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Sometimes, the grass is actually greener on the other side (or rather, it’ll leave you with more green in your wallet). At least according to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index. The name alone may sound complicated, but thankfully Christy Bieber, a personal finance and legal writer, broke down the data—in addition to information from both the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau—on The Ascent to pinpoint the single most affordable city in the country.
Now, heads up: “Affordable” does not necessarily mean “cheapest.” Per Bieber: “[T]he most affordable places to live aren’t just cheap—they also provide residents the opportunity to earn enough money to live.” Therefore, the most “affordable” city was determined by the ratio of median income to the estimated cost of living (aka things like the cost of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, healthcare and miscellaneous goods and services).