Finding the cheapest place to live in the U.S. is not an exact science. Many factors come into play when determining where to settle down. Housing in rural areas generally costs much less than in cities, but you have significantly less access to social services, amenities and job opportunities. Some places have exceptionally low housing prices, but this can be offset by less than average wages and low quality of life. Several U.S. cities stand out from the rest in terms of affordable and decent lifestyles. As of 2009, Tulsa is one of the best choices in the United States in this regard.
Tulsa is the second-largest city in Oklahoma, a southwestern state. Situated on the fringe of the Great Plains and the Ozark Mountains, Tulsa is a scenic place to live. Oklahoma City is just a 90-minute drive away. Tulsa offers a diverse array of employment opportunities, institutions of higher education and cultural attractions, making it one of the most livable places in America.
Oklahoma has been rated as the state with the lowest cost of living in 2009 by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, followed by several other states in the Midwest in the rankings. Oklahoma also has the fourth-lowest total tax burden in the United States by 2009 standards.
Tulsa features some of the most affordable housing in the United States. The Coldwell Banker Housing Price Index for 2009 reveals that the average house in Tulsa has a price tag of just $154,800. Compare this to a 2009 average of $1,337,578 in Boston and $461,432 in San Diego. In terms of large cities in the U.S., few offer such low prices for prospective home owners. Of course, prices will vary depending on location and housing specifications. Still, becoming a homeowner in Tulsa is very affordable on a relative scale.
Renting an apartment in Tulsa is also very affordable. MSNBC.com ranks Tulsa as the third-cheapest place to rent in the country as of 2009. For instance, Oklahoma's Department of Commerce claims that renters for the 2009 year can find 600-square-foot apartments with one bedroom for around $500 a month. Similar-sized studio apartments in New York City generally go for over $1,000 per month. Tulsa may not be comparable to New York City, but it is still a metropolitan city with extremely affordable rates from a renter's standpoint.
Cost of Living
Consider the low tax burden with the relatively decent wages and affordable housing in Tulsa. All these factors add up to make Tulsa one of the cheapest places to live in the United States. The ACCRA Cost of Living Index for 2009 ranks Tulsa with a great low score of 92. By comparison, the cost of living in New York City ranks at a pricey score of 214.