The capital city of Michigan comes out with the crown on our list of most affordable cities — and for good reasons. As it turns out, citizens of Lansing spend nearly 40% less on key necessities than the average American. Rent averages at $734 — well below the national average — and unemployment is lower, too.
Housing prices in Lansing are also pretty incredible: the median home price is a mere $89,190. Yes, you read that right. Compare that to the median home price of the rest of the country ($206,300) and you can see why Lansing soars on our list.
Why else is Lansing so appealing? Well for starters, it’s home to a number of colleges and universities, drawing in not only a well-educated and youthful population, but businesses as well. More than that, though, the city is bursting with culture. Lansing hosts Michigan Pride each August, as well as the African American Parade and Heritage Festival and an Oktoberfest. It has its own ballet company, a symphony orchestra, a jazz festival, and a blues festival, too. This plus multiple farmer’s markets, art galleries, museums, theaters, The Wharton Center for Performing Arts and the historic Potter Park Zoo provide endless options for fun.
If sports is more your scene, Lansing won’t disappoint here, either. You can root for the Lansing Lugnuts, a Minor League Baseball team; the Capital City Stealth, a semi-pro Football team; and even the Lansing Derby Vixens, a women’s roller derby team. The general Lansing area is also known for golf courses, and there’s a 13-mile cycling trail along the Lansing River for locals to enjoy.
All in all, Lansing is a perfect example of a city that's not just an affordable place to live, it's a great place to live.