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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- 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:
- University City
- Sunset Hills
- Weldon Spring
For more Missouri reading, check out:
The Most Affordable Places To Live In Missouri
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