The cheapest places to live in a href=”https://www.homesnacks.com/cities/cities-in-north-dakota/”>North Dakota are the talk of the town, thanks to the state’s incredible affordability. You don’t get named the fastest-growing state in the country if you don’t have super affordable places to live, and folks, there are plenty of affordable places in the Peace Garden State awaiting your arrival.
We discovered that North Dakota has many affordable places for everyone. Hip, millennial cities like Fargo have multiple opportunities for young professionals just starting. Cities like Bismark provide inexpensive staycations. And if you’re looking for a city to offset your grocery bill with a little hunting, we hear that Grand Forks is a great place to fill that elk or deer tag.
Our methodology for determining the cheapest places to live in North Dakota involves a comprehensive review of housing costs, rents, and the cost of living. We’ve delved into the data to ensure that our list represents the actual cost of living in these locations.
More importantly, if you choose to live in one of North Dakota’s cheapest places, you will save money for fun things like, a day trip to Hankinson’s Dakota Magic Casino or a weekend at Devils Lake. So, where can you get the most bang for your buck in North Dakota? Keep reading.
The 10 most affordable places to live in North Dakota
What’s the cheapest place to live in North Dakota? The cheapest place to live in North Dakota for 2023 is Beach.
If you ask any North Dakotan, they will say, hands down, that their city is the best. But if you’re the good people in our most affordable place in North Dakota for 2023, you know you live in North Dakota’s best of the best.
To see how your city compares, look at the following list of the most affordable places to live in North Dakota.
Check out some more reading about North Dakota and the cheapest places in the country:
The 10 cheapest places to live in North Dakota for 2023
As you would expect, Beach is not, in fact, near any beaches. In fact, the 1.93 square mile town is all land, not even a bit of water. Instead, you’ll find Beach located on the Montana border right of I-94. And, maybe because of the lack of beaches, it’s one of the most affordable places to live in Montana. The town of around 1,5000 people has an overall cost of living about 25% lower than the national average. Beach has the tenth cheapest homes and 28th cheapest rent anywhere in north dakota. The median home price in Beach is $113,800, while you can find a place to rent for just $744.
Beach offers residents the Golden Valley County Museum along with a bunch of great mom and pop shops. In terms of jobs, Prairie Lumber is a big employer in town. And for entertainment, there’s always the great outdoors of North Dakota to keep you busy – camping, hunting, and fishing.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.5x (most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 104.9x (34th cheapest)
More On Beach: Real Estate
We’ve already given major kudos to Oakes for being one of the best places to live in North Dakota, with an emphasis on good schools, safe streets, easy commutes, low unemployment, and, of course, uber-affordability. With a median home price of $121,800 and a median rent of $620, Oakes has cheap housing options for everyone. And with a median income of $65,441, Oakes is just outside the top ten statewide for housing to income ratios. Oakes is primarily agricultural, but has a growing industrial sector that needs fresh talent !
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x (7th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 105.5x (42nd cheapest)
More On Oakes: Real Estate
Located in northern North Dakota, about 45 miles north of Grand Forks off of I-29 is Grafton, one of the cheap and best places to live in North Dakota.
What makes Grafton so affordable? Well, the overall cost of living is well below the state average and over 25% cheaper than the national average. Just about everything you might have in your monthly budget is cheaper in Grafton, but you’ll save a pretty penny on housing costs.The town ranks fifth lowest in home values at $97,400 and rent is only $597 per month.
In terms of things to do, Grafton has an awesome campground at Leistikow Park with 5 cabins and 50 RV sites. In addition to several other parks, there is also the Centennial Center which offers indoor activities like skating when it’s too cold to be camping outside.
We’re driving almost into Canada to reach our fourth cheapest city in North Dakota, Rolla. Rolla is a family friendly city where you can lead the good life without breaking the bank. Homes in Rolla go for about $101,000, the sixth least expensive in the state. Rolla is also in the top ten for home price to income ratio, so you get to keep most of the rougly $57,727/year salary you’ll earn here.
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.8x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 83.5x (49th cheapest)
More On Rolla: Real Estate
We’re going to take a short drive southwest from Walhalla to reach our fifth least expensive city in North Dakota, Langdon. You can buy a home in Langdon for $121,500 or rent a place for $589/month, both of which are actually the priciest you’ll see in the top five for this list. However, Langdon’s residents also have a higher median income of $57,458. That means that, in terms of housing to income ratios, Langdon is in the top five statewide, regardless of if you’re buying or renting. For things to do in Langdon, we recommend ATVing for outdoorsy folks and the downtown history museum for history buffs.
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (13th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 97.5x (17th cheapest)
More On Langdon: Real Estate
Hillsboro is a great option for those looking for affordable living in North Dakota. This small town offers a low median home value of only $146,100, making it an ideal place for homeownership. The median rent in this area is also incredibly low at just $615, which is perfect for those on a tight budget.
Hillsboro offers the perfect blend of a close-knit community and convenient location, nestled between Fargo and Grand Forks, making it an ideal place to live. With attractions like the Pioneer Museum, Plummer House, and Woodland Park, residents can enjoy a rich historical and recreational experience.
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (14th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 112.3x (15th cheapest)
More On Hillsboro: Real Estate
Hettinger’s low cost of living and high quality of life make it an excellent choice for anyone looking to settle down in North Dakota. With a population of 1,116, this small town offers a median home value of only $105,900 and a median rent of just $576.
Hettinger is located in farm and ranch country, offering easy access to highways 12 and 8. It has opportunities for hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation.
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 12)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.2x (15th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 84.2x (12th cheapest)
More On Hettinger: Real Estate
Enderlin, nd is an affordable place to call home. The city’s overall cost of living is also very reasonable, allowing residents to stretch their hard-earned dollars even further. The median home value comes in at a very reasonable $86,600. Even for those who choose to rent, the median rent of just $776 is much lower than many other cities in the state.
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 12)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.2x (38th cheapest)
More On Enderlin: Real Estate
Finishing up our list of cheapest places to live is Lisbon, a small city an hour and some change outside of Fargo. While Lisbon does have the second most expensive homes on this list, it’s also one of the richest places in North Dakota, so it’s no sweat paying off the mortgage here. Lisbon is also the 16th most affordable spot for renters in North Dakota, with a median rent of $648. There’s no need to worry about being bored in Lisbon either, because there are tons of outdoorsy activities right in the neighborhood.
Hazen is located in the middle of North Dakota off Route 200 near the Knife River and Lake Sakakawea. While its affordability landed it on this list, it’s also a great place to live. There are great affordable things to do like the Knife River Chorale concert around Christmas and “Music in the Park” during the summer. There are jobs to be had at local shops and bigger regional employers like the Sakakawea Medical Center. And for families there’s always the outdoors full of hiking, hunting, and sailing.
When it comes down to affordability metrics, the town is considerably more affordable than the country as a whole. Where Hazen really shines is in housing affordability. The town has the 13th best rent rate to household income ratio in the state. Forgoing homeownership in favor of renting will only run you $976 here.
Cheapest places to live in North Dakota FAQs
The county in North Dakota with the lowest cost of living is McIntosh County. The average living wage in McIntosh County is $81,422 according to MIT data. McIntosh County has the lowest cost of living because it has relatively less expensive childcare and housing costs compared to North Dakota as a whole. Childcare costs $13,020 a year in McIntosh County for two children compared to the North Dakota average of $16,381. Housing costs, defined as a blend of the average rent and average mortgage payment, are $8,808 per year in McIntosh County compared to $10,230 on average in North Dakota.
The cost of living in North Dakota is 3.2% lower than the US average. According to MIT, the required living wage for a family of four with two working parents in North Dakota is $86,873 vs the national average for a family of four with two working parents of $89,744. The median income of a North Dakota household is $65,315.
The cheapest housing market in North Dakota is Ellendale. The average home value in Ellendale is $72,100, the lowest in the state. The average home value in North Dakota is $199,900, almost 2.8 times higher than Ellendale.
Methodology: How we determined the most affordable places to live in the Peace Garden State for 2023
Determining affordability for places in North Dakota boils down to two factors:
- How much money do I make?
- How much does it cost to live here?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make to determine affordability. For example, imagine a place in North Dakota where median incomes are $100,000 and housing costs $200,000 to buy. That’s more affordable than living in a place with a median income of $50,000 where houses cost $101,000. The ratio of income to home prices is higher in the first example.
With that logic in mind, we derived several cost of living statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2017-2021 for North Dakota. The cost of living statistics are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (higher is better)
- Median Home Price
You can include median home price as a stand alone variable because high home prices generally correlate with higher costs for all goods and services (heating, electricity, food, etc). You then compare these cost of living metrics for each place in North Dakota to figure out which is the least expensive.
We aggregate those rankings into a “Cost of Living Index” for each city in North Dakota. The “Cost of Living Index” allows you to rank all of the 50 places in North Dakota that have more than 1,000 people from least expensive to most expensive.
The place in North Dakota with the lowest cost of living according to the data is Beach. You can download the entre cost of living data set for North Dakota here.
North Dakota affordabilility summary
This is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in North Dakota for 2023, if you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in North Dakota.
Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in North Dakota according to the data:
- Watford City
- Grand Forks
For more North Dakota reading, check out:
- Most Dangerous Cities In North Dakota
- Best Places To Buy A House In North Dakota
- Richest Cities In North Dakota
The cheapest places to live in North Dakota
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