Renters can afford to live alone in these 10 big US cities

If you're looking for some alone time, you may want to consider moving to a cheaper city — where renters can afford to live by themselves in peace.

While you may have to steer clear of iconic cities such as New York City, Los Angeles or Boston, that doesn't mean you can't find a decent alternative.

Financial institution SmartAsset did some deep digging to determine where people can find an affordable home without requiring a roommate. In order to narrow down its top choices, the group analyzed median rents, median earnings for full-time workers, the overall cost of living and unemployment rate and the number of studio and one-bedroom apartments across 100 major cities in the U.S.

"First, we ranked each city in each metric. Then we found each city’s average ranking, giving equal weighting to each metric. Using this average ranking, we created our final score. The city with the best average ranking received a 100. The city with the worst average ranking received a 0," SmartAsset explained.

Overall, the financial group found that the "Midwest is best." Six of their 10 most affordable cities for single renters were located in that region of the country — mainly Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

78 percent of renters believe it's more affordable to continue renting than to own a property, according to 2018 research conducted by Freddie Mac.

"If you want to live by yourself as a renter, consider moving to the middle of the country," SmartAsset concluded in the study, which was released on Tuesday.

For the second year in a row, Cincinnati, Ohio topped the list. The city, which sits on the Ohio River, has an average rent of just $569 for apartments with fewer than two bedrooms and 30 percent of homes in the city are one-bedrooms or less. Reno, Nevada came in a close second — particularly for its low, 3.1 percent unemployment rate and average $43,551 salary for full-time workers. SmartAsset noted renters in Reno would also likely have more success contributing to their retirement savings than others.


Lincoln, Nebraska, Minneapolis, Minnesota and Tulsa, Oklahoma rounded out the top five.

Here's a look at SmartAsset's top 10 cities where renters can afford to live in 2019.

  • Cincinatti, Ohio
  • Reno, Nevada
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Lexington, Kentucky