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Last updated: August 17, 2023 • Real Estate Market

Safe cities that have an affordable cost of living

The eternal quest for an affordable yet safe place to live! It’s like looking for a mythical creature, you don’t even know exists. The cheapest, safest place in the USA…Trying to find it can seem like attempting to climb an unclimbable mountain, search for the Holy Grail, or find heaven on earth. The list of analogies could go on, but in all seriousness, choosing the right place is paramount, and it can have a serious impact on our overall quality of life. Safe affordable cities exist, but it can be challenging to find them. 

But the search is well worth it: living in a cheap and safe place can mean the difference between being able to save money for a down payment (or anything else), to explore new experiences, or feeling trapped in one place forever under the agonizing stress of housing costs. The coping mechanisms differ, but many of us are desperately looking for the cities with the best housing markets to plan a move. Living in safe and affordable cities can have a ripple effect not only on our finances, but on our physical and emotional well-being too. 

Finding the optimal place can be a challenge. A multifaceted one that needs attention on so many levels it looks almost impossible to complete. Realizing how complex the task is can give you a headache – if not a panic attack – to anyone attempting to find answers. So, knowing how many of us struggle with finding out, we did some research to help your heroic pursuit to find the cheapest safest place in the USA. Here’s some information on safe living at an affordable price you might find useful in your quest!

Table of contents

Why having an affordable cost of living matters

smiling mature african american

Finding the best US cities with low cost of living and high safety standards is not always easy, to say the least. It can involve a lot of balancing, and there may be trade-offs to consider. In many cases, affordable places with the lowest cost of living in the US are unsafe because of higher crime, violence, or other safety concerns. And on the other hand, safe places are often very expensive, either because of high demand, limited housing options, location, or other factors. The cheapest but safest places to live in the USA are highly sought after, and the high demand for safe affordable cities often pushes prices up. So the title for the cheapest, safest place to live in the USA can change owners frequently depending on the current economic situation in the specific locations. Still, it’s worth taking the time to inform you of the benefits of living in a safe place with an affordable cost of living.

Financial well-being 

On the financial side, affordable housing can provide a sense of security and stability. When our housing costs are manageable, we can save money, pay off debts, and invest in our future. But the benefits of living in safe affordable cities also have major physical and mental perks. And while our financial well-being depends on other factors too, like our jobs and the local economy in a specific location, not having to spend so much on everyday life is a major plus.   

Effects on emotional and mental comfort

Stress caused by uncertainty around the costs of living can have a strain on the psyche. Living under stress for extended periods of time can develop into anxiety or even depression. But living in a safe and stable environment can also positively affect our physical and mental health. In a safe place, we are more likely to spend time outside more, and exercise. Not being constantly preoccupied with worries, we can concentrate more on other things in our lives, like community, hobbies, or traveling. Those all contribute to our sense of fulfillment and fortify our emotional and mental comfort. The cheapest safest places to live in the USA all have the benefit of a calmer life.

The cost of living and safety indexes

woman using pen writing on bills

And now, a pragmatic question: how to preselect potentially safe and affordable cities? The cost of living index is a good place to start. The cost of living index is a tool for comparing the average cost of living in different locations. The index synthesizes the prices of goods and services like housing, groceries, transportation, and healthcare. The cost of living index is then calculated by taking an average of the cost of goods and services and comparing it to a national average. The national average is 100, and the cost of living index in any specific location is expressed as a percentage of the national average. If a city’s cost of living index is 90, it means that life there is 10% cheaper than the national average. 

The safety index is calculated from data on crime rates, natural disasters, and other potential risks in a specific location. It can be crucial to research individually the different contributing factors, because some safety indexes may focus on crime rates, for example, and overlook air quality or the risk of natural disasters. Still, a safety index can be a very useful tool to help navigate all the information and make good decisions about where to live. 

The cheapest and safest places to live in the USA have both indexes in excellent positions.

Other criteria to follow when searching

If you’ve found the cheapest safest place to live in the USA, congratulations! You won an exhausting battle. But is it also suitable for your individual needs? If you’re unsure what those are, there’s a chance that the place you chose will not be as perfect as initially thought. That’s the drawback of statistics: it can be the cheapest safest place to live in the USA, but if it doesn’t have what makes you happy, it won’t be a good place for you. And since there are plenty of safe affordable cities in the US to discover, there’s a good chance, you can find what you are actually looking for. 

Define what you want and need

wants needs comparison table

Setting your goals straight and defining your personal needs is the best investment in the long run. The place you choose as your home has to serve your well-being. If your hobby is surfing, looking for coastal places is better. The cheapest safest place in the USA might be landlocked far from the ocean, and that won’t work for you, even if it comes with the benefits of a low cost of living. 

Check statistics

As we said previously, checking the statistics like the cost of living index or the safety index can help locate and preselect the cheapest safest places to live in the USA. But sometimes, those statistics can vary greatly depending on different areas and neighborhoods in a city. To make an informed decision, looking at the statistics focusing on particular areas is better. 

Look for statistics on specific neighborhoods 

The cost of living and safety index can vary depending on specific neighborhoods within a city, so it’s important to do your own research and visit different areas of safe affordable cities to get a better sense of the local community and ensure that it meets your personal needs and priorities. Even the cheapest safest place to live in the USA can have good and bad areas. Neighborhoods can have huge differences within a city: sometimes, it’s a matter of neighboring streets. One is all right, the next one is not.

What is the cheapest safest state to live in?

united states close up map

Reading this article, you might ask, “Which state has the most affordable cost of living that is safe at the same time?” 

According to the latest statistics, these are the top cheapest and safest states to live in the US in 2023 that have the most affordable cost of living in the US today:

  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • West Virginia
  • Missouri
  • Tennessee
  • Iowa

Most of those states have a good safety index too, some of them earning places on the list of the safest cities with the cheapest cost of living in the US. 

Where is the cheapest and safest place to live in the US?

As said previously, there’s no one right answer to where is the cheapest, safest place to live in the USA. The answer can vary greatly on different factors such as job opportunities, access to healthcare, or education options that also need to be considered. For this selection of some of the cheapest safest places to live in the USA, we looked at the cost of living and crime rate indexes before everything else. If you’re wondering where to live in the USA for maximum safety and minimum cost, this selection includes a few ideas of small towns and bigger cities as well.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

aerial view virginia beach coastline

Ranked as the no.1. Safest big city in the USA in 2021, Virginia Beach is just as safe today according to local real estate agents in Virginia Beach VA. With a cost of living index of 103.3, the city is one of the cheapest safest places to live in the USA. The housing index is one of the highest of those, with a median home price of $332,000. The median rent is around the price of $1,500. The violent crime rate is only 1.12 per 1,000 residents, making this city one of the most livable and safe big cities in the USA right now. To top that, Virginia Beach ranks among the cities with low cost of living and high wages for 2023, too! Considering all the perks the city offers, we can say with certainty that Virginia Beach is an excellent place to live. 

Boise, Idaho

capital skyline boise idaho balloons

The cost of living index in Boise, Idaho, is 116.5. Considering that this city has a population of 228,790, the cost of living is excellent, considering everything the place has to offer. Being a big city, the safety is not perfect, but Boise still ranks among the safe affordable cities in the US, offering an excellent quality of life. The violent crime rate in Boise is only 2.49 per 1,000 residents in Boise, which is very good. The property crime rate is a bit higher at 16.84, which is still considered excellent for a city of this size. So, all things considered, Boise is one of the cheapest but safest places to live in the USA. With plenty of outdoor opportunities, a vibrant downtown, and a great climate. In the opinion of local realtors in Boise ID is perfectly balanced for a city of its caliber. 

Ridgefield, Connecticut

A beautiful and well-managed small town of 24,000 residents, Ridgefield’s safety is impeccable, with a crime rate of 0.12 per 1,000 people. Ridgefield has a charming, friendly community, quaint neighborhoods, and a great place to enjoy life in a calm and safe manner. While the overall cost of living index here is 162, making it more expensive than the national average, residents and real estate agents in Ridgefield CT consider it a small price for the safety, great amenities, and picturesque views. The many hiking trails, quality of air, and food compensate for the extra expenses. And if that’s not enough, Ridgefield has excellent schools, and a formidable arts community, with the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum as the cherry on top. 

Topeka, Kansas

copper dome shines urban area capital

Topeka has a population of 127,336 and a booming industry, with the top industries being education, health, and social services. 25% of workers are employed by the government in this city.  The cost of living index is 78.8 making Topeka one of the most affordable and safe places to live in the US. 47.6 is the cost of housing index, making this city one of the cities with the cheapest cost of living in the US. The city has a violent crime rate of 6.16 per 1000 people, which is excellent. Topeka easily makes one of the cheapest but safest places to live in the USA in 2023. 

Frisco, Texas

Known as one of the safest cities in the US, and one of the best places to visit in Texas,  Frisco is an excellent place for residents and tourists alike. With its great schools, strong economy, and affordable cost of living, Frisco, Texas is one of those safe affordable cities you’d want to raise a family in. With a population of 218,314, Frisco is a growing city, with lots of opportunities to offer. The crime rate is also excellent for a big city. The chance of becoming a victim of crime in Frisco is 1 in 95, making this city one of the safest places to live in the USA currently. The cost of living is 120, which is ok for a big city, but housing costs can be more expensive here because of the booming economy and the good job opportunities the place has to offer. Real estate agents in Frisco TX can help you do the balancing, to see if it is worth it for you and your specific needs. 

Mobile, Alabama

This Alabama city has a population of 195,111  The overall cost of living index is 82.9, while the  housing index is 51.3. The median home cost is only $149,600, ranking Mobile as one of the best cities with the cheapest cost of living in the US. 

But every place has its own drawbacks: you have to look a little bit more carefully about where to move in Mobile since the crime rate is higher than the national average. Still, many neighborhoods are considered safe, like the Usa / University of South Alabama, Pierce Creek, or Alderbrook. Before making a decision, take the time to inform yourself and eventually visit the places you are considering moving to. By discovering the safest and cheapest places to move to in 2023 in advance, you can make an informed decision. This way, you can rule out the potential obstacles before enjoying life in a great city with a very low cost of living.

Jackson, Mississippi

jackson missippi usa skyline

The state of Mississippi is currently on the top of the list of the states with the cheapest cost of living in the US. And the city of Jackson is among the cheapest if your choice falls on living in a metro area. Jackson’s overall cost of living index is 81.8, making it a very affordable place for a metro area. The average sale price of a home is currently $104K, while the average sale price per square foot is only $70 in Jackson. If you are wondering how to manage your rent to save money, you should note, that the average rent in Jackson costs around $900, but if you are lucky, you can find a place for as little as $650.

Jackson is a metropolitan area, and by the rule of big numbers, crime rates are high in some regions. The violent crime rates in this city are unfortunately high, but there are many neighborhoods that have good safety. Madison, Lake Trace, Northpointe Estate, or Fondren North are considered to be ok.

On the other hand, Jackson, Mississippi, has lots of job opportunities and a rich culture to enjoy, with plenty of things to do. 


Choosing a safe affordable city to live in can be a difficult decision, and finding the cheapest safest place to live in the USA seems almost impossible. It can be a challenge to discover a place that is both affordable and safe. When selecting the location, it’s important to consider the factors that contribute to our overall quality of life, not just the criteria of being less expensive. Nevertheless, safety and affordability are two of the main criteria. Fortunately, these places exist, and residents can enjoy a sense of security and affordability that enhances their overall well-being. The cheapest and safest places to live in the USA really exist! Prioritizing safety and affordability can provide a lifestyle that is comfortable and secure at the same time. In addition to safety and cost of living, other factors such as access to education, healthcare, and job opportunities should also be considered. In the end, choosing a good place to live boils down to a personal decision based on individual priorities and circumstances. Generally speaking, a safe and affordable place to live can make all the difference by contributing to a more stressless and carefree life.


One Response to " Safe cities that have an affordable cost of living "

  1. James says:

    This blog is good

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