Cheapest Big Cities to Live In


Big cities are known to be prohibitively expensive to live in with high living expenses and high prices for housing. There are some big cities, however, that have very reasonable living expenses. These cities have all the fabulous benefits of the big city, with massive job opportunities and entertainment offerings, without the expenses that will keep you away.


  • In 2008, Kiplinger named Houston the top city in the United States to live and work. Houston is a large city, with a growing population of over 5 million people, as of 2011. The city has plenty of jobs as the energy capital of the country. Houston has many companies in technology, aerospace and medicine in addition to its massive energy sector. All of these benefits and the cost of living in Houston is less than the national average. Cities the size of Houston typically have housing around twice as expensive as Houston's housing prices, according to Kiplinger.

Minneapolis-St. Paul

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, with a population of three million people, as of 2011. The region has seen many new job opportunities in the technology industry as companies have moved out of Silicon Valley. Forbes listed Minneapolis-St. Paul as the third best cheap city in America in July 2009.


  • With a population of over two million, Sacramento is among the biggest cities in the United States. Sacramento has gone on a building spree in the downtown area, creating dozens of new restaurants, retail shops and several new entertainment venues. The Railyards Project is constructing 12,000 new residential units on a 240 acre plot north of the central business district. Sacramento ranked only slightly above the national average on the cost-of-living-index, scoring 121.7 in 2008 compared to a national average of 100. Home prices dropped 35% in 2008 alone, which makes it cheaper than it has been in several years. Sacramento ranked number eight on Kiplinger's 2008 list of the top cities to live and work in the United States.


  • Austin brands itself as the "Live Music Capital of the World." The city also made Businessweek's 2006 list of the 20 biggest metropolitan areas with the lowest rent. Austin has plenty of employment opportunities, especially in the field of technology. It is the home of the University of Texas' main campus and has major plants for technological giants such as Dell, Apple and Sun Microsystems. Austin is truly a big entertainment city, with more music venues per capita than any other U.S. city.


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