The most affordable small town in every state
Cost of living is a big part in deciding where to live, and housing affordability is one of the major factors driving how expensive different places are.
Using data from the
Census Bureau's 2013-2017 American Community Survey
, we found the small town in each state with the highest share of households paying affordable housing costs.
The American Community Survey includes data for three types of households - homeowners with a mortgage, homeowners without a mortgage, and renters. For our affordability measurement, we took the average of the shares of each of those household types paying less than 30% on housing, weighted by the number of each type of household in each town.
Here's the most affordable town in every state, as indicated on the above map:
Advertisement Alabama: Moores Mill
Alabama: Moores Mill
88.4% of homes are affordable.
Located 15 miles south of the Tennessee border,
Moores Mill is an offshoot of Huntsville, Alabama, where several aerospace companies operate, including NASA and Boeing. The area is otherwise isolated. Boeing, for example, has invested $40 million in its Huntsville operation for military weapons research. Alaska: Fishhook
81.8% of homes are affordable.
Fishhook, Alaska is part of the Anchorage metro area in extreme south-central Alaska. The
Fishhook Trailhead, which is nearby, is a two-mile hike up Marmot Mountain, offering stunning views of Fishhook Creek Valley. Advertisement Arizona: Tuba City
Arizona: Tuba City
84.4% of homes are affordable. Tuba City is located in Navajo land in the Painted Desert. It's the largest Navajo community, with slightly more people than Shiprock, New Mexico. It's also just 50 miles from the eastern entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. Arkansas: Gibson
81.6% of homes are affordable.
Gibson is a small outpost of Little Rock, with a population of only 5,415. While the cost of living is lower than the national average, Little Rock and Gibson have high
crime rates. Advertisement California: Hilmar-Irwin
79.0% of homes are affordable. Hilmar-Irwin is in central California, about 80 miles south of Sacramento. One of its closest towns, however, is Merced, which opened the University of California Merced in 2005, bringing in students, faculty, and a higher standard of living. Colorado: Battlement Mesa
Colorado: Battlement Mesa
86.9% of homes are affordable.
The town of
Battlement Mesa is surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, making it ideal for those who love hiking or the outdoors. Oil money helped build up the town in the 1920s, but after the business dried up in the 1980s, Exxon left the town, which evolved into a tranquil residential community. Advertisement Connecticut: Hazardville
80.0% of homes are affordable.
Despite its name,
Hazardville was not named for any dangers in the town — it was named for Colonel Augustus G. Hazard, a 19th-century gunpowder manufacturer. However, gunpowder became such a booming business by the Civil War that 40% of all gunpowder used during the war was manufactured in Hazardville. Delaware: North Star
Delaware: North Star
84.9% of homes are affordable.
A town in New Castle County, North Star is close to several family-friendly attractions, including local farmer's markets, the historical
Hagley Museum, and Carousel Farm Park and Equestrian Center, which offers riding lessons for all ages. Advertisement Florida: Nassau Village-Ratliff
Florida: Nassau Village-Ratliff
84.4% of homes are affordable. Nassau Village-Ratliff is part of the Jacksonville metro area in northern Florida. Although the town itself is sleepy, Jacksonville offers a waterfront, skyscrapers, and resorts. Georgia: Dacula
86.8% of homes are affordable. Dacula has undergone a series of name changes since it was founded after the War of 1812: Chinquapin Grove, Hoke, then finally Dacula. The town's current name was inspired by a nearby town, Decatur, which was successful in the late 19th century. The historic Elisha Winn House (pictured), was built in 1812 by Elisha Winn, a Georgia state senator. Advertisement Hawaii: Waihee-Waiehu
74.1% of homes are affordable. Waihee-Waiehu is a small beachfront community on the island of Maui, the second largest Hawaiian island. Maui's natural beauty is stunning, but Waihee-Waiehu also offers a golf course, surfing, and whale watching. Idaho: Payette
78.5% of homes are affordable.
Payette started out as a campsite for builders of the Oregon Short Line railroad in 1882, but wasn't founded as a town until 1891. The town is named after François Payette, a French-Canadian fur trapper who was among the first to settle southwest Idaho.
Despite the town's population (just over 7,000), it's an
active community — there's a city council, a historic preservation commission, and a library board of trustees, to name a few. Advertisement Illinois: Morton
85.2% of homes are affordable.
The village of Morton isn't exactly a village — its population is nearly 17,000. Morton's claim to fame is its annual
pumpkin festival, which happens on the second week of September. Its economy is better than many towns of its size, in part because of Caterpillar Inc.'s distribution facility. Indiana: McCordsville
92.6% of homes are affordable.
Just outside Indianapolis,
McCordsville is a growing town with several local establishments like Trax BBQ and Scarlet Lane Brewing Company. It was founded in 1865 and named after the McCord family. Advertisement Iowa: Asbury
84.7% of homes are affordable. Asbury was settled back in the 1830s by Methodists. It was named after a British-born bishop named Francis Asbury. Today, most residents don't work in town, but commute to nearby Dubuque or Peosta, Iowa. The town's motto is "You're home." Kansas: Mulvane
87.2% of homes are affordable.
Just 20 minutes from Wichita and 15 minutes from McConnell Air Force Base, the city of
Mulvane is a small but cozy town. There's a historical museum, a city hall, and even a community garden. Advertisement Kentucky: Union
89.3% of homes are affordable.
Located in northern Kentucky, the city of Union was mostly rural up until the 1990s, when there was more suburban residential growth. In 1990, Union's population was 1,001, and now it's over 5,800. And with an
active residential community, Union is expected to grow in the coming decades. Louisiana: Chackbay
87.4% of homes are affordable.
About 35 miles south of New Orleans,
this Louisiana town is located on the Mississippi Delta. Houma is the nearest larger town with a commercial center. The area is known for its bayous and rich Cajun cultural heritage. Advertisement Maine: Gorham
76.1% of homes are affordable.
Located in Cumberland County,
Gorham has an active arts scene, where many residents perform music, make sculptures, and write books. It was initially named Narragansett Number 7, until its name was changed in honor of New England Army Ranger John Gorham I. Maryland: Poolesville
87.7% of homes are affordable. Poolesville was named after two brothers, John Poole Sr. and Joseph Poole Sr., who owned land in the area. Until 2010, however, its official name was left as "The Commissioners of Poolesville" due to a clerical error. Its motto is "Small town character, down home charm." Advertisement Massachusetts: Mansfield Center
Massachusetts: Mansfield Center
75.0% of homes are affordable. Mansfield Center is a small town with a population of 7,360. The town has a remarkably low crime rate, with a 1 in 83 chance of being the victim of a crime — that's 56% lower than the US average. Michigan: Freeland
85.8% of homes are affordable. Freeland was home to the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Pottawatomi tribes before the arrival of European settlers in the early 19th century. The town is named after Mammy Freeland, who was the owner of a popular tavern that served local lumberjacks in the mid 1800s. Advertisement Minnesota: Victoria
85.3% of homes are affordable.
The town of
Victoria was named for the St. Victoria church, which was built in 1857. Victoria was settled in the 1850s due to its rich soil and proximity to Lake Bavaria. Mississippi: Gulf Park Estates
Mississippi: Gulf Park Estates
86.5% of homes are affordable.
Located on Mississippi's gulf coast, Gulf Park Estates is a small community with a population of 5,719. The cost of living is 4.8% lower than the rest of the US, but on the other hand, hurricanes are a regular occurrence.
Advertisement Missouri: Dardenne Prairie
Missouri: Dardenne Prairie
88.3% of homes are affordable. Dardenne Prairie, in St. Charles County, is said to have gotten its name from the French "terre d'Inde," or "land of India." Others say the town is named after Toussaint Dardenne, an early pioneer of the Mississippi Valley. However, no records show that the pioneer ever explored St. Charles County. A third theory states that the French explorers who did settle the area named it after the Ardennes forest ("d'ardenne" in French). While no one knows the reason any longer, the name has stayed ever since. Montana: Helena Valley West Central
Montana: Helena Valley West Central
82.5% of homes are affordable. Helena Valley West Central is part of the much larger city of Helena, but offers more affordability and quieter surroundings. One of the benefits of living in Helena Valley West Central is the commute time to downtown Helena: 16.4 minutes on average. Advertisement Nebraska: Sidney
80.4% of homes are affordable. Sidney, a town of around 6,800 people, used to be the headquarters of Cabela's, an outdoor merchandise chain, until Cabela's was bought by Bass Pro Shops. The company merger lost the town hundreds of jobs, which in turn forced people out in search of work. The county itself has a population of 9,000, its lowest since 1920. Despite this, a new company, MMP Enterprises, based in Toronto, announced that it would employ 155 people where Cabela's used to be. Nevada: Spring Creek
Nevada: Spring Creek
87.4% of homes are affordable. Spring Creek is situated between the Elko Hills to the northwest, and the Ruby Mountains to the southeast. Most residents of Spring Creek commute to nearby Elko, which has about 18,000 residents, compared to Spring Creek's 12,361. Advertisement New Hampshire: South Hooksett
New Hampshire: South Hooksett
76.8% of homes are affordable. South Hooksett is a part of the larger town of Hooksett, which is outside the city of Manchester, New Hampshire's largest city, making it ideal for commuters working there. New Jersey: Yardville
New Jersey: Yardville
75.9% of homes are affordable. Yardville is located in Mercer County, an hour's drive from New York City. Many of its residents are young professionals working in nearby Trenton or Philadelphia who opt for a suburban lifestyle. Advertisement New Mexico: North Hobbs
New Mexico: North Hobbs
94.1% of homes are affordable. North Hobbs has a population of 6,083. Its residents tend to lean conservative — Lea County voted Republican in the last five presidential elections, a major feat in the increasingly blue state. New York: Big Flats
New York: Big Flats
86.2% of homes are affordable. Big Flats is in western New York, near the Pennsylvania border. It boasts nearby national forests, is close to the city of Elmira, and is only a short drive away from New York's Finger Lakes. Advertisement North Carolina: Stokesdale
North Carolina: Stokesdale
84.1% of homes are affordable. Stokesdale is mainly a rural community, with some residential areas. Despite is small size, residents are a short drive away from the larger cities of Greensboro, High Point, Winston Salem, and Reidsville. North Dakota: Valley City
North Dakota: Valley City
82.0% of homes are affordable.
Valley City is also known as the "City of Bridges" due to its many railroad bridges that span the Sheyenne River. The town has a number of
tourist attractions, including a scenic bridge tour, and an exhibit on railroad history at the Rosebud Visitor Center. Advertisement Ohio: Delhi Hills
Ohio: Delhi Hills
85.5% of homes are affordable. Delhi Hills is just outside of Cincinnatti, on a bluff near the Ohio river. Delhi Hills' main attraction is Delhi Pike, a popular strip of highway lined with fast food eateries and stores like KFC, Burger King, Wendy's, and Kroger. Oklahoma: Tuttle
86.0% of homes are affordable.
The first baby born in
Tuttle, in 1902, was Tuttle Meder, named not only after the town, but after its namesake, James H. Tuttle, a local rancher who was one of the town's founders. It maintained a low population for decades, until more residents settled there and brought the population up to its current number of 6,019. Advertisement Oregon: Bull Mountain
Oregon: Bull Mountain
76.8% of homes are affordable. Bull Mountain got its name from the hill it was founded on, in northwest Oregon. The town is still unincorporated, despite having a population of 9,133. A nearby town, Tigard, tried to annex Bull Mountain under its own city limits, but Bull Mountain's residents protested, putting a stop to the annexation. Pennsylvania: Schlusser
84.5% of homes are affordable.
Schlusser is a small residential community on the outskirts of Carlisle, a college town where Dickson College is located. Many commuters to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's capital, live in Schlusser.
Advertisement Rhode Island: Cumberland Hill
Rhode Island: Cumberland Hill
75.7% of homes are affordable.
Cumberland Hill is a suburb of Providence, Rhode Island's capital. The town is a residential community mostly made up of families. The public schools are highly rated, according to
Niche.com. South Carolina: Tega Cay
South Carolina: Tega Cay
84.7% of homes are affordable.
The city of
Tega Cay is located on Lake Wylie, between Charlotte, North Carolina and Rock Hill, South Carolina. And thanks to its location, there are plenty of activities for residents and visitors alike — parks, playgrounds, boating, golf, and swimming, to name a few. Advertisement South Dakota: Harrisburg
South Dakota: Harrisburg
86.5% of homes are affordable. Harrisburg, a suburb of Sioux Falls, is an active community with several attractions. Locals enjoy Lake Alvin Recreation Area, which offers beaches, fishing, and boating. Good Earth State park has two miles of trails for anyone looking to enjoy the outdoors. Tennessee: Tellico Village
Tennessee: Tellico Village
84.5% of homes are affordable. Tellico Village, unlike most of the towns on this list, is a planned community, created in the 1980s when the Little Tennessee River was dammed. It's run by the Tellico Village Property Owners Association. The community has golf courses, yachting, and a country club. Advertisement Texas: Post
86.5% of homes are affordable. Post gets its name from C. W. Post, the millionaire who founded the cereal company and named the community after himself. The town was originally Post City when it was founded in 1907, but the "City" was later dropped. Post City even had a newspaper called the Post City Post. Utah: Plain City
Utah: Plain City
84.1% of homes are affordable.
Plain City lives up to its name in the best way possible. Its
site states: "Plain City offers a serene lifestyle that promotes community accord, simple entertainment, and close family relations." Advertisement Vermont: Montpelier
67.0% of homes are affordable. Montpelier, the capital of Vermont, is the least populous state capital in the United States, with only 7,535 residents. Its small population doesn't prevent it from having a capital city's personality, with its stately buildings and lively downtown. Virginia: Dranesville
84.2% of homes are affordable. Dransesville is one of the many suburb towns of Washington, DC, and many residents commute to the capital for work. As a result, Dranesville has a lively main street with restaurants, cafes, and parks. Advertisement Washington: Ephrata
85.2% of homes are affordable. Ephrata's name is biblical in origin — it was an orchard in the middle of the desert, and was an early name for Bethlehem. The town has several activities during the summer, including the Sage-N-Sun Family Festival . West Virginia: Bridgeport
West Virginia: Bridgeport
86.7% of homes are affordable. Bridgeport was originally known as Bridge Fort, but according to legend, the name was changed due to a cartographer's mistake. Today, Bridgeport attracts visitors thanks to its shopping mall, the 100-store Meadowbrook Mall. Advertisement Wisconsin: Harrison
86.4% of homes are affordable. The Village of Harrison is a small community on the northeast shore of Lake Winnebago that was founded in 1853. In 2013, the Village of Harrison voted to incorporate the adjacent Town of Harrison, combining the two. Wyoming: Green River
Wyoming: Green River
86.2% of homes are affordable. Green River is a charming locale for wildlife lovers, hikers, and kayakers. Visitors can stop at the Sweetwater County Museum to learn about Wyoming's history, including facts about its outlaws. Advertisement