The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Missouri For 2021


We used data and science to determine which places in Missouri go easy on your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the cheapest places to live in Missouri.

You don't have to launder drug money in the Ozarks to be able to live in most cities in Missouri: The Show Me State is affordable.

Yes, learning the value of the dollar is important, but you don't want to stress about it daily when looking for a safe, affordable Missouri neighborhood to call home, a great deal on a St.Louis-style pizza, or monthly living costs that won't break the bank. Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the country. And it is no surprise considering they have amazing jobs in agriculture, aerospace, tech, and beer. Yes, folks, Missouri is home to Anheuser-Busch. And i f you play your cards right, maybe your next mortgage payment can come from a great job with the King Of Beers.

Regardless, Missouri knows how to make the dolla' holla'. The median income for the state is up above $35,000. With all that income, you can make most Missouri cities doable. More importantly, you can spend the extra coin in your pocket on the fun things that Missouri offers: like a weekend in the Ozarks, season tickets to the Cardinals, and/or a riverboat cruise down the mighty Mississippi River.

You don't have to look any further in terms of affordability if you choose a down home Missouri city to call home. But you do have to read below to see what city on our top ten most affordable cities in Missouri for 2021 list best suits you.

So, grab a Busch Light and some Kansas City BBQ, and read on.

The 10 Most Affordable Places To Live In Missouri

  1. Richmond
  2. Trenton
  3. Bonne Terre
  4. Webb City
  5. St. Ann
  6. Bowling Green
  7. Oak Grove
  8. St. John
  9. Chillicothe
  10. Kennett

Missouri's strong economy, gold star housing prices, and average cost of living make its cities very desirable. So, one can imagine how difficult it was for us to narrow down the places in this Midwest flyover state where you can make ends meet.

The cheapest place to live in Missouri? That would be Richmond based on the cost of housing adjusted for incomes and cost of living. Richmond is our most affordable city in Missouri for 2021.

So, if you care about home values, cost of living, and high quality of life, take a look at the list below to find the most affordable places in Missouri, where your salary will let you live like Kansas City Royal-ty.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Missouri and the cheapest places in the country:

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Missouri For 2021

Richmond, MO

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,628
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.0x (10th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 82.0x (30th cheapest)
More On Richmond: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Richmond comes in as the cheapest city in Missouri thanks to being an equally affordable place for renters and home-buyers. When you're in Richmond, you'll know you're in the state with the lowest rent in America, because the median rent is a mere $626. The median income in Richmond is $51,362 and the median home price is $100,800, making the city one of the least affordable places for buyers on this list. In any case, you'll never run short of fun things to do for free in Richmond, which has over 60 acres of parks. Not too shabby for a city of only 5,628 people.

Richmond is located 40 miles east of Kansas City.

Trenton, MO

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,770
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.2x (26th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 76.1x (24th cheapest)
More On Trenton: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Ranking as our second most affordable city in Missouri is Trenton, a city in the north-central part of the state. For those looking to further their education, Trenton is home to North Central Missouri College, where in-state tuition is under $5,000. That's not the only sweet deal in Trenton, though. The median home price in Trenton is $91,200 and the median rent is $537, so housing of all sorts is available for cheap. Given the city's median income of $40,881, Trenton has a better home price to income ratio than rent to income ratio, but it's not a game-breaking difference.

Bonne Terre, MO

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 7,165
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x (6th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.8x (89th cheapest)
More On Bonne Terre: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Don't let the name fool you; you won't need to learn French to move to the third cheapest city in Missouri. A small city an hour south of St. Louis, Bonne Terre knocked it out of the park in terms of affordability this year, with both renters and home-buyers rejoicing over the low cost of housing. Buying a home in Bonne Terre will set you back about $89,400, which is super cheap when you consider that the median income in Bonne Terre is $47,833. In fact, Bonne Terre residents spend the sixth lowest proportion of their income on their mortgage in Missouri.

Bonne Terre is also among the safest places in Missouri, so the city hasn't skimped on solid security. And if you need to get away from it all, Bonne Terre is home to St. Francois State Park.

Webb City, MO

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 11,721
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.0x (11th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 67.2x (10cheapest)
More On Webb City: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Homes in Webb City are the second most expensive you'll see on this list, but that doesn't stop the city from being fourth cheapest overall in Missouri. A home in Webb City goes for about $99,600 and the median income is $50,033, so it's no sweat paying off the mortgage here. We recommend you use your pockets full of extra cash at the local farmer's market for the freshest food in town.

Webb City is located in the southwestern part of the state, near the borders of Kansas and Oklahoma.

St. Ann, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,744
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x (7th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.1x (104th cheapest)
More On St. Ann: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

A St. Louis suburb, St. Ann ranks as the fifth most affordable city in Missouri. St. Ann's median rent of $794 is a bit pricey, and keeps the city from achieving a higher rank on this list. However, with a median income of $47,727 and a median home price of $89,900, St. Ann has the seventh best home price to income ratio in the state. As a bonus, St. Ann is one of the best cities for singles in Missouri, so you can find the love of your life without breaking the bank here.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,516
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (3most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.8x (124th cheapest)
More On Bowling Green: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

When it comes to buying a home, there's few places cheaper than Missouri's sixth most affordable city, Bowling Green. The median home price in Bowling Green is a measly $86,800, and with residents earning a median income of $38,125, mortgages get paid off faster than the new paint can dry. Since last year, Bowling Green has jumped up from the bottom of this list to the #6 rank, so it's only getting cheaper. I guess the city is just trying to fit in better in one of the the cheapest states in America.

Bowling Green is located in the northeastern part of the state.

Oak Grove, MO

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,217
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 10)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (18th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 74.6x (35th cheapest)
More On Oak Grove: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

A Kansas City suburb of 8,217, Oak Grove comes in as the seventh most affordable place in Missouri for 2021. Oak Grove has a lot going for it - a low unemployment rate of 2.88%, a high median household income of $64,398, and a crime rate way below the national average.

Getting all that at a bargain price is just icing on the cake as far as we're concerned. The overall cost of living in Oak Grove is 8% cheaper than the national average, but in terms of housing, it's 39% less expensive.

Homes in Oak Grove sell for a median price of $134,700, which is a pretty sweet deal given the average income here. The median household income is also up over 5% from our last year of data, so expect things to keep on improving in Oak Grove.

What's great about Oak Grove is that you have a wonderful community for a low cost, but if you're stuck for entertainment, the Kansas City Zoo or the Chief's Arrowhead Stadium are just a half-hour down the road.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,396
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 11)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.5x (2nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.2x (105th cheapest)
More On St. John: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

For our eighth cheapest place to live in Missouri, we turn to the St. Louis suburb of St. John. Just like in Oak Grove, St. John offers easy access to world-famous amenities at a fraction of the cost of the bigger city.

For instance, you're only 20 minutes from The Gateway Arch and the Missouri Botanical Garden if you're living in St. John.

The overall cost of living is about 15% lower than the national average, but where the city really stands out is housing costs. St. John has the eighth cheapest homes in Missouri, with a median price tag of just $78,300.

Just think of how easy it must be to pay off the mortgage in St. John, especially considering that the median household income here is $53,916. Rent in St. John is a bit steeper than most places on this list, so you'll have to buy to fully experience how inexpensive this city really is.

Chillicothe, MO

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,162
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.2x (27th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.2x (22nd cheapest)
More On Chillicothe: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

For those on a budget, Chillicothe is the greatest thing since sliced bread, which, it just so happens, was invented in Chillicothe.

The city also has the more modern distinction of being the ninth cheapest city in Missouri. The median home price in Chillicothe is $91,200 and the median income is $40,822, making it slightly more affordable for those buying a home than Trenton. However, Chillicothe got beat out by Trenton in terms of rent prices. Chillicothe is another north-central Missouri city.

Kennett, MO

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,062
Rank Last Year: 47 (Up 37)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (49th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.8x (100th cheapest)
More On Kennett: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Kennett is a city in and the county seat of Dunklin County, Missouri, United States. The city is located in the southeast corner of Missouri, 4 miles east of Arkansas and 20 miles from the Mississippi River. It has a population of 10,932 according to the 2010 Census. It is the largest city in the Bootheel, a mostly agricultural area.

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Show Me State For 2021

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Missouri
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2015-2019 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Missouri to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 131 places in Missouri that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in Missouri according to the data is Richmond. You can download the data here.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Missouri Cheapskate

If you're looking at the cost of living numbers in Missouri, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Missouri for 2021.

Here's a look at the most expensive cities in Missouri according to the data:

  1. University City
  2. Sunset Hills
  3. Weldon Spring

For more Missouri reading, check out:

The Most Affordable Places To Live In Missouri

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Richmond 20.0 5,628 2.0x 82.0x
2 Trenton 25.17 5,770 2.2x 76.1x
3 Bonne Terre 26.33 7,165 1.9x 66.8x
4 Webb City 32.0 11,721 2.0x 67.2x
5 St. Ann 34.67 12,744 1.9x 60.1x
6 Bowling Green 34.67 5,516 2.3x 65.8x
7 Oak Grove 37.33 8,217 2.1x 74.6x
8 St. John 40.0 6,396 1.5x 54.2x
9 Chillicothe 41.83 9,162 2.2x 60.2x
10 Kennett 42.0 10,062 2.4x 66.8x
11 Pevely 42.0 5,893 2.4x 79.7x
12 Aurora 42.33 7,438 2.0x 55.5x
13 Bellefontaine Neighbors 42.67 10,517 1.4x 45.5x
14 Nevada 44.33 8,317 2.1x 53.2x
15 Willard 45.0 5,519 2.3x 73.4x
16 Dellwood 45.67 5,013 1.5x 41.6x
17 Blue Springs 46.0 54,850 2.2x 78.0x
18 Carthage 46.0 14,708 2.1x 55.0x
19 Cameron 46.83 9,665 2.2x 63.7x
20 Berkeley 47.0 8,927 1.9x 33.4x
21 Jennings 47.33 14,712 1.9x 39.2x
22 Macon 47.33 5,358 2.6x 69.1x
23 Park Hills 48.0 8,544 2.0x 50.2x
24 Raytown 48.0 29,264 2.0x 57.5x
25 Kearney 48.17 10,095 2.2x 80.5x
26 Florissant 48.33 51,455 1.8x 53.2x
27 Hazelwood 48.33 25,319 2.2x 61.7x
28 Smithville 48.67 9,884 2.4x 103.1x
29 Carl Junction 48.67 8,072 2.2x 68.5x
30 Mexico 48.67 11,543 2.3x 58.4x
31 Boonville 48.83 8,418 2.4x 68.5x
32 Savannah 49.0 5,159 2.3x 65.1x
33 Sedalia 49.33 21,633 2.3x 56.5x
34 Overland 50.33 15,715 2.0x 46.1x
35 Black Jack 50.5 6,932 2.2x 62.7x
36 Dardenne Prairie 51.33 13,293 2.3x 112.6x
37 Ferguson 51.67 20,738 2.1x 43.1x
38 Liberty 52.0 31,328 2.4x 83.1x
39 St. Peters 52.0 57,273 2.3x 79.6x
40 Peculiar 52.33 5,139 2.3x 70.5x
41 Marshfield 52.67 7,318 2.6x 71.2x
42 Republic 53.0 16,247 2.3x 65.6x
43 Independence 54.17 117,084 2.3x 58.6x
44 Moberly 54.67 13,707 2.5x 60.8x
45 St. Joseph 54.83 75,913 2.4x 61.6x
46 Dexter 55.0 7,862 2.5x 57.4x
47 Hannibal 55.0 17,320 2.5x 60.5x
48 Greenwood 55.67 6,247 1.9x 62.8x
49 Crestwood 56.0 11,865 2.5x 89.0x
50 Fulton 56.0 12,779 2.7x 72.4x
51 Marshall 56.0 12,949 2.6x 65.8x
52 Belton 56.67 23,425 2.2x 58.8x
53 Arnold 56.83 21,146 2.4x 69.8x
54 Lebanon 57.0 14,652 2.5x 59.9x
55 Grandview 57.33 25,069 2.3x 56.8x
56 Battlefield 57.83 6,240 2.6x 79.4x
57 Odessa 58.0 5,210 2.6x 73.1x
58 Charleston 58.33 5,614 2.4x 47.8x
59 Jefferson City 58.67 42,919 2.8x 82.4x
60 Lee's Summit 59.0 97,275 2.5x 83.5x
61 Perryville 59.33 8,451 2.6x 68.7x
62 Wentzville 59.33 38,841 2.5x 89.6x
63 Grain Valley 59.33 13,966 2.4x 70.6x
64 Clinton 60.0 9,118 2.6x 59.7x
65 Festus 60.33 11,982 2.5x 66.3x
66 Eureka 60.33 10,666 2.5x 100.4x
67 Excelsior Springs 60.67 11,640 2.7x 72.2x
68 Gladstone 61.0 27,126 2.4x 66.1x
69 Neosho 61.33 11,990 2.4x 54.1x
70 Jackson 61.67 14,872 2.6x 73.3x
71 O'fallon 62.0 87,242 2.5x 81.6x
72 Washington 62.0 14,014 2.7x 79.9x
73 Raymore 62.67 21,196 2.4x 73.3x
74 West Plains 63.67 12,233 2.7x 59.1x
75 Pleasant Hill 64.0 8,510 2.5x 72.5x
76 Ballwin 65.67 30,252 2.7x 86.8x
77 Maryland Heights 66.33 27,080 2.4x 63.9x
78 Union 67.33 11,475 2.8x 72.4x
79 Wildwood 69.33 35,459 2.8x 111.7x
80 Pacific 69.67 6,339 2.9x 70.7x
81 Nixa 70.33 21,544 2.7x 70.0x
82 Troy 71.33 12,079 2.7x 65.3x
83 Ozark 72.0 19,767 2.8x 66.7x
84 Cottleville 72.67 5,200 2.9x 87.1x
85 Joplin 75.0 50,386 2.8x 57.6x
86 Farmington 75.67 18,515 2.9x 65.0x
87 Monett 76.0 8,984 2.7x 51.3x
88 Parkville 77.0 6,724 3.0x 191.0x
89 De Soto 77.67 6,380 2.8x 54.6x
90 Glendale 78.33 5,891 3.0x 99.6x
91 Lake St. Louis 78.33 15,989 3.0x 81.7x
92 Webster Groves 79.0 22,951 2.9x 76.2x
93 Bolivar 79.33 10,880 2.9x 55.0x
94 Manchester 80.33 18,110 2.9x 73.5x
95 Sullivan 81.0 6,564 2.9x 52.3x
96 Chesterfield 81.67 47,605 3.4x 94.4x
97 Richmond Heights 82.0 8,500 3.1x 79.5x
98 St. Charles 82.33 70,171 2.9x 69.5x
99 Caruthersville 83.0 5,616 3.0x 51.2x
100 Bridgeton 83.33 11,606 2.8x 60.5x

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.