The most affordable small town in every state
- Cost of living is a big part of deciding where to live.
- Using data from the Census Bureau, we found the small town in each state with the highest share of households paying affordable housing costs.
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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.For our universe of small towns, we took places as defined by the Census Bureau that had populations between 5,000 and 20,000 people, excluding college campuses and military bases. To determine housing affordability, we looked at the share of households in each of those towns paying less than 30% of their household income on housing costs, a fairly common cutoff for whether or not housing is within a family's means.
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: