Personal finance and business news publisher Kiplinger has released a list of the 25 Cheapest U.S. Cities to Live In and two Hoosier communities made the lineup. The company analyzed the living expenses of 267 urban communities with a population of at least 50,000 people.
The highest ranked Indiana community is Kokomo, coming in at number 10, while Fort Wayne comes in at number 25.
The Cost-of-Living Index measured prices for housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, healthcare, and miscellaneous goods and services.
The publication says Kokomo’s cost of living is 16.4% below the U.S. average and residents spend about a third less on overall housing costs than the national average. It says the low cost of living helps cushion the blow when Kokomo does hit hard times, especially if the auto sector hits a slump.
“It makes the local economy especially sensitive to downturns. The area’s unemployment rate peaked at 30% during the 2020 pandemic-caused recession. Thankfully, unemployment has since plummeted, and currently stands at a low level, at least in absolute terms,” states Kiplinger.
Kiplinger says the Fort Wayne metro area offers an “enviable combination of affordability and amenities.” The cost of living is 13.7% below the U.S. average, according to the publication’s analysis.
It says affordable housing is the main driver of the metro area’s comparatively low cost of living. Kiplinger reports residents spend 36% less than the typical American on housing costs – including mortgages, rents and related expenses.
“And that’s enough to get Fort Wayne into the top 25 cheapest U.S. cities,” said Kiplinger.
The publication touts a collection of pleasant neighborhoods but also a thriving arts scene.
When it comes to the cheapest living locale, that title goes to Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Kiplinger warns people to weigh pros and cons before moving to a location where the cost of living is low, because it may not have the jobs or quality of life found in other communities.
Click here to access the list.