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These Are the 50 Best Cities for Renters

·8 min read
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Buying a home is more affordable now than it’s been in years. Credit that to record-low mortgage rates and a drop in home prices between the first and second quarters of 2020, following a steady increase over the past eight years, according to Forbes. Still, many Americans aren’t jumping to buy a home. After all, the coronavirus pandemic put millions of people out of work, and others fear a future layoff. That’s why so many Americans remain renters and likely expect to rent for the foreseeable future.

Read: The Salary You Need To Afford Rent in Every State

And while no one likes to pay rent, that burden differs depending on where you live, a GOBankingRates study shows. GOBankingRates compiled data on the median rental price for different sizes and types of living spaces across the 150 largest cities in America, then scored each and combined the averages to reveal the cheapest places to rent in the country. Before uprooting to a new city, it’s financially savvy to find out if you can afford the rent.

Last updated: Feb. 18, 2021

Aurora is a suburb of Chicago located in the outer region of Greater Chicago in the U.
Aurora is a suburb of Chicago located in the outer region of Greater Chicago in the U.

50. Aurora, Illinois

  • Population: 200,660

  • Median rent (overall): $1,193

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $910

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,182

Corpus Christi Municipal Marina in Texas
Corpus Christi Municipal Marina in Texas

49. Corpus Christi, Texas

  • Population: 324,692

  • Median rent (overall): $1,108

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $913

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,123

downtown skyline in Chattanooga Tennessee
downtown skyline in Chattanooga Tennessee

48. Chattanooga, Tennessee

  • Population: 177,365

  • Median rent (overall): $1,074

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $882

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,054

Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA downtown skyline on the Grand River at dusk.
Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA downtown skyline on the Grand River at dusk.

47. Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • Population: 197,081

  • Median rent (overall): $1,106

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $872

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,116

St Paul downtown skyline at sunset during christmas.
St Paul downtown skyline at sunset during christmas.

46. St. Paul, Minnesota

  • Population: 302,760

  • Median rent (overall): $1,037

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $899

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,133

Tucson, Arizona, USA downtown skyline with Sentinel Peak at dusk.
Tucson, Arizona, USA downtown skyline with Sentinel Peak at dusk.

45. Tucson, Arizona

  • Population: 539,216

  • Median rent (overall): $1,100

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $834

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,107

Compare: The Average Rent in Every State

View of Kansas City, Missouri skyline at dawn
View of Kansas City, Missouri skyline at dawn

44. Kansas City, Missouri

  • Population: 481,417

  • Median rent (overall): $1,068

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $919

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,078

Houston, Texas, USA downtown city skyline and park at dawn.
Houston, Texas, USA downtown city skyline and park at dawn.

43. Houston, Texas

  • Population: 2,295,982

  • Median rent (overall): $1,031

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $906

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,078

San Antonio
San Antonio

42. San Antonio, Texas

  • Population: 1,486,521

  • Median rent (overall): $1,044

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $898

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,090

New Orleans Louisiana
New Orleans Louisiana

41. New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Population: 389,648

  • Median rent (overall): $1,049

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $917

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,071

Greensboro skyline with pink, orange, and yellow at sunset.
Greensboro skyline with pink, orange, and yellow at sunset.

40. Greensboro, North Carolina

  • Population: 288,719

  • Median rent (overall): $1,014

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $864

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,002

Huntsville Alabama downtown
Huntsville Alabama downtown

39. Huntsville, Alabama

  • Population: 193,663

  • Median rent (overall): $1,059

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $842

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,005

Waterfall near downtown Rochester, New York, USA.
Waterfall near downtown Rochester, New York, USA.

38. Rochester, New York

  • Population: 207,778

  • Median rent (overall): $1,013

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $842

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,076

Bakersfield sign in Bakersfield, California.
Bakersfield sign in Bakersfield, California.

37. Bakersfield, California

  • Population: 375,699

  • Median rent (overall): $1,071

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $756

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $985

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View of the Maple Street Bridge in Spokane at Sunset - Image.
View of the Maple Street Bridge in Spokane at Sunset - Image.

36. Spokane, Washington

  • Population: 214,804

  • Median rent (overall): $1,022

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $765

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,051

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Birmingham, Alabama metropolitan area
Birmingham, Alabama metropolitan area

35. Birmingham, Alabama

  • Population: 212,021

  • Median rent (overall): $962

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $808

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $952

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA downtown cityscape at twilight.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA downtown cityscape at twilight.

34. Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Population: 559,202

  • Median rent (overall): $1,019

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $813

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,001

Indianapolis skyline with the White River, Indiana.
Indianapolis skyline with the White River, Indiana.

33. Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Population: 857,637

  • Median rent (overall): $996

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $831

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,014

St. Louis Missouri at sunset
St. Louis Missouri at sunset

32. St. Louis, Missouri

  • Population: 311,273

  • Median rent (overall): $941

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $827

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,066

Downtown Omaha skyline with the Heartland of America Park (with a lake and fall colored trees) in the foreground.
Downtown Omaha skyline with the Heartland of America Park (with a lake and fall colored trees) in the foreground.

31. Omaha, Nebraska

  • Population: 465,112

  • Median rent (overall): $977

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $810

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,035

High Dynamic Range HDR Photo of Downtown Columbus Ohio.
High Dynamic Range HDR Photo of Downtown Columbus Ohio.

30. Columbus, Ohio

  • Population: 867,628

  • Median rent (overall): $1,007

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $810

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,020

Memphis Tennessee
Memphis Tennessee

29. Memphis, Tennessee

  • Population: 653,248

  • Median rent (overall): $1,004

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $829

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $967

Georgia-Augusta
Georgia-Augusta

28. Columbus, Georgia

  • Population: 196,670

  • Median rent (overall): $995

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $801

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $924

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The historic Market House in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina was built in 1838.
The historic Market House in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina was built in 1838.

27. Fayetteville, North Carolina

  • Population: 209,867

  • Median rent (overall): $1,027

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $777

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $914

An aerial view of downtown Baton Rouge from the State Capitol building, looking towards the Mississippi bridge and river.
An aerial view of downtown Baton Rouge from the State Capitol building, looking towards the Mississippi bridge and river.

26. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Population: 225,362

  • Median rent (overall): $973

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $813

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $950

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Louisville Kentucky
Louisville Kentucky

25. Louisville, Kentucky

  • Population: 617,032

  • Median rent (overall): $966

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $783

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $985

Downtown Knoxville Tennessee Skyline Aerial.
Downtown Knoxville Tennessee Skyline Aerial.

24. Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Population: 185,429

  • Median rent (overall): $987

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $775

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $971

Lexington Kentucky
Lexington Kentucky

23. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

  • Population: 318,734

  • Median rent (overall): $982

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $781

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $955

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA city skyline.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA city skyline.

22. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Population: 303,587

  • Median rent (overall): $926

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $761

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $962

Georgia-Augusta
Georgia-Augusta

21. Augusta, Georgia

  • Population: 196,807

  • Median rent (overall): $997

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $792

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $932

Options: Best Places To Live On a $50,000 Salary in Every State

Montgomery-AL
Montgomery-AL

20. Montgomery, Alabama

  • Population: 200,156

  • Median rent (overall): $992

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $763

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $941

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA downtown skyline at twilight.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA downtown skyline at twilight.

19. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • Population: 637,284

  • Median rent (overall): $933

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $735

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $916

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11674, How Long $1 Million Will Last in Retirement in Every State, South Dakota, States, USA, United States of America, america, horizonta
11674, How Long $1 Million Will Last in Retirement in Every State, South Dakota, States, USA, United States of America, america, horizonta

18. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

  • Population: 174,151

  • Median rent (overall): $886

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $740

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $901

Lincoln Nebraska
Lincoln Nebraska

17. Lincoln, Nebraska

  • Population: 280,849

  • Median rent (overall): $913

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $743

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $932

Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 47th-most populous city in the United States.
Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 47th-most populous city in the United States.

16. Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Population: 402,223

  • Median rent (overall): $918

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $722

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $930

El Paso Texas
El Paso Texas

15. El Paso, Texas

  • Population: 680,354

  • Median rent (overall): $942

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $740

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $904

Mobile, Alabama Skyline from Cooper Riverside Park.
Mobile, Alabama Skyline from Cooper Riverside Park.

14. Mobile, Alabama

  • Population: 191,485

  • Median rent (overall): $929

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $695

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $888

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA downtown city skyline on Lake Michigan at twilight.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA downtown city skyline on Lake Michigan at twilight.

13. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  • Population: 596,886

  • Median rent (overall): $914

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $747

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $918

Downtown Lubbock, Texas.
Downtown Lubbock, Texas.

12. Lubbock, Texas

  • Population: 250,415

  • Median rent (overall): $890

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $694

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $856

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Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA skyline at dusk.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA skyline at dusk.

11. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

  • Population: 242,125

  • Median rent (overall): $883

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $702

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $856

Des Moines, Iowa skyline from the state capital at sunset.
Des Moines, Iowa skyline from the state capital at sunset.

10. Des Moines, Iowa

  • Population: 215,932

  • Median rent (overall): $856

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $720

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $893

Downtown Detroit skyline reflection on the Detroit River.
Downtown Detroit skyline reflection on the Detroit River.

9. Detroit, Michigan

  • Population: 677,155

  • Median rent (overall): $916

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $671

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $895

Cincinnati Skyline at sunset.
Cincinnati Skyline at sunset.

8. Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Population: 300,357

  • Median rent (overall): $806

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $691

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $878

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Little Rock, Arkansas, USA skyline on the river at twilight.
Little Rock, Arkansas, USA skyline on the river at twilight.

7. Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Population: 198,135

  • Median rent (overall): $822

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $702

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $834

Louisiana Shreveport
Louisiana Shreveport

6. Shreveport, Louisiana

  • Population: 193,785

  • Median rent (overall): $819

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $694

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $827

Fort Wayne Indiana
Fort Wayne Indiana

5. Fort Wayne, Indiana

  • Population: 264,052

  • Median rent (overall): $805

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $647

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $815

Amarillo is the 14th-most populous city in the state of Texas, United States.
Amarillo is the 14th-most populous city in the state of Texas, United States.

4. Amarillo, Texas

  • Population: 198,773

  • Median rent (overall): $802

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $625

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $807

Akron, Ohio, USA downtown skyline at dusk.
Akron, Ohio, USA downtown skyline at dusk.

3. Akron, Ohio

  • Population: 198,314

  • Median rent (overall): $792

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $603

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $800

Maumee River and Toledo Ohio skyline.
Maumee River and Toledo Ohio skyline.

2. Toledo, Ohio

  • Population: 278,193

  • Median rent (overall): $786

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $596

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $789

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 24 2015: The city and port of Cleveland are seen from Lake Erie, just to the west of the mouth of the Cuyahoga.
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 24 2015: The city and port of Cleveland are seen from Lake Erie, just to the west of the mouth of the Cuyahoga.

1. Cleveland, Ohio

  • Population: 387,398

  • Median rent (overall): $773

  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $611

  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $779

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Joel Anderson and Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.

To find the 50 best cities for renters, GOBankingRates looked at the 150 largest cities in the U.S. according to the Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey and used Apartment List’s October, 2020 rental data to find each city’s (1) overall estimated typical rent price, (2) estimated rent for a studio, (3) estimated rent for a 1-bedroom, (4) estimated rent for a 2-bedroom, and (5) estimated rent for a 3-bedroom. GOBankingRates then scored all cities with available data against each other on factors (1-5) and ranked them based on their combined score. No. 1 is the overall best city for renters in terms of affordability. All data was collected on and up to date as of Nov. 4, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: These Are the 50 Best Cities for Renters

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