Best U.S. Cities to Live on a $60,000 Salary

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Desiree Patno

As the CEO & President of Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE) Real Estate Brokerage, Advisor & Investor for AmicusBrain—AI for Aging Population, CSO for ZuluTime, Publisher, Connector and a National Speaker, Desirée Patno’s network and wealth of knowledge crosses a vast economic footprint. With three decades specializing in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem and owning her own successful brokerage, she leads her executive team’s expertise of Social Impact, Gender Equality and Access to Capital, and provides personalized consulting services to the Real Estate and Family Office community.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in the U.S. was $61,937 in 2018. What kind of life does this afford the average American? The answer depends on a variety of factors, such as spending and saving habits, as well as the cost of living. In addressing the cost of living factor, SmartAsset released a report listing the best cities to live in the country with an income of $60,000.

To find the best places to live in the U.S. with this specified income, SmartAsset analyzed data for 109 cities across nine metrics, including median household income; median monthly housing costs; housing costs as a percentage of income; entertainment and civic establishments; percentage of people without health insurance; average commute time; unemployment rate; and the poverty rate. 

Top Places to Live on a $60,000 Salary

  1. Appleton, WI
  2. Billings, MT
  3. Cedar Rapids, IA
  4. Sioux Falls, SD
  5. St. Charles, MO
  6. Eau Claire, WI
  7. Waukesha, WI
  8. Rogers, AR
  9. Portland, ME
  10. Sioux City, IA

Key findings from the report show that households earning $60,000 are fortunately unlikely to be housing cost-burdened living in cities where the median household income ranges from $55,000 to $65,000, meaning they should not have to spend more than 35 percent of their monthly income on housing costs (e.g, mortgage or rent) and utilities. In fact, median household costs made up less than 24 percent of income, on average, across all the cities analyzed in the report. 

Another important finding is that midwestern cities ranked highest for households earning about $60,000 per year. Seven Midwestern cities make up the Top 10, such as Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Wisconsin is home to three of the Top 10 cities: Appleton, Eau Claire and Waukesha.

See the full report here.

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