The Most Affordable Cities for Single Renters

Single renters tend to fare better in Midwestern cities, according to the data.

Single renters tend to fare better in Midwestern cities, according to the data. Shutterstock

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Rankings factored in median monthly rent, cost of living and median earnings for full-time workers, among other metrics.

Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Omaha, Nebraska are among the top cities nationally where people can afford to live alone, according to data from SmartAsset, a financial data research firm.

The company ranked 100 of the nation’s largest cities and counties, factoring in median monthly rent, cost of living and median earnings for full-time workers, among other metrics.

Cincinnati ranked first overall. There, the average renter living in a studio or one-bedroom apartment pays $575 in rent, and the overall cost of living is 3 percent lower than the national average. The city’s only downside is its roughly 4 percent unemployment average, which is a bit higher than the most recent national rate.

Midwestern locations were most affordable for single renters, making up eight of the top 10 cities. Cities in California and Virginia proved the most expensive.

“In cities like Virginia Beach and Chesapeake in Virginia, renters hoping to live alone will face two challenges: high rents and a limited number of suitable places,” the firm said. “California cities like Riverside and Fresno also rank poorly.”

Big cities tend to be hit or miss for single renters, according to the data. Rents in large metropolitan areas are typically higher, but those cities also have large stocks of studio and one-bedroom apartments. In San Francisco, one of the country’s most expensive housing markets, nearly 39 percent of homes are studio or one-bedroom apartments. In Washington D.C., it’s 41 percent.

Kate Elizabeth Queram is a Staff Correspondent for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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