Experts say 'affordable' rent costs 30% of your monthly income. Here are the US cities where people can actually pay that.

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Experts say 'affordable' rent costs 30% of your monthly income. Here are the US cities where people can actually pay that.

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If you're spending more than 30% of your income on rent, consider a move to one of these cities.

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  • For your housing to generally be considered affordable, you shouldn't pay more than 30% of your income on rent.
  • There are more than 60 US cities where at least half the population is following that rule.
  • You won't find notoriously expensive cities like New York or San Francisco on the list - many of the entries are cities in the South and Midwest.

A standard measure of housing affordability says you shouldn't pay more than 30% of your salary on rent.

Of course, that's near impossible for millions of hardworking Americans, in part because of the soaring cost of housing and stagnating wages in the US.

But there are still some places in America where it's possible to earn a decent salary while saving money on rent. In fact, there are more than 60 major cities and urban areas where more than half the population spends less than 30% of their income on rent.

Using data from the US Census Bureau's 2017 American Community Survey, we compiled the 20 large US metro areas with the highest share of residents paying less than 30% of their income on rent. In the No. 1 metro on the list, a whopping 64.4% of the population manages to meet that benchmark each month. As a cutoff, we went with metro areas with at least 500,000 residents.

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You won't find notoriously pricey cities like New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, on this list. Instead, the cities where people manage to both earn and save are mostly concentrated in the South and Midwest.

Read on the see the top 20 US cities where you can earn a decent salary and keep most of it, too.

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20. Albany, New York

20. Albany, New York

Metro population: 886,188

Median household income: $68,681

Median gross rent: $968

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 55.2%

19. Lexington, Kentucky

19. Lexington, Kentucky

Metro population: 512,650

Median household income: $58,069

Median gross rent: $817

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 55.3%

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18. Charlotte, North Carolina

18. Charlotte, North Carolina

Metro population: 2,525,305

Median household income: $61,156

Median gross rent: $977

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 55.5%

17. Columbus, Ohio

17. Columbus, Ohio

Metro population: 2,078,725

Median household income: $63,764

Median gross rent: $916

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 55.9%

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T-15. Salt Lake City, Utah

T-15. Salt Lake City, Utah

Metro population: 1,203,105

Median household income: $71,510

Median gross rent: $1,068

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 56.0%

T-15. Knoxville, Tennessee

T-15. Knoxville, Tennessee

Metro population: 877,874

Median household income: $51,848

Median gross rent: $803

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 56.0%

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14. Nashville, Tennessee

14. Nashville, Tennessee

Metro population: 1,904,226

Median household income: $63,939

Median gross rent: $1,030

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 56.2%

13. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

13. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Metro population: 2,333,367

Median household income: $58,521

Median gross rent: $794

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 56.5%

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12. Kansas City, Missouri

12. Kansas City, Missouri

Metro population: 2,126,945

Median household income: $63,404

Median gross rent: $935

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 56.8%

11. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

11. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Metro population: 571,903

Median household income: $65,069

Median gross rent: $916

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 56.9%

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10. Cincinnati, Ohio

10. Cincinnati, Ohio

Metro population: 2,180,746

Median household income: $61,653

Median gross rent: $790

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 57.1%

9. Raleigh, North Carolina

9. Raleigh, North Carolina

Metro population: 1,335,079

Median household income: $72,576

Median gross rent: $1,073

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 57.4%

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8. Toledo, Ohio

8. Toledo, Ohio

Metro population: 603,668

Median household income: $50,389

Median gross rent: $709

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 57.8%

7. Omaha, Nebraska

7. Omaha, Nebraska

Metro population: 934,184

Median household income: $65,619

Median gross rent: $891

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 57.9%

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6. Dayton, Ohio

6. Dayton, Ohio

Metro population: 803,416

Median household income: $52,745

Median gross rent: $764

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 58.0%

5. Louisville, Kentucky

5. Louisville, Kentucky

Metro population: 1,293,722

Median household income: $57,279

Median gross rent: $818

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 58.1%

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4. Scranton, Pennsylvania

4. Scranton, Pennsylvania

Metro population: 555,426

Median household income: $50,891

Median gross rent: $764

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 58.2%

3. Des Moines, Iowa

3. Des Moines, Iowa

Metro population: 645,911

Median household income: $68,649

Median gross rent: $873

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 58.7%

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2. Ogden, Utah

2. Ogden, Utah

Metro population: 666,547

Median household income: $71,629

Median gross rent: $931

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 60.6%

1. Fayetteville, Arkansas

1. Fayetteville, Arkansas

Metro population: 535,557

Median household income: $56,038

Median gross rent: $807

Percentage of residents spending less than 30% of income on rent: 64.4%

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