kansas57.33%$650
Little Rock, Arkansas56.52%$692
Akron, Ohio56.22%$659
Toledo, Ohio54.74%$594
Tulsa, Oklahoma53.32%$674
Tucson, Arizona52.85%$722
Lexington, Kentucky52.85%$789
Dayton, Ohio50.77%$558
Mesa, Arizona50.72%
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You’ll find more affordable living costs in the country’s interior — coastal cities tend to be pricier, especially in California and the Northeast.

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3 Cities Perfect for Millennials That Balance Affordability and Quality of Life

If you’re like most millennials, affordability is important, but it isn’t everything. You want the city you call home to offer great experiences and exciting opportunities to try new things. 

With these millennial desires in mind, we looked at affordable U.S. cities with a high quality of life, as reported by actual residents.

The following cities are perfect for millennials. They’re ranked in the top 30 U.S. cities for quality of life and have a cost of living at least 45% below New York City’s.

San Antonio, Texas

Cost of Living: 48.81% lower than NYC

Median Rent: $876

Why Millennials Love San Antonio: With plenty of sunshine and a growing cultural scene, San Antonio is one of the top cities for millennials in 2022.

In downtown San Antonio, you’ll find cultural and historic sites ranging from El Mercado marketplace to the famed Alamo. Murals and public art line the streets, which are increasingly bikeable for commuting or seeing the city. Some of the best Tex-Mex cuisine and food trucks reside nearby.

San Antonio’s major industries are information technology, cybersecurity, aerospace, and new energy, so millennials in these fields may find more job opportunities here. The city is also friendly to remote workers, making it an ideal choice for millennials of many other professions.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cost of Living: 47.17% lower than NYC

Median Rent: $660

Why Millennials Love Cincinnati: A thriving arts scene and a deep craft beer tradition lay the foundation for this millennial-friendly city. If you love the outdoors, you’ll love spending time in Cincinnati’s public park system or the miles of biking and hiking trails. 

Thanks to the low cost of living and a strong public school system, Cincinnati is ideal for millennials with young families. Single millennials may find the nightlife lacking, but plenty of young professionals who love the outdoors find a home in Cincinnati.

The University of Cincinnati is the city’s largest employer, so academics and educators may find more work here. The city is also home to manufacturing plants for Procter & Gamble and the United States Playing Card Company, offering trade job opportunities for millennials looking for a change of work.

Kansas City, Missouri

Cost of Living: 49.2% lower than NYC

Median Rent: $767

Why Millennials Love Kansas City: In this metro area straddling the Missouri-Kansas border, you’ll find the Midwest’s largest farmer’s market and a growing millennial population.

Kansas City also boasts neighborhoods catering to millennials at all stages of life: singles looking for nightlife can head to River Market or Westside, while those with families may enjoy Westport or Brookside. Although public transit is scarce, you’ll enjoy some of the shortest commute times the U.S. can offer.

The Bottom Line: The Perfect Place for Millennials to Live

If you’re a millennial looking for a low cost of living in a growing city, we say head to Texas. San Antonio, El Paso, and Amarillo are thriving as their cultural scenes grow, and the cost of living stays nearly 60% lower than in New York City.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Written by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach Sara Routhier

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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