20 Big Cities Where You Can Find Rent for Under $1,200

With inflation continuing to tighten its vice grip on people’s wallets, more and more people are looking for ways to shore up their budgets. And while moving isn’t always easy, spending less on rent can be one of the most effective ways of cutting back. After all, for most, housing is the single biggest monthly expense within our increasingly strained budgets.

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Fortunately, there are still several cities where rent is reasonable. In this study, GOBankingRates gathered data from the BLS, ApartmentList, and BestPlaces to compile a list of 20 major cities where rent is still under $1,200 per month, on average. While most are in the South, there are a few Midwestern gems on the list and even one city in the Northeast.

Take a look at all 20 below, in reverse order of how affordable they are based on monthly income, rent and cost of living in the area.

20. Houston
Avg Monthly Income (State): $5,504
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $1,061
Cost of Living Index: 96.5
The largest city in Texas, Houston is easily the biggest city on this list, with a population of more than 2.3 million. Despite its size, though, rents remain affordable at $1,061 per month for a one-bedroom.

19. San Antonio, Texas
Avg Monthly Income (State): $5,504
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $1,042
Cost of Living Index: 89.7
San Antonio is almost among the largest cities in Texas, yet the average rent there is just $1,042 as of April 2022. Its overall cost of living, too, is just 89.7.POLL: Do You Think You Will Be Able To Retire at Age 65?

18. Jacksonville, Florida
Avg Monthly Income (State): $5,188
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $1,179
Cost of Living Index: 93.5
The average rent for a one-bedroom in Jacksonville is $1,179 for a one-bedroom, putting it close to the $1,200 mark. Still, its overall cost of living is below the national average at 93.5.

17. Columbus, Ohio
Avg Monthly Income (State): $4,884
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $996
Cost of Living Index: 85.5
Columbus is the capital city of Ohio, yet the city is affordable given its population of nearly one million. The average rent is just under $1,000, and the cost of living index is rated at just 85.5.

16. Fort Worth, Texas
Avg Monthly Income (State): $5,504
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $1,127
Cost of Living Index: 99.8
Fort Worth is part of the Dallas metropolitan area, along with Arlington, Texas. The average rent in the city is $1,127 as of April 2022. The cost of living is just below the national average, at 99.8.

15. Indianapolis
Avg Monthly Income (State): $4,612
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $892
Cost of Living Index: 83.5
Another capital city, Indianapolis has a population of just under 900,000. The average rent is quite affordable at under $900. Plus, the cost of living index is 83.5, making this a very affordable city.

14. El Paso, Texas
Avg Monthly Income (State): $5,504
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $914
Cost of Living Index: 81.5
A medium-sized city in Texas, El Paso is quite affordable; the average one-bedroom rent is just $914. Plus, the cost of living index is rated at 81.5.

13. Detroit
Avg Monthly Income (State): $5,164
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $688
Cost of Living Index: 87.6
Detroit has the lowest one-bedroom rent on this list, with an average of $688 in April 2022. The cost of living index is rated 87.6.

12. Memphis, Tennessee
Avg Monthly Income (State): $5,032
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $957
Cost of Living Index: 76
Memphis is an affordable city that sits along the Mississippi River. The average one-bedroom rent in the city is just $957; plus, its cost of living is the lowest on this list, rated 76.

11. Oklahoma City
Avg Monthly Income (State): $4,320
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $860
Cost of Living Index: 85.4
The state’s capital lies along the North Canadian River near the center of the state. OKC features rent well below $900 and the cost of living is decent, but average monthly income is the lowest so far on this list.

10. Louisville, Kentucky
Avg Monthly Income (State): $4,440
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $822
Cost of Living Index: 88.4
Although Louisville’s population is less than 250,000, its metro area has over 600,000 people. Rents in the city are affordable at just $822 for a one-bedroom, and the cost of living index is 88.4.

9. Baltimore
Avg Monthly Income (State): $5,996
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $1,077
Cost of Living Index: 88.2
The lone Northeastern city on this list, the average one-bedroom rent in Baltimore is $1,077. With a cost of living index of 88.2, the city is quite affordable overall.

8. Milwaukee
Avg Monthly Income (State): $4,388
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $813
Cost of Living Index: 84.9
Located along Lake Michigan’s western shore, Milwaukee is the most populous city in Wisconsin. The average one-bedroom rent in the city is just $813, and the cost of living index is 84.9.

7. Albuquerque, New Mexico
Avg Monthly Income (State): $4,388
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $1,006
Cost of Living Index: 91.1
Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico, but remains affordable, with an average one-bedroom rent of $1,006. The cost of living index is rated 91.1.

6. Tucson, Arizona
Avg Monthly Income (State): $5,124
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $959
Cost of Living Index: 91.6
Tucson is the second-largest city in Arizona after Phoenix. However, one-bedroom rent in the city is under $1,000, and it has a cost of living index of just 91.6.

5. Kansas City, Missouri
Avg Monthly Income (State): $4,716
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $949
Cost of Living Index: 86.2
The largest city in Missouri, Kansas City has a population of just over 500,000. The average one-bedroom rent in the city is $949, and the cost of living index is 86.2.

4. Omaha, Nebraska
Avg Monthly Income (State): $4,576
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $890
Cost of Living Index: 89.8
Omaha is undoubtedly affordable; the average one-bedroom rent in the city is just $890. Its overall cost of living is rated at 89.8.

3. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Avg Monthly Income (State): $4,320
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $873
Cost of Living Index: 83.2
Tulsa is the second-largest city in Oklahoma, and it’s a great destination for affordability. The average one-bedroom rent is just $873, and the cost of living index is just 83.2.

2. New Orleans
Avg Monthly Income (State): $4,568
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $1,003
Cost of Living Index: 96.3
New Orleans is famous for its jazz and seafood, but it also happens to have a reasonable cost of living. It’s slightly cheaper than the national average, with a cost of living index of 96.3. The average rent for a one-bedroom in the city is $1,003.

1. Wichita, Kansas
Avg Monthly Income (State): $4,528
Avg 1BR Rent, April 2022: $730
Cost of Living Index: 82.1
Wichita is a medium-sized city located in Kansas, and it’s quite affordable. In fact, it has the second-lowest one-bedroom rent on this list, with an average rent of just $730. Its overall cost of living is very favorable too, at 82.1.More From GOBankingRatesSocial Security: You Could Lose Your Benefits If You Didn’t Report Your Marriage to the SSA
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Methodology: For this piece, GOBankingRates first determined (1) top 50 U.S. cities by population, sourced from the U.S. Census; and (2) average monthly wages in Q4 2021 for the states housing each of these cities, as sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) County Employment and Wages news release. GOBankingRates then (3) determined which major cities’ average April 2022 rent for a one-bedroom apartment, sourced from ApartmentList, was no greater than 30% of state resident average monthly income. Cities included in the ranking had (4) an overall cost of living index, sourced from Sperling’s Best Places, no greater than the national average. All data was collected and is up to date as of May 31, 2022.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 20 Big Cities Where You Can Find Rent for Under $1,200

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