Lexington ranked 7th, Louisville 10th
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) — Lexington and Louisville are two of the most affordable U.S. cities, according to Kiplinger’s 10 Most Affordable Big Cities in the U.S.
Kiplinger looked at cities with populations of more than 250,000, picking the 10 most affordable based on lowest living costs, household incomes, home values and unemployment rates.
In all 10 cases, home values are below the national average, and in most cases jobless rates are better than average. Household incomes in these cities fall below the national average, but in many cases paychecks are solid relative to living costs. Because big-city traffic can impact your quality of life, we even list the average commute times for workers.
Lexington was picked 7th with a cost of living 10.3 percent below the national average, a median household income of $48,779, a median home value of $163,000, an unemployment rate of 5.3 percent and an average commute time of 19.6 minutes.
“Horses aren’t cheap in Lexington, but many other things are. According to the Cost of Living Index, groceries run nearly 14 percent below the national average, and housing-related costs come in almost 24 percent below average,” Kiplinger said. “In contrast to the low living expenses, salaries are relatively strong. Lexington’s median household income of nearly $49,000 a year is the second-highest on this list. The biggest employers in Fayette County, which encompasses Lexington, include the University of Kentucky and Lexmark International.”
Louisville was picked 10th with a cost of living 8.6 percent below the national average, a median household income of $44,111, a median home value of $139.400, an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent and an average commute time of 22.2 minutes.
“Louisville is home to three Fortune 500 companies: Humana, Yum Brands and Kindred Healthcare. And despite Lexington’s label as ‘Horse Capital of the World,’ it is Louisville’s Churchill Downs that plays host to the annual Kentucky Derby,” Kiplinger writes. “It’s not all coming up roses for Louisville. The city has an above-average unemployment rate and the third-longest average commute on this list. And despite lower-than-average living expenses, 87 other cities including the next nine cities on our list are cheaper to live in than Louisville, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index.”
Memphis was ranked No. 1 by Kiplinger, followed by Columbus, Omaha, Nashville and Tulsa. San Antonio 6th, Lincoln, Neb. 8th and Oklahoma City 9th.