These Are the Most Affordable Small Towns in the U.S.

Spoiler: Many small towns in the top 10 list are located in the Midwest.

There are lots of perks to living in a small town versus a big city, but the one that people most often point out is affordability. While some towns can be just as expensive as major metropolises — and sometimes even more so — a new study by has ranked the most affordable small towns in the U.S.

To create the list,'s data team looked at U.S. metros with a population under 50,000, then took into account a variety of metrics such as median home list prices, year-over-year list price changes, and ownership costs as a percentage of income.

Adobe house in Los Alamos New Mexico USA
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Unlike similar studies conducted in the past, also looked at other factors that contribute to the overall livability of these small towns. Lower home prices are great, but that won't help if there are few job prospects or lots of crime in the area. So, factored in unemployment rates, as well as violent crime and property crime.

To ensure a geographically diverse list, the study also set a limit of one town per state. Even with that measure in place, it's easy to see a trend among the top 10 small towns: They're mostly in the Midwest.

"The Midwest is well-represented thanks to its affordable home prices and abundance of small towns — and the few areas outside of the Midwest are both scenic and historic," said Danielle Hale, chief economist for

And though these towns may not offer the plethora of museums, theaters, and restaurants often found in big cities, they make up for it with lots of fresh air and outdoor activities, much of which can be enjoyed at no cost.

Seneca Falls, New York Along The Canal
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With so many elements playing a role in the making of this final list, the top affordable small towns don't always mean the least expensive. These towns made the cut for their affordability and overall appeal. Here are the results:

1. New Ulm, MN

Median Listing Price: $139,900

2. Lexington, NE

Median Listing Price: $145,000

3. Houghton, MI

Median Listing Price: $149,500

4. Spencer, IA

Median Listing Price: $92,500

5. Wahpeton, ND

Median Listing Price: $179,900

6. Wapakoneta, OH

Median Listing Price: $145,000

7. Los Alamos, NM

Median Listing Price: $307,500

8. Lincoln, IL

Median Listing Price: $84,900

9. Maryville, MO

Median Listing Price: $150,000

10. Seneca Falls, NY

Median Listing Price: $114,900

For more details on the ranking of the most affordable towns in the U.S., check out the full study by

Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but she's always on the lookout for her next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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