These Are the Most Affordable Cities for Renters, According to Zillow

If you haven't made the jump to homeownership quite yet, chances are, you're paying rent. And, of course, rent across the country keeps going up and up and up. But don't despair — according to real estate company Zillow, there are still a number of cities where the rent is still pretty affordable.

In Zillow's study, rent affordability was measured in the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. But rather than base the research on median rent prices, since affordability is all relative, it took into account median household income, too. So affordability here is actually based on how much of residents' income is spent on rent (as of May 2019) — the national average is 27.8%. In the 10 cities below, renters can expect to spend well below that, making them quite attractive as places to live.

1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Percent of household income spent on rent: 21.4%
Median monthly rent: $1,105

2. St. Louis, Missouri

Percent of household income spent on rent: 21.5%
Median monthly rent: $1,163

3. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Percent of household income spent on rent: 22.5%
Median monthly rent: $1,119

4. Raleigh, North Carolina

Percent of household income spent on rent: 23.2%
Median monthly rent: $1,476

5. Kansas City, Missouri

Percent of household income spent on rent: 23.4%
Median monthly rent: $1,303

6. Indianapolis, Indiana

Percent of household income spent on rent: 23.8%
Median monthly rent: $1,239

7. Detroit, Michigan (tie)

Percent of household income spent on rent: 24%
Median monthly rent: $1,229

7. Louisville, Kentucky (tie)

Percent of household income spent on rent: 24%
Median monthly rent: $1,198

9. Birmingham, Alabama

Percent of household income spent on rent: 24.1%
Median monthly rent: $1,111

10. Cincinnati, Ohio

Percent of household income spent on rent: 24.2%
Median monthly rent: $1,305


Stefanie Waldek

Stefanie Waldek

Stefanie is a New York–based writer and editor. She has served on the editorial staffs of Architectural Digest, ARTnews, and Oyster.com, a TripAdvisor company, before setting out on her own as a freelancer. Her beats include architecture, design, art, travel, science, and history, and her words have appeared in Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Popular Science, Mental Floss, Galerie, Jetsetter, and History.com, among others. In another life, she'd be a real estate broker since she loves searching for apartments and homes.