10 Cheapest, Safest Places To Live in the US

10 Cheapest, Safest Places To Live in the US

In today’s economic climate, finding an affordable place to live that offers safety and security can be challenging. As the cost of living continues to rise in many major cities, more Americans seek alternatives that balance financial stability and peace of mind.

This article explores ten cities and towns across the United States that offer an exceptional combination of low living costs and low crime rates, making them ideal choices for those looking to relocate or settle down.

These locations, ranging from small towns to growing suburbs, showcase the diverse options across the country. While they may not be as well-known as major metropolitan areas, each offers unique attractions, amenities, and qualities that make them stand out.

From the mountains of Idaho to the shores of Lake Erie, these communities prove that affordable living and safety can go hand in hand.

Let’s examine the top ten cheapest and safest places to live in the US, ranked from most affordable to least affordable based on annual expenditures and crime rates.

1. Rexburg, Idaho

In eastern Idaho, about 30 miles northeast of Idaho Falls, Rexburg proudly calls itself “America’s Family Community.” This charming city of 35,300 residents boasts the lowest annual expenditures on our list at just $19,267, coupled with a low crime rate of 3.9 per 1,000 residents.

Rexburg’s affordability extends across all aspects of living, with the lowest costs for groceries, utilities, and transportation among the cities studied.

The city’s strong ties to the Mormon Church and home to Brigham Young University-Idaho contribute to its family-friendly atmosphere and community-oriented lifestyle.

Residents and visitors can enjoy attractions like the Legacy Flight Museum, which showcases vintage aircraft, or venture out to the nearby St. Anthony Sand Dunes for outdoor recreation. Teton Lakes Winter Park offers seasonal activities, making Rexburg an appealing destination year-round.

2. Avon Lake, Ohio

Situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Erie, Avon Lake offers a perfect blend of small-town charm and big-city accessibility. This Cleveland suburb of 25,588 people boasts annual expenditures of just $19,671 and a low crime rate of 4.3 per 1,000 residents.

Avon Lake’s affordability is evident across various living expenses, with notably low costs for healthcare, housing, utilities, and transportation.

The city’s lakeside location provides ample opportunities for recreation, including numerous parks, bike trails, and a boat launch for water enthusiasts.

Residents can enjoy the beauty of Lake Erie while benefiting from the proximity to Cleveland’s urban amenities. The combination of natural beauty, safety, and affordability makes Avon Lake an attractive option for families and individuals seeking a balanced lifestyle.

3. Windsor, Colorado

In northern Colorado, Windsor offers easy access to Fort Collins and Loveland while maintaining a small-town feel. With a population of 35,788 and annual expenditures of $20,347, Windsor provides an affordable alternative to the more expensive Front Range cities.

The town’s crime rate of 4.5 per 1,000 residents ensures a safe environment for its growing community. Windsor has shown remarkable resilience, bouncing back strong after sustaining heavy damage from a tornado in 2008.

Today, it boasts over two dozen parks, Windsor Lake, and the Art & Heritage Center, offering a rich blend of outdoor recreation and cultural experiences. While housing costs are higher than in other cities on this list, Windsor compensates with lower utilities, healthcare, and transportation expenses.

4. Madison, Mississippi

As a rapidly growing suburb of Jackson, Mississippi’s state capital, Madison’s population has increased twelvefold since 1980, now at 27,719.

With annual expenditures of $20,698 and a crime rate of 4.5 per 1,000 residents, Madison offers a safe and affordable alternative to big-city living. The city particularly stands out for its low utility costs, which are the second-lowest among the cities in our study.

Madison’s appeal extends beyond its affordability and safety. The city features attractions such as the 10-acre Simmons Arboretum and Strawberry Patch Park, providing green spaces for residents to enjoy.

Scholaroo’s scholarship search and information platform recently ranked it as the seventh-best place to live in the US in 2023, further attesting to Madison’s growing reputation as an ideal place to call home.

5. Brandon, Mississippi

Located just 15 miles east of Jackson, Brandon is the county seat of Rankin County and has been experiencing rapid growth in recent years.

Brandon offers a safe and affordable option for those seeking proximity to Mississippi’s capital. With a population of 25,373, annual expenditures of $20,767, and a crime rate of 5.3 per 1,000 residents, it is a good choice.

Brandon stands out for having the lowest housing costs among the cities in this study, making it particularly attractive for first-time homebuyers or those looking to downsize.

The city’s Downtown Brandon Historic District provides a glimpse into its rich past, while the recently opened Brandon Amphitheater offers modern entertainment options. This blend of history and progress makes Brandon an appealing choice for a diverse range of residents.

6. Mundelein, Illinois

Situated about 35 miles northwest of Chicago, Mundelein offers suburban living with easy access to the Windy City’s amenities.

This town of 31,560 residents boasts annual expenditures of $20,907 and a relatively low crime rate of 5.3 per 1,000 residents. Mundelein’s appeal lies in its affordability and proximity to a central metropolitan area.

Mundelein features one of the lowest housing costs in our top ten, making it an attractive option for those working in Chicago but seeking more affordable living arrangements.

The town offers various attractions, including Diamond Lake for water recreation, the Mundelein Heritage Museum for history buffs, and the Millennium Trail and Greenway Preserve for nature enthusiasts. These amenities, coupled with its affordability and safety, make Mundelein a well-rounded choice for residents.

7. Edwardsville, Illinois

As a suburb of St. Louis, Edwardsville offers small-town charm with big-city accessibility. The county seat of Madison County, Illinois, Edwardsville is home to 25,218 residents and is located along the historic Route 66. With annual expenditures of $20,965, it provides an affordable alternative to living in larger metropolitan areas.

While Edwardsville has the highest crime rate among our top ten at 5.5 per 1,000 residents, it’s important to note that this rate is still considerably low compared to national averages.

The city compensates with its affordability, particularly grocery expenses, where residents can expect to pay only about $431 monthly. Its location along Route 66 adds a touch of Americana, making Edwardsville an intriguing option for those interested in living in a place with historical significance.

8. Mason, Ohio

Located about 20 miles north of Cincinnati, Mason offers suburban living with many attractions. Home to 35,089 residents, Mason boasts annual expenditures of $21,046 and a crime rate of 5.1 per 1,000 residents, striking a balance between affordability and safety.

Mason is perhaps best known for hosting the Western & Southern Open, a prestigious professional tennis tournament with roots dating back to 1899. The city is also home to Kings Island, one of the largest amusement parks in the Midwest.

These attractions, combined with moderate housing costs and overall affordability, make Mason an exciting option for families and individuals looking for a mix of suburban calm and entertainment options.

9. Zionsville, Indiana

Known as the “Dahlia City,” Zionsville is an Indianapolis suburb with small-town charm and big-city proximity.

With a population of 31,702, annual expenditures of $21,282, and a meager crime rate of 3.6 per 1,000 residents (second lowest in our study), Zionsville presents an attractive package of safety and affordability.

Zionsville stands out for its abundant green spaces, boasting over 500 acres of parks. The town’s old-timey downtown area, complete with a brick-paved main street, adds character and charm.

With its safety record and reasonable living costs, Zionsville is a top contender for those seeking a blend of historic charm and modern amenities in a safe environment.

10. Independence, Kentucky

Our top ten lost ends with Independence, Kentucky, a city of 28,920 in northern Kentucky’s Kenton County.

Situated about 15 miles south of Cincinnati and 70 miles north of Frankfort, Independence offers small-town living with access to larger urban areas. With annual expenditures of $21,871 and a low crime rate of 3.9 per 1,000 residents, it provides a safe and relatively affordable living option.

Independence particularly stands out for its low housing costs, which are the second-lowest among the cities in our study.

This affordability, combined with its strategic location between Cincinnati and Kentucky’s state capital, makes Independence an attractive option for those seeking a balance between small-town living and urban accessibility.


These ten cities demonstrate that it’s possible to find affordable, safe places to live across various regions of the United States. From the Mountain West to the Midwest and the South, these locations offer a range of options for those seeking to balance their budget with their need for security and quality of life.

While each city has unique characteristics and attractions, they all share the common traits of affordability and safety, making them worthy of consideration for anyone looking to relocate or establish roots in a new community. [1]